Tradeshow planning tips — Whether you’re a seasoned exhibitor or a first-time participant, the world of tradeshows demands meticulous planning, strategic finesse, and an unwavering commitment to stand out in the bustling crowd. Check out our to-do list to help you keep organized for your next tradeshow.
1. Plan Ahead!
- Take an inventory of everything you plan on showcasing in your booth space. Find an open area to tape off the dimensions of the booth.
- Have your team that is attending the show set up your booth exactly as you plan to present it. This will ensure everything is in good shape and you’re not missing any key components.
- Make sure all your marketing collateral, business cards, and displays are correct and packed safely with your booth ahead of time.
- Bring essentials such as extension cords, power strips, tape, scissors, and basic tools for setup.
Download our booth set-up checklist here, so you’ll be sure not to forget the essentials.
2. Promotional Materials
- Discuss your top customer profiles attending the show and consider them carefully when deciding what you want to give them. Your giveaways should be intentional and thoughtful. Consider items that you can give out that will be useful in the environment in which they are making purchasing decisions.
- Quality over quantity is a useful approach to also consider. Not every person visiting your booth is a prospect. Keep higher-value items available but out of public view. Your staff can use these after meaningful conversations with qualified leads to help get a follow-up meeting after the show.
- Make sure your team looks the part and are good ambassadors for your brand. This can be done with apparel that has your brand on it. It doesn’t have to be just a t-shirt, it could be an elevated polo, a ¼ zip, a soft-shell jacket, or a vest. Consider multi-use apparel like the Tap Tee to not only represent your brand but also use it as a lead capture system.
4. Pre-Show Marketing
- Most tradeshows will provide attendee lists to their vendors in advance. Use these lists to promote your presence at the show and invite attendees to visit your booth through targeted direct mail, email, and social media.
5. Booth Etiquette
- Discuss proper booth etiquette with your team, including engaging with attendees and making a good impression.
- Plan your professional apparel for each day of the show and make sure your staff is outfitted accordingly with correct styles, sizes, and logos. Consider the climate of the show location as well as the comfort of the clothing for your team.
6. Lead Generation Tools
- Prepare a lead capture system (e.g., tablets, scanners, tap tee, or lead cards).
- Find lead generation tools that will work efficiently and give the best user experience. Consider new tools like the Tap Tee, using your teams’ apparel as a lead capture tool.
- Create a method for collecting attendee information such as a drawing for a prize from business cards left with your team.
- Develop a plan for following up with leads and prospects within days after the trade show.
- Send thank you notes to visitors who expressed interest in your products or services.