The Scene: Lugging a bag bulging with brochures and giveaways, a prospect heads towards you. Their glance roams your booth.
You have less than 10 seconds to catch their eye and convince them to stop. What do they see? Do your displays, brochures, promotional items, even the clothes you are wearing, carry a focused, coordinated message?
If someone approaching your booth knows – immediately – whether they should (or should not) stop to talk, then you have prepared properly.
KEYS TO PREPARING FOR SUCCESS
1. Select your goals upfront. This is the number one key to trade show success. Make your objectives clear, quantifiable and easy to convey. Make sure your vendors helping you prepare know them, as well as those who will staff your booth.
2. Every decision you make must be geared towards achieving your goal. Displays, brochures, show apparel, and promotional take-homes must be selected and designed to all work together to (a) attract the right people to your booth, (b) help qualify your prospects and capture their contact information, and (c) leave a positive impression that will last beyond the final day of the show.
3. Decide how you will measure results, and what will be an acceptable outcome. Make sure the measurement method is reasonable and understood by your everyone in your booth.
4. Select your shows based on where your best prospects and current customers will be expecting you.
In addition to shows sponsored by your own trade and professional organizations, check out the following 2 tips for more ideas:
5. Build traffic to your booth in advance of the show. The simplest way is by sending letters or emails to invite current customers and key prospects.
A more involved, but even more successful, way to attract visitors is by preparing a promotion, such as sending them part of a custom puzzle, the cap of an expensive pen, or information on a raffle to be held. You want to send anything that will put your company’s name on their must-see list.
Consider setting up specific appointments during the show – this demonstrates respect for their time as well as reinforcing the business purpose for their visit. Plus you will be sure to get adequate time to spend with them.
6. Make up and follow a preparation timeline. Using a checklist will help ensure nothing gets forgotten. And, as a big bonus, you will avoid the surcharges that rushed orders and shipping require. Procrastination can be very costly.
For a detailed timeline: