What Are the Vital Checkpoints to Tick off Before a Trade Show?

In bigger companies, there are departments in charge of business travel preparations. It is their job to oversee how the company will appear at a trade fair event. Things are not so clear cut in smaller and middle-sized businesses, where roles and functions often overlap across management and the employees. Business travel can be daunting when multitasking and a planning a business trip are introduced to each other. Luckily for you, we have decided to condense what we have learned over time servicing trade fair exhibitors to minimize headaches and stress.

Are you ready to learn the vital checkpoints in your business travel plan? Better take notes, because we start with:

VISION: Know Your Primary Goals

Trade shows fulfill more than one function. Yes, they’re indispensable when it comes to finding a market to place goods and services. You won’t find a better platform to facilitate with sales than a trade show, but there is much more to the format. Often, programming has lectures, seminars, free matchmaking events, guided tours, conferences, workshops and forums. Each format creates its own set of unique benefits that assist in your company’s development at different moments.

Questions to ask yourself:

• Do you want to increase brand recognition and awareness?
• Do you want to get up to date with emerging trends?
• Do you want to launch a new product or service?
• Do you want to nurture client relationships?
• Do you want to generate sales leads?

PRIORITY: Select the Right Trade Show

Isolating a particular goal as a central theme for your business trip will echo into your decision as to which trade show deserves your attention. Each industry has several big international shows and other smaller, local ones for smaller regions. You have to create a database with the statistics for each one so that you can do a side-by-side comparison and narrow down the choice to one for this particular year. We recommend creating a set of questions in relation to your goal. For example, is this trade show an annual event or only once every two years (or longer)? Do I want to target this particular market? This holistic approach ends up servicing your company and its needs rather than force your company in an unwelcoming space, where you’d lose money. Speaking of money...

BUDGET: Understand Travel Expenses

To greenlight a business trip, you want to know how much you’re going to spend. Is it worth this particular price tag and what would make a good return on investment? Yes, it’s true what they all say – you need to spend money to make money. However, there is a difference between investing in a trade show and throwing money to the wind. Sometimes the costs are prohibitive and you’d need to be sure you’re going to make all you’ve paid back in orders and contracts. The budget has to include air fare, hotel accommodation, transportation in the city, daily expenses for the team, promotion at the event and the trade show booth. Remember the booth, because…

BASE OF OPERATIONS: Design Your Booth Stand

The trade show booth is a stand-in for your company and it’s going to be one of the biggest costs. You want to have a good idea as to what your booth should look it, how it’s going to tie with the promotional materials you’re bringing to the trade show and how you intend to stand out from the others. This goes even further than the booth itself as it stretches to how you’re going to promote the booth at the trade show. Many companies make fun maps with their placement and number in a bright color. Tie your booth’s design in well-timed social media posts before and during the trade show.

Keep these four things in mind and you’re going to do just fine wherever you decide to represent your company!