10 Timely Tips for a Successful Trade Show

Whether you’re a newbie or a trade show veteran, it’s hard to think of everything when preparing to go to a major trade show. At times like these, it’s best to have a master list of things to be checked off and hopefully no longer worried about. Whether you’re the supervisor, a solo, or a marketing department manager, you’re likely to run up against some form of trade show management. Here are some tips to make the task easier:


1. Make a complete to-do list–your “battle plan.” Break it down into distinct categories such as booth, staff, or demo.


2. Become buddies with the event organizer. A no brainer. The organizer knows everything about the show from the number of participants to the size of the swag bag.


3. Keep the signage simple–think of your booth from a passerby’s perspective, i.e., someone who knows next to nothing about your product or service.

4. Have a lead retrieval process and drill down on it. How many backpacks are giving

away and how many solid leads and eventual sales do we expect as a result?

5. Follow up on leads–have a system by specialty or geography or seniority to determine who is responsible for following up on leads, and how will leads be divided among team members?


6. Offer a booth promotion and giveaway. Who gets the swag? It’s wise to have a “hurdle,” such as requiring a demo, in order to separate the tchotchke hounds from the true prospects. Do an instant comparison to last year–is this year better, why or why not?


7. Choose the right booth staff–outgoing, articulate, and knowledgeable about your product. Provide training and talking points. Don’t eat in the booth.


8. Consider eye-catching attire that complements your booth, bit not at the expense of being tacky. Test it at home to see if it works for your product.


9. Build a live demo and script.


10. Create a booth staff schedule and include everyone’s contact information, including mobile.

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