When it comes to trade shows, there are two things you can count on. The first is that nothing will go as planned. With so many moving parts, there are countless ways things can go wrong.
As an exhibitor, you have enough to worry about, especially your staff and customers, and generating leads and sales during the show. One of the best things you can do is work with a dedicated crew to manage the on-site construction, tear-down, and at-show management of the exhibit.
Trade shows are a lot of work. All those hours, ideas, strategies, and effort to make a big impact at the show. Then in a few short days it’s over, and you’re back in the office.
Now what? Is your trade show campaign over?
In previous blog posts, we’ve looked at the planning and design of our ExhibitorLive 2017 booth, and the engineering and fabrication. We’ve also discussed how our salespeople will be engaging attendees in conversation.
With less than a week to go, we’re approaching the end of the process. This is when it all comes together. Literally.
A key part of our process is pre-assembly. This is something we like to do when the situation allows, so we can make sure the booth comes together the way we planned, and make any last-minute corrections. It’s also a big reason we moved to a larger facility.
With only a few weeks left until ExhibitorLive, we are finally getting started on fabricating our booth.
Maybe now we won’t grumble so much when clients delay in sending us strategy and direction. We are, it seems, our own worst client.
Regardless, the booth must get built. The show will start at 9:00am Monday, March 13, whether we’re ready or not.
So we now move into engineering and production. These are areas our clients typically don’t see, so we thought we’d give you a glimpse into how we create exhibits.
So, you work hard to plan and design and build your booth. It perfectly represents your brand, and is inviting and engaging for show attendees.
The most important part of planning for a trade show is preparing to have good, productive conversations with show attendees.
Your trade show booth, while important, can only do so much. It displays your products, engages attendees, and physically represents your brand. For it to really work you have to build relationships with show attendees. We’d like to share how we plan to do that at ExhibitorLive 2017.
Trade shows are, of course, a huge undertaking for any company. Some people estimate that trade shows affect as much as 75 percent of a company’s annual marketing budget.
Those numbers vary, of course, but when you add up the cost of the booth, fees, events, promotions, literature, travel, and everything else that’s involved with a trade show, it’s not hard to believe.
That makes planning crucial. You have to understand your goals, your customers, and what specifically you want to accomplish at a show. You can then move on to the design process to determine how the physical space of your booth will help you reach your goals.
Even the trade show industry has a trade show, and it’s called Exhibitor Live. This year, it will be March 13-15, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and we’ll be there.
We love Exhibitor Live because it gives us the opportunity to meet and build relationships with marketing and trade show managers from around the country. We can talk to you about how we work and what we do best. But more importantly, we want to hear about what your needs and challenges are.
Are you using your trade show booth to reach people who aren’t even at the show?
Of course, trade shows are a prime opportunity to engage with customers one-on-one, to build relationships with them, and to allow them to touch and feel your products. The connections you make at a trade show can be invaluable.
But not everyone can make it to the show. People might not go because they don’t have time or budget. Or they might be a slightly different audience than what the show targets. Or maybe they just don’t like Las Vegas or convention hall food.
Standing out from the competition at a trade show is a big challenge. You work hard to design just the right exhibit, display your products in the best way, and make sure your people are prepared to engage customers at the show.
But are you doing enough to stand out before the show even starts? I mean, long before the show starts -- several weeks or even months.
Have you ever seen a creative person’s desk? Chances are, it was a chaotic mess, with papers covering every surface, empty soda cans and coffee cups pushed to the corners or on top of the papers, notepads filled with incomprehensible scribbling stacked on the floor.
What that person needs is more space. Space to spread out, to work, to collaborate. A bit of organization wouldn’t hurt, either.