Article written by Mike Timmesch from Skyline Exhibits Inc.


Ah, the good intentions of New Year Resolutions! People resolve to start doing things that they know they should be doing, but don’t, either because they’re too difficult or dull. Well, there are some essential trade show activities that fall into those categories!


Trade Show Marketer’s New Year Resolution #1: Follow Up Your Leads

The first and foremost resolution you can make is to simply follow up on your leads. Following up on leads is almost like flossing your teeth or doing maintenance on your house: you know you need to do it, but are still reluctant. Following up on the leads gets overshadowed by all the other parts of your job that were neglected while you concentrated on organising and going to the show.


Trade Show Marketer’s New Year Resolution #2: Measure Your Results

Measuring your trade show results is another worthwhile activity to choose as a New Year’s resolution. Measuring your trade show results can be complicated when you have a long sales cycle, have multiple lead sources to allocate credit for any sales to, or you can’t easily get access to the data you need. So it is both difficult and (compared to exhibit design and creating cool pre-show and at-show promotions) kind of dull. Yet without demonstrable results, your entire trade show program is in jeopardy.


Trade Show Marketer’s New Year Resolution #3: Update Your Trade Show Display Graphics

With so many logistics to take care of, it’s easy to put much of our trade show program on autopilot and avoid the grief of getting new exhibit graphics. Yet, over time your marketing messages changes. Is the message on your trade show displays still relevant to the message that you’re using in your other marketing programs? What message is currently on your website, direct mail, print ads, and your blog? When all your messages reinforce each other, you are much more likely to be remembered. And when you exhibit at trade shows that serve different vertical market industries, do you take the time to adapt your graphics to better appeal to the different audiences?


How do you make resolutions stick?

These three are worthwhile trade show New Year’s resolutions. Yet, like all resolutions, they are easy to start, yet much harder to maintain. How do we maintain them?

Here are some ideas to make your resolutions stick:

  • Make it achievable
  • Break your bigger goal into smaller activities
  • Focus on the benefits
  • Make yourself accountable

It takes time to build a new habit. Give yourself time to turn wishes into actions into habits.

Will these resolutions help with your 2012 trade show strategy? Can you suggest more New Year Resolutions?  Post your comments below.

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