Exhibition Visitors

Whether this is your organization’s first time or one hundredth time attending a trade show event, staying on top of your to-dos and deadlines can seem overwhelming at times. Use this timeline planner to help keep you on track!

12  Months To Go:

1)   Set your expense budget and create goals and objectives for the event, such as increasing awareness for your brand, generating sales leads and creating a memorable experience for attendees.

2)   Collect and organize all contracts and information about your event, adding upcoming deadlines to your calendar.

3)   Begin the process of gathering information about your audience- who is expected to attend the trade show, what are their interests and what have been the most successful types of booths and giveaways in the past- the coordinators of the event can help you gather this information.

4)   Choose a spot for your booth as soon as possible, so you can reserve a space that is big enough to accommodate your display as well as one that gets a high amount of traffic.

5)   Start conceptualizing your trade show booth- what will it look like and what will you offer attendees? Start a list of the things you will want to order to wow your audience.

6 Months Before:

1)   At this stage, you will want to map out what you will need for displays and begin researching which ones will best fit your needs. What table covers will you choose? A custom imprinted table cover is one easy way to make a great first impression.

2)   Will you offer interactive table and floor displays and activities? Choose banners that are easy to transport and set up. Look into eye-catching displays and games that will really get people involved and interested.

3)   Make a plan to ship, set up, and display your materials. Coordinate with trade show staff if you need help installing and dismantling your booth.

4)  Start shopping for customized giveaway items. According to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), 71.6% of trade show attendees who received a promotional product remembered the name of the company that gave them the product, so the importance of choosing the right giveaway item should not be overlooked! Tech items, snack bags, customized bottled waters and writing instruments all make memorable trade show giveaways. Choose a few pricier items to give out to VIP clients or use as prizes for raffles and drawings. A customized cooler makes a great grand prize that anyone would be excited to win!

5)   Finalize your trade show team and request their individual sizes, so that you can order company branded polos, button-down shirts and any other apparel that you’ll need.

6)   Check in with a trade show coordinator to make sure your registration is confirmed and make any travel and hotel reservations for you and your team.

2 Months to Go:

1)   Decide whether you will be bringing all of your materials with you to the show or having them shipped in plenty of time to arrive for the event. Double check that if you have ordered displays, marketing materials and promotional merchandise that they are on track to be delivered on time.

2)   Start spreading the word that your organization plans to attend the trade show event. Leverage your social media and personal contacts to publicize the event to your customers and constituents.

3)   Prepare giveaways, “swag” bags or customized gifts for potential clients and VIP customers.

4)   Hold a strategy meeting with your trade show team and make sure everyone is on the same page as far as goals for the event and consistent messaging on behalf of your organization.

Trade Show Day!!

1)   Implement your trade show strategy that you have worked so hard to create and get customers involved and interested in your giveaways, interactive displays and games. Collect business cards and draw one winner an hour to receive a gift bag filled with giveaway goodies or have the winners spin the prize wheel to increase the excitement even more.

2)   Most importantly, relax and have fun with your team, knowing that you have pulled off a successful trade show event! If you are having a good time, then your potential customers will too!

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