What do you need to succeed at trade shows?  If you can check these 16 points off your list, you’re well on your way:

  1. Align your trade show goals with your overall marketing and company goals.
  2. Create goals that are specific, measurable, and timely.
  3.  Pay early to avoid rush charges and (surprisingly high) late fees.
  4.  Booth space rental is about one-third of your budget, for the rest invest into areas that give you the best R.O.I.
  5. Pick shows with an audience that best matches your target market.
  6. Go back to the highest R.O.I. shows from previous years.
  7. Design your trade show display to boldly and clearly communicate who you are, what you sell, and why your prospects should buy from you.
  8. Design your display stand to support your booth staffers as a workspace.
  9. Reach out to show attendees before the show via phone, email, mail, ads, and the web.
  10. Offer attendees something of value (information, presentations, demonstration, show specials, giveaways etc.) in exchange for a visit.
  11. Select motivated, friendly, knowledgeable booth staff.
  12.  Train your staff to handle the steps to shorter trade show interactions: engage, present, qualify, and close.
  13.  Capture at-show leads on paper or electronically, so your sales team has all the information they need to follow-up effectively after the show.
  14. Before the show even starts, prepare a person, materials, and your database to fulfill your leads.
  15. Plan ahead to give yourself more time to adapt to problems, especially for international shows.
  16. Take a binder with all your show information including contacts with you to the show, including an electronic copy of your graphic art files in case your display gets lost.

Like the list?  Will use it?  Think we missed something essential?  Please share your comments.

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