10 Questions to Ask In Preparation of a Trade Show

Trade shows are a great way to bring attention to your product or brand, including potential clients and others in your target audience. The right preparation for such shows is the key to keeping your brand stuck in the brains of attendees, who will hopefully be talking about your booth and presentation long after the show is over. In addition to securing your spot at the event, you may also find that using an eCommerce service similar to Rangeme to reach potential buyers be useful to you. Of course, you have questions in regards to trade shows and preparing for them, so check out 10 essential trade show related questions to ask to ensure success at your next big expo.

trade show

Photo by John Siebenthaler

1) Why Am I Participating?

The first thing to ask yourself is why the heck you’re participating in this event in the first place. If there’s no “why,” there’s no real reason to register. Whether you want to participate to introduce your product or brand to the world, to build on brand momentum, to sell certain items or to network with key individuals, understanding what is motivating you will help to realize how you want to present your brand.

2) Am I Organized?

Proper organization is necessary to save your company time and money. For example, early sign-ups usually result in discounts and special deals. The flip side? Failure to meet deadlines and being unorganized can result in additional fees and costs, such as paying to have something shipped to the show that you forgot.

3) How Much Space Do I Require?

A large booth or display won’t necessarily make for a better presentation, and will only cost you more money. Instead, experts recommend going with a smaller, simpler presentation that engages your target audience in different ways. Meaningful conversations and interactions are what will add to your client list, not a display with those expensive bells and whistles.

4) What About My Neighbors?

trade show floor

Photo by S C Hargis

Who your show neighbors are is important. Having a simple booth next to a loud, extravagant display isn’t going to help boost sales or garner customer interest. Ask show organizers to be situated next to brands with a similar display style to maximize the impact you and your brand can make.

5) Who is My Target Audience?

While trade shows often attract thousands of attendees, all you need to focus on is your target audience. As with most things, it’s quality rather than quantity that counts in terms of who visits your booth. After all, 500 people who stop by your display to pick up a free pen aren’t as important as the 200 people who stopped to learn what your brand is all about.

6) Should I Sponsor Trade Show Related Events?

Attending a trade show as a sponsor or presenter in addition to working as an exhibitor is a great way to increase brand exposure. It provides the opportunity to inform and engage the audience regarding your product or brand, and is an effective way to essentially kill two birds with one stone.

7) How Do I Plan to Measure My Show Attendance and Presence?

Counting leads isn’t the only thing to concern yourself with at a trade show–it’s also about measuring marketing impressions. Work with show organizers to get the numbers you need so you can know exactly how many people are viewing your marketing materials.

8) How Familiar Am I With the Host City and Venue?

Trade shows generally occur in major cities around the world, so be familiar with the city and venue to help with budgeting and deadlines. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations of the convention center where the event is being held, as some cities feature union-driven centers while others do not.

9) How Am I Doing On Social Media?

booth w/social media
Photo by Shashi Bellamkonda

A presence on social media is imperative, as it’s a way to let prospective customers know what you’re doing before, during and after the trade show. Send out press releases and reasons why people need to attend the show, such as giveaways, contests and other incentives. You can also live-stream from the show floor and post videos of people checking out your display.

10) What’s My Post Show Plan?

Finally, you’ll need to ask yourself what your plan is after the trade show so you can do something with the connections made during the event. Respond to leads within three days of the show, because if you don’t, your competitors definitely will. Create a plan for following up with attendees so all the hard work you put in is worth it.

What has your trade show exhibits experience been? Have any other tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments section.

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