Article Written By Bob Watson.

Being a first time exhibitor means that you have a lot of things to do before you can consider your event a successful one. If you’re facing your first event, here are a few tips that you can use to prepare for your first-time trade show appearance.

Set Objectives for the Trade Show

It’s not enough to gather a few leads and call your event a success. To truly understand whether attending the trade show was worth the expense, you need to set some concrete objectives. Get together with your team and set some realistic and attainable goals. Do you want to gather 200 qualified leads? Or do you want to increase your company’s sales by 10%? Knowing if you met these goals and attributing direct sales to your custom trade show display can help you determine your return on investment, which can help you decide whether you want to attend future events.

Design Your Trade Show Exhibit with Professional Help

Next, make sure that your trade show exhibit is carefully designed. If you expect that exhibiting will become a regular occurrence for your company, you should consider purchasing an exhibit. However, if you’re not sure if trade shows are right for your business, it may be better to rent. Whether you choose to rent or purchase a booth, you can find a custom trade show exhibit with one-of-a-kind configurations and personalised, professionally-designed graphics that will help your company give a great impression.

Don’t Forget to Leave Room in Your Budget for Extras

Your trade show exhibit isn’t the only thing that you need to consider when you’re trying to work out your budget. You’ll also need to think about paying fortrade show giveaways, shipping charges, travel expenses (including meals and hotels), promotional brochures, and fees for installation and dismantle service. These costs can all add up quickly and if you don’t have the room in your budget, you will be left scrambling.

Make Sure Your Staff is Well-Trained to Work Your Booth

Lastly, don’t forget to train your booth staff. If they’re left wandering around or they don’t know how to approach potential customers, all of your efforts for the event will be wasted. Beforehand, go through possible scenarios with different types of customers and have your employees practice qualifying them to make sure that hot leads get the attention they deserve. Also, train your staff to be self-aware at all times. By giving off the wrong body language, attendees could view the staffers as unapproachable. Your staffers represent your company and give your company a reputation and association. If the staff has their arms crossed, or if they’re constantly on their cell phones, or if they’re focused more on each other than attendees and potential customers, you can bet that they are driving business away.

Find out more tips to increase your event marketing success, attend Skyline’s free exhibitor training seminar Eye Power

About the Author: Bob Watson has been helping clients in the New York region dominate trade show marketing events for over 30 years. As President of Skyline New York, a leading trade show marketing resource known for customized exhibit innovations, Bob helps his partners use distinctive modular components to create New York trade show displays and complementing banner stands that captivate and compel crowds while effectively broadening brand exposure and reach.

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