Sure, millions of people head off to tradeshows worldwide every year, but are they really tradeshow prep experts? Are they ready, I mean really ready for the tradeshow? Let’s take a look at what the average tradeshow manager should be doing to show they’re truly a tradeshow prep expert.
- You plan a whole year in advance. Yes, the show is over, but did you already book next year’s space and check to see if you could upgrade to a better space?
- You reach out to your exhibit house at least 3 – 4 months ahead of the show if you have minor graphic upgrades on your schedule. Reach out 6 months in advance if you’re planning to create a new exhibit or are anticipating major upgrades to your current booth. Sure, the exhibit house can turn around graphic upgrades in just a short time, but the further in advance you are of the delivery date, the better for all parties concerned.
- You know what messaging you’re going to send to your potential booth visitors at least a few months prior to the show. Some folks will get emails, some may get a nice snail mail package, others will get a personal phone call. This means prioritizing your prospects and doing your best to set appointments with the hot prospects and getting warm and cool leads to at least come by the booth for a chat.
- You’ve downloaded or otherwise saved the show manual or information at least a couple of months prior to the show, and know what it takes to coordinate shipping, I&D and other logistics.
- You have your housing booked the day it opens or shortly thereafter. Depending on the show, the housing can go quickly.
- You book your flights and rental car about 6 weeks out. I’m told that this is the optimum time for best pricing for book flights. If you book a car, this is also a good time to do that.
- You’ve coordinated with other parts of the company to make sure you have products and/or services ready for launch prior to the show.
- You have shift schedules prepped and distributed at least a week ahead of time.
- If your booth staff is wearing special colored and branded clothing, it’s been ordered at least a couple of months prior to the show.
- You know exactly what you’re going to wear at least a week before the show – and it’s packed a day or two ahead of time.
- You especially know what shoes you’re going to wear!
Okay, you may have more – but if you’re doing all of this and more, you’re definitely a tradeshow prep expert!