trade shows

4 Essential Things To Think About When Planning A Trade Show

A lot of investment and hard work is required to host a trade show with a fabulous trade show booth design. However, when done correctly, the benefits can far outweigh this. From the planning and preparation to the day of the corporate event, there is so much that needs to be considered.

If you’re a small business owner looking to grow your business – a corporate event is a great way to go about it. However, it’s not necessarily easy, and if you plan it poorly – it might have a negative impact on your business. It’s for this reason you want to make sure your corporate event goes exactly as you planned, as this is a great opportunity to improve the bonds between you, and your potential business partners or customers.

You need to think about how you want your business to be perceived, what you want to show your attendees, and how much you’re willing to invest in this.

Not only for the corporate event itself but for your business as well. Keep in mind, many of your employees or yourself will be tied up before, after, and throughout the show.

First, What is a Trade Show?

A trade show is an exhibition event that brings businesses together so they can demonstrate and show off their newest products and services to members of the trade and other businesses within the industry. These types of shows can include seminars and how-to exhibits alongside company displays.

Trade shows can last a few hours or several days. However, many shows today are a hybrid – meaning they are in-person and virtual.

1. Event Booking Software

Planning something this big can take a lot of time and effort, and you can save yourself a chuck of that by using booking software. Services like offer you the opportunity to get your customers booked into your corporate event without you having to give manual input.

This makes things like organizing shuttles or other activities that are going on around your event so much easier and quicker for you. You can focus on the main event, and let the software handle your guests.

corporate event software's
Make sure you have the proper event software signup to make it easier for clients to quickly signup.

The bigger the event, the more time you’re going to be fumbling with the guest list – this is something you can afford to make easier on yourself.

2. Defining The Event Purpose

Of course, the main reason to host an event is to grow your business, but what are you going to do to achieve that? If you’ve got anything big to unveil, now’s the time to do it, while all eyes are on you.

Once you have that plan settled on, you can start working on the best way to improve the experience for everyone else. You want your new product unveiling to be well-received, so make sure the guests are having a great time.

3. Your Trade Show Budget

It’s not easy to predict how much money you’re going to generate from the event you’re planning – which is why it’s difficult to justify overspending. With that said, this isn’t something you’ll want to skimp out on.

Your goal is to impress the attendees, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a decent chunk of money ready to invest in this.

Going for a cheap event is going to put a negative spin on the whole day. The food for your guests, their transportation, and the venue you decide on. Your attendees aren’t going to enjoy your product unveiling if they’ve been standing all day, and are hungry and thirsty.

4. Realistic Event Time Management

Planning is often the part that takes the most amount of time, and you need as much as you can get if you want to plan an entire successful event. You need time to find the venue, find a quality catering service, transportation, and more.

However, you might not be able to get to line up for quite a while yet. Generally, the more popular services will have long wait times, so the more time you have, the better.

manage event time
Learn to manage your time before, during, and after the corporate event.

How to Avoid Trade Show Failure

One of the best things you can do is learn from the mistakes that others have made so that you don’t make them yourself. Your business may invest in a lot of products, time, and money in the show so let’s be sure it is a success!

So, let’s take a look at some of the common errors you need to avoid at your next show.

1. Your Staff Members Are Checked Out

You have one employee who is typing away on a laptop. There is another who is talking on the phone. Who is going to be greeting the visitors?

Would you venture into a trade booth like this? You want your employees to remain focused throughout the show. They should be engaging with visitors and enticing them to enter the booth for your company.

Would you venture into a trade booth like this? You want your employees to remain focused throughout the show. #tradeshows Click To Tweet

2. Cutting Corners with the Trade Show Booth Design

The design of your booth is of paramount importance. Going for the cheapest solution you can find is definitely not the best approach.

The booth design is going to determine whether people come to find out more about your business and your products and services, or whether they walk right past you.

trade show booth design
Set up your trade show booth design to get noticed.

You need something that is striking as people walk by your trade show booth design. Not only that, but stands out from other booths, is easy to read, and communicates what your business is about.

Next, have comfortable furniture for someone to sit down and engage at your booth. You want to stick around and learn about your business and become your next client.

Therefore, have great leave-behind products you can give away at your booth. You will want to be sure your logo stands on the products you give away. For example, you could give away light-up pens, pretty calendars, or hand sanitizers.

You want your booth guests to feel at ease, and that means knowing where everything is. Make sure you have someone manning the front-of-house or back-office who knows what they’re doing so people don’t get lost in a sea of freebies!

You need something that is striking as people walk by your trade show booth design. #tradeshows Click To Tweet

3. Not Following Up

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when hosting a booth at a trade show. Nothing diminishes your return on investment further than failing to follow up with people once the show is finished.

Your small business will want to obtain email addresses, cell phone numbers, and addresses so you can market to them after the show is over.

Timeframes for contacting leads may have passed and information could be lost. This is why it is critical to make a plan to follow up and make sure you actually follow it.

4. Failing to Plan Ahead

This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised by just how many inflated budgets and missed deadlines there are when it comes to hosting a trade show.

plan ahead for your event
Be sure to plan ahead for your show for it to be a success.

You need to make a plan at the start, and then a backup plan, and then you need to go over these plans several times. Check out these #1 trade show exhibits for inspiration.

Not only do you need to plan for the day(s) of the show but for afterward. Plan for the follow-up calls and emails to ensure you generate some new business.

5. Not Defining Any Goals

What is your reason for hosting a booth at this trade show? What do you hope to achieve? If you don’t establish any goals, how are you going to measure your performance?

Your goals could include:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Relationship Building
  • Developing a New Market
  • Finding New Employees

How are you going to know if the trade show was a success without having your goals defined?

6. No Social Media Engagement for Trade Show

Finally, a lack of social media engagement is a big mistake. Social media presents the perfect platform for promoting your participation at the trade event.

From blog posts to short videos and photos, there are many ways you can promote your company to social media users.

All of your social media posts should include the booth number for your trade show booth. This will ensure people can find you quickly and visit your booth.

7. Consider a Virtual Option

And lastly, make sure you have a virtual option for your event as we enter into 2022 with the coronavirus still upon us.

Some companies are having a digital booth on their website permanently that clients can visit.

In today’s ever-changing world you do not know when an in-person trade show may be canceled.

Some companies are having a digital booth on their website permanently that clients can visit. #tradeshows Click To Tweet

In Conclusion of Trade Shows and Corporate Events

If you can avoid the mistakes that have been mentioned above, you will give your business the best chance of hosting a successful trade show event.

Remember to plan ahead, follow up, and ensure your booth looks incredible, and you can grow your business from the event.

Do you have any trade show events coming up in the new year? I’d love to hear from you if you do or if you have recently been to one in your area. Please drop a comment and share it on social media.

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