Once the tradeshow is over, it’s only natural to want to skedaddle the premises and hightail it home as fast as possible.
But WAIT. Before you go, if you’re in charge of the exhibit properties, or at least delegating the jobs to various entities, go over your checklist.
That checklist may look something like this:
Dismantle: Whether you’re hiring a professional I&D crew or taking down the booth with a few fellow employees, make sure to check that all parts and pieces make it into the shipping containers. I can tell you from personal experience that things go missing: carpet pieces, crate endcaps, products and much more. If you are there, take photos as things are put in the crates. If you’re not there, have your hired crew take photos. Most will do so without being asking just for their own records, but by asking you’re making sure that it happens (usually). It also doesn’t hurt to make a shortlist of what is in each crate. I have lost track of the number of times a client has asked if we can track down some particular item a few months after the show. Know what crate to look in makes it that much easier.
Shipping: If you’re using a shipping company, be in good contact with your contact about the details, such as the BOL (Bill of Lading), shipping address, number of crates and pallets, etc. At big shows, sometimes trucks will check in at 9 am but it’ll be hours until they are actually able to pick up your crates. You’ll be billed for the waiting time, of course. Communicate all pertinent information to your trucker: pickup address, check-in time, move-out times – anything that is available from the show organizers. It’s usually (but not always) on the website.
Leads collected: the most important thing, at least as far as management and the sales team are concerned. No matter what form you have them in, digital or analog, triple-check to make sure they are getting safely back to the office.
Reserve your booth space for next year. This may or may not be on your list. But if it’s something your team typically does ahead of time, make sure it’s done.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done. Plan a little thank you gathering (dinner, coffee and goodies?) back at the office for your team to show them how much you appreciate them.
Look ahead to next year. It’ll come quicker than you might think!