The following planning thought starters will help you prepare your exhibit and team for a better return on your trade show investment.
1. Why are you going to the show? (Prioritize from 1-5: 1 being first priority) Write sales orders Generate excitement around a product (new/existing) Increase company visibility within the industry Educate your audience about products and capabilities Generate leads for future sales Build your mailing list with qualified names Find better suppliers or partners Build rapport with current customers Recruit prospective employees Get press Research the competition Spot trends Other
2. Define the audience(s) that you want to influence.
3. What are your business objectives regarding this audience? (i.e. new business, recruitment, media coverage, etc.)
4. What does the trade show space need to have to support your objectives? (i.e. strong brand messaging, space for sales reps to meet, demo space, video presentations, etc.)
5. How will you quantify/measure achievement of your show objectives: Number of new sales leadsNumber of sales at showNumber of sales within ___ months following showNumber of demos/presentations you want to giveNumber of new contactsNumber of prospective employeesOther
Tip: Know how you will measure success going into the show. Without measuring your return on investment, you’ll struggle to prepare for the next show.
6. What two or three messages will resonate positively with your target trade show audience to help you achieve your objectives?
Tip: Your booth is the ultimate first impression or your organization. It should immediately convey your value proposition to impact your audience.
7. Your display has less than 10 second to answer the following: Who are you? What do you deliver? Please answer these questions in less than 10 seconds (think billboard).
8. What are the three (only three) primary ideas/messages associated with your exhibit graphics?
9. What accompanying materials will be most useful at the show? (i.e. brochure, downloadable PDFs, interactive kiosk, mobile/tablet-based presentation, etc.)
10. What pre-show promotions will support your show objectives? (i.e. email campaign, invitation to a hospitality event, advertising, etc.)
11. What is your plan for training booth personnel? Are objectives and expectations of booth personnel clearly outlined? Do they understand your message and can they effectively convey it?
12. How will your display and messaging integrate with other marketing activities such as website, social, etc.
Tip: Don't reprint your company brochure in your tradeshow graphics. Leave the specific information to the brochure, and design the graphics with eye catching images. The sales team is there to walk attendees through the material in a personable way.
13. Who are your three primary competitors at this show? How are they impacting the same audience as yours?
14. What do your competitors do better than you? What can you do better than them? How are you different?
15. What didn’t work with your last exhibit at this show? (i.e. traffic patterns, sales force strength, etc.)
The Quell Group offers trade show planning and communications expertise at every level. For more information on developing and aligning your show strategy with your goals, contact us.