Free Trade Show Tips - Planning - The cost of a Trade Show

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Index of topics included in this series of articles:

Prioritize the targets to be achieved

Determine what is the main success to achieve. Once you came to peace with them, it will be easier to plan ahead

We have seen different criteria, but of course, each organization should recognize its own priorities. Here are some examples.

Tip: list the oppotunities and challenges with your team and prioritize them.

  • Build a distribution chain
  • Present new products to the marketplace
  • PR: Improve the public image and brand recognition
  • Build a solid contact list
  • Name your own:.....

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Getting Ready for the Show: Time Frame

It could take anywhere from a few days to a full year to have everything in place for a trade show. Some companies participating at Vegas-type shows, start working for their next show, a year away as soon as the current show is over.

Other companies will only have a few months or weeks to complete the preparation tasks

The shorter the time available, the more you should rely on a team of reliable vendors that will be able to execute quality work within budget and deliver on time.

Tip: Start planning as soon as possible. In that way you will have plenty of time fo revisit the details of the plan and adjust the course

The priorities listed in the previous section will determine a work-path for each of those.

Example of how the requirements will affect the time frame: the introduction of a new product to the marketplace might require ways of bringing into the booth lots of people, trying to have them participate in short interactive presentations. Small giveaways will be required to bribe people so that they stay to the end of a presentation, or to participate of a drawing. Samples, brochures, videos, testimonials will also help.

The action plan to achieve the goal will probably require the design and printing of literature among others. Photography, video, graphic design and good copywriting can take long until they are polished enough. Ordering and construction of the stand itself takes time time, as well as preparing any custom samples to be distributed.


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Choose the location of the booth

The best location will actually be dependant on the type of environment needed and the area required.

Booths can be located on the aisles, corners or islands.

Aisles have the most exhibition room, considering the use of walls, but the least exposure to traffic. Ideal to display many products, since there is plenty of room to present shelves and display signs

Corners have exposure in two different directions, being able to pull additional traffic. Pass-through stands can be attractive and pull additional visitors.

Islands are booths surrounded by aisles. There are 4 directions to come in. This type of booths allows for a very creative use of the area.

Tip: The best location is the result of multiple considerations. Take the time to weight the facts up before making a decision about the location.

The best location, as you start to realize, is such a subjective concept that different people will reply differently.

In the following list, we will introduce some facts that might incline your selection of the best location:

  • Do you want to be close to your competitors? If your competitors are powerful, they might drive more visitors to your booth.
  • Each expo has its own seminar series. Would your booth be seen by those individuals that go to or come back from the session?
  • What is the flow of visitors at the venue, considering the access doors and their locations?
  • Storage: storing items necessary for the show could be difficult. Some booth options allow for more "hidden" storage areas than others.
  • Do you want people to come in and out of your booth fast of do you need people to feel calm and relaxed to go through product demonstrations?
  • Are you trying to strengthen a brand? If so, high-traffic areas might be a plus.
  • If you will need "private" time with the visitors, you might want to consider being close to one of the food courts

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