Hey, it’s a Top Ten List! Let’s look at ten things to do as you prepare for another year of tradeshow marketing:
- Assess what happened this year. What did you spend? What were your results? Are there any areas where you can cut back? Are there areas that you need to invest more?
- Create a will-attend show list. Perhaps you know this by heart. Maybe there are a few shows that have slipped down in your estimation, or some that that become more important.
- Create a list of other shows that are on the bubble.
- Know your show goals. Your overall goal is to grow the business, but each show likely presents an opportunity to do different things, such as build brand awareness, reach new markets, recruit partners, generate sales leads, solidify ties with current clients, maximize press and media outreach, unveil a new product or service or do research. Shows are often a combination of all of those (and more), but it is worthwhile to create a plan for each show that focuses on 2 or 3 specific areas.
- Come up with new ways to attract booth traffic. What you did last year may or may not work this year. Don’t sit on your laurels; try to come up with at least one new concept per show on how you can drive traffic to your booth.
- Ensure your lead generation system is working. Your show ROI depends almost exclusively on how you manage your sales leads. Work with your marketing and sales teams to make sure that each step is clear and workable.
- Assess your booth. This might mean taking it out of the cases or crates and setting it up. This should be done with any booth regardless of size, just to make sure it withstands the rigors of regular set-up and dismantle. So often a booth is quickly packed at the end of a show and sent back to the storage facility, and no one bothers to check the condition of the booth until right before the next show. Or during set-up, which is ever worse! If repairs are needed, get them done in a timely manner.
- Plan to book travel well in advance. Especially hotel rooms at popular and growing shows. If show hotels are booked, you can usually find a good deal on AirBnB.
- Plan the logistics of your upcoming shows. Order services, promotions, uniforms and other items a few months ahead of time or as needed.
- Plan your pre-show marketing outreach, from email to postcards, social media and other methods.
The more prepared you are, the better the opportunity to increase your leads, sales and brand awareness.