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Trade show exhibitions are an excellent opportunity to showcase a novel product, a new service, or a grand event. It can focus on specific industry or it can allow a mix of projects, inventions, and other amazing feature catalogs from different businesses. Visitors can find exhibitions ranging from custom shot glasses and designer accessories to sports cars and marvels of science. 

While it is an avenue for a variety of things, it also means that everyone is competing for the attention of visitors who will be attending the event. Everyone wants to draw attention to what they have to offer. It spells the difference between a future for the product or just another bad investment. That is why it is important to know how best to prepare for these trade show exhibits.

Here are some important things to do in order to stand out in the next trade show exhibits. 

Create a Budget and Set Objectives

It cannot be stressed enough that preparing for a trade show takes a lot of commitment. It cannot be done on a whim and without preparation, regardless of how small your product may seem compared to the others. The best way to kick things off would be to set some specific, measurable objectives. This can be the number of visitors who engaged with your booth or how many units of your product were sold at the event. 

Once that has been settled, you should stick to a budget. Being part of a trade show can accrue a lot of expenses, from transportation and accommodations to reserving a spot for any number of days. The booth itself and the staff members who will be taking shifts to man the booth should also be taken into consideration. With all these expenses factored in, it’s only natural to account for all your overall spending given your objectives.

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Preparing for the Trade Show

Next, it is time to prepare for the actual exhibit. First of all, you have to reserve a time slot and a booth at the show. However, this doesn’t mean just grabbing the first opening that comes your way. You should factor in scheduling and location in the exhibition hall. You will also want to consider the other exhibits present at the same time since they are also competing for the attention of visitors who are present at that particular time. 

Once you have the reservation, you should think about designing your booth, as well as how you want to present your product. Of course, you want to make your booth eye-catching as possible while not going too over-the-top that you lose credibility. Your booth’s design should still fit the theme of your product or service while also showcasing your brand, such as with promotional stationery, in a unique manner. 

On a final note, you could try practicing for the trade show through dry-runs. You may want to create contingency plans for any possible mishaps and emergencies, no matter how unlikely.

At the Trade Show Itself

The design may be important, but you must likewise think about visitor engagement. The best way to do so these days is through social media channels. Try to build rapport prior and later during the event through announcements and perhaps broadcasting what transpires at the event itself. 

It may also be a good idea to think of how you can specifically engage with anyone visiting your booth. If you have driven enough attention towards your booth and your product, be sure that you and your staff are available to answer any questions or to give out any promotional materials you have prepared. You have to give people a good reason to spend their time at your booth, even if they do not avail themselves of your product or service. 

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A good interaction will leave a lasting, memorable impact on them even after leaving. At the very least, you should provide information, free promotional materials, or links to contact details and social media. 

Post-show Management

At the end of the show, there is the obvious cleanup and other logistical matters. But what most people tend to forget is the assessment. The only way to grow from this point is to check up on the objectives set at the very beginning. You should take note of whether or not you were able to meet your goals.

Even if the show may not have gone perfectly, it is a great opportunity to find out where you can improve—whether it is in your presentation or in the product or service itself. Lastly, you may want to keep your communication lines open, as well as maintaining activity on your public channels. These will be the link to those who were impacted enough by your exhibit to continue supporting your business.

It is important to remember that your marketing efforts don’t stop once the trade show has ended. It is likely that you will continue to attend more trade shows moving forward. You may produce iterations of your original idea or you may have something entirely new in store. Either way, the goal is to grow and to create something that people can appreciate.

Trade show exhibits article and permission to publish here provided by David Mason. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 11, 2022.
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