Trade Show Preparation Schedule
Developing an effective trade show marketing strategy can take over a year – from the initial steps of registering as an exhibitor and securing your booth space to the finishing touches like shipping your exhibit components and training on-site personnel. There are a number of steps to consider at various points along your trade show preparation timeline. Here are a few items to add to your trade show to-do list:
1 Year Out: Set your strategy
- Determine how your trade show marketing plan fits into your sales and marketing strategy as well as your organization’s budget.
- Explore the events that best fit your goals and are mostly likely to provide a return on investment.
9 to 12 Months Before Show: Enhance your plan
- Work with the sales team to develop specific goals for your trade show schedule. Typical goals includes sales, leads, PR and awareness.
- Enhance your trade show plan. Most companies divide the plan into three buckets: pre-show, show and post-show.
6 to 9 Months Before Show: Booth design
- Start working on the design of your trade show booth.
- Do you have a theme for the show that matches your marketing strategy and brand? Do you have a strong call to action?
- Review promotional items, literature and marketing materials that should accompany your team members to show site.
3 to 6 Months Before Show: Orders and reservations
- This is the time to order your promotional items and giveaways – it can take time to source and customize your order.
- Confirm timeline with your exhibit company and review show regulations.
- Start to assign who will work the booth and when.
- This is also a good time to think about scheduling dinner and meeting space as many local restaurants and other popular spots fill up very quickly.
1 to 3 Months Before Show: The final stage
- Put together the necessary information you will use to follow up with leads after the show.
- Continue pre-show marketing activities, including email, direct mailers and phone calls.
- Confirm travel arrangements for staff members.
Final Days before show: Training and confirmations
- Does the sales team have their 15-30 second pitch memorized?
- Are there any last-minute details to confirm with your exhibit company?
AFTER the Show: Make a sale!
- Launch your post-show plan.
- Review all budgetary items.
- Review leads and send information.
- Schedule a post-show meeting within 1 week after the show to discuss all aspects and, later, determine if the event was a worthwhile investment.
Looking for more trade show tips?
No matter where you are in your trade show planning process, Condit has the knowledge and experience to help your exhibit and your business succeed. Whether it’s your first trade show or your 100th, Condit can help! Contact us to learn more or start a project today!