10 Things to Check Before you go to a trade show!

10 Things to Check Before you go (to a Trade Show)

Are you exhibiting for the first time or need a refresher of the go-to preparation checks? Well you’ve come to the right place! Our team have been to plenty of shows over the past year so have compiled a list of the most important actions that you and your team should be following before the big day:

1- Hotels

Where is your hotel in comparison to the show? Check in and establish your base for the event. Booking of hotels usually happens the night before and after the show to give the team a chance to set up and dismantle the stand (and for social activities if networking).

The exhibition organiser should have a list of recommended hotels to choose from but don’t be fooled if they offer a discount, we usually find our own as its much cheaper however if you are a small team then i’d recommend using Airbnb 

2- Transport 

This could be flights, trains once you arrive there, parking at the airport, whatever method you decide make sure you book! If it’s a busy event then it’s likely many other people attending will be trying to make arrangements for the same time!  For busy shows like Intergeo for example, try and get flights booked 6-months in advance to keep the costs as low as possible 

3- Expenses

Do you have the correct cards ready for purchasing expenses (in another currency)? Is there a spending cap for staff members? How are they invoicing? Make the arrangements beforehand to save hassle on the way back.  Golden nugget; use an app like NerdWallet or Evernote as you can tag the shows you are going to within it and share with colleagues i.e. your accountant. 

4- Tradeshow Tickets

You’ll likely have access to an online portal for the event, here there are tickets not only for the event, but for set up and dismantle too. Make sure you are prepared so there are no hold ups once you arrive, you’ll want to head straight in and start setting up, not faffing around checking identities!

5- Equipment

Hopefully you’ll have long sent off your equipment if going by courier, however, double check you have confirmation emails and sign offs for all of your bits and bobs. If they are being held in a certain area, ensure you have the details written down so you can go and collect the items (lucky you if you’ve paid for the trade stand delivery option!).

6- Elevator Pitch

Does your team know the verses like the back of their hand? If the answer is no then try harder! You should be able to get to your call to actions clearly and quickly. You should all be on the same page, wanting the same actions to come from your company’s visit to the trade show.

7- Data Collection

If you get flooded with a hive of activity when at the event, you need to be able to collect their information. Gather it on a pre set up device so that you can contact them as soon as the event has ended… jump on your hot leads and DO NOT let them get away.

8- Attendees 

Who else is attending the event? Have your company reached out to potential clients/customers to let them know that you’ll be there? The pre-show campaigns are some of the most important so don’t skip it… they are already warm (link to customer journey blog) in your customer journey as they know you/your rep, so speaking to them in person is more likely to seal the deal than someone who has only just discovered who you are!

9- Key Speaking Slots

There are often helpful panel discussions and industry leaders hosting various sessions throughout a trade show. Make sure you look at the programme before the event and allocate time to support and listen to your industry mentors. Remember that the show is a place for you to learn as well as making gains for your company. Learning some new information might help you more in the long term…

10- Easy Takeaway Information

People will browse between many different stands in a day (or multiple days) so you want them to remember your company. Lots of companies go for the freebie approach; this could be a good way to draw people in, however, if people are genuinely interested they will take a business card or show handout. So make sure you have plenty of branded business cards or freebies to give out to potential clients.

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