Reality – If you’re four months out from a show, that means you have 120 days until game time. (Even less if you count some favorite summer holidays and that family beach trip.)
While the show may feel as though it’s in the distant future, there are several important planning prerequisites to set your program up for success that you can get into motion NOW.
DEVELOP YOUR MARKETING PLAN
Begin planning your marketing and promotional program for before, during and after your event. This plan will be your roadmap for driving qualified visitors to your both and converting those visitors into new clients.
To do that, you should answer those questions:
- What messages do I want to emphasize during the show?
- What audience does the show attract?
- What is our goal for the show?
- What target was determined for the show?
- And what is the product’s role on the show floor?
Identifying answers to these questions will set the course for the booth’s strategy and will play an important role in the conceptualization of the booth.
Quick Read: Is this the year your marketing goes from good to great? Here are two go-to tips for that.
Exhibiting at tradeshows is an invaluable way to market your brand and build relationships. It allows you to showcase products and services to highly-targeted individuals, learn about current market trends in your industry and see what your competitors are doing.
OUTLINE YOUR OVERALL BUDGET FOR PARTICIPATION
Project your costs in these categories of expenses:
– Booth space
– Drayage/material handling
– Lead retrieval
– Shipping to and from the show
– Carpet/flooring (if required)
– Rental furniture or A/V equipment
– Installation and dismantle (if required)
– Rigging for hanging structures (if required)
– Booth costs (rent or purchase)
– Marketing campaign and sales expenses for dinners, pre- and post-show awareness campaigns
Looking for greater guidance on budgeting for a tradeshow? Request our Tradeshow Budget Worksheet from your Account Executive, a free budget template that accounts for trade show expenses big and small.
QUICK READ: Here’s a quick read on creating a masterpiece trade show exhibit on a budget.
CONTRACT YOUR SPACE AT “EARLY BIRD” RATES
Early bird rates for exhibitors typically expire four to six months before the show. These rates are about 5-10% lower than standard rates.
QUICK TIP: Sometimes you also should consider signing up for “association memberships” in order to benefit from deep discounts provided to members-only on exhibit space.
Some shows assign seniority to incumbent exhibitors and encourage contracting a year in advance at a discounted rate. Make sure to book early, because space can fill up extremely fast.
Before contracting space in any show, be sure to evaluate the cost of the show with the potential to return.
CONNECT WITH STUDIO DISPLAYS, YOUR EXHIBIT SOLUTIONS PARTNER
To ensure that you have a rockstar exhibit in time for the event, be sure to connect with a Studio Displays Account Executive to discuss your exhibit, display needs and requirements. This lets us understand your goals and allows us to deliver the ideal exhibit solution.
Paul Tucker, President, and CEO at Microcopy Dental says: ” Once approved, we went from design to implementation and install, I would say, in approx. 4 months.[…] The Studio Team provided great guidance and insight into the design, creation, and installation of our finished trade show booth. And, the account team is made up of great personable people who work hard to help meet goals but are also fun to be around.”
GET INSPIRED: View our tradeshow portfolio
And, most importantly, foster relationships with customers and prospects. After months of planning, you’ll feel that spark in a split second.