Trade Show Checklist

What do you need to succeed at trade shows? If you can check these 16 points off your list, you’re well on your way:

1. Align your trade show goals with your o verall marketing and company goals.

2. Create goals that are specific, measurable, and timely.

3. Pay early to avoid rush charges and (surprisingly high) late fees.

4. Booth space rental is about one-third your budget, for the rest invest more in areas that give you the best R.O.I.

5. Pick shows with an audience that best matches your target market.

6. Go back to the highest R.O.I. shows from previous years.

7. Design your exhibit to boldly and clearly communicate who you are, what you sell, and why your prospects should buy from you.

8. Design your exhibit to support your booth staffers as a workspace…and work to keep your ongoing expenses down.

9. Reach out to attendees before the show, via phone, email, mail, ads, and the web.

10. Offer attendees something of value (information, presentations, demonstration, show specials, giveaways) in exchange for a visit.

11. Select motivated, friendly, knowledgeable booth staffers.

12. Train your staffers to handle the steps to shorter trade show interactions: engage, present, qualify, and close.

13. Capture at-show, on paper or electronically, the prospect info your sales team needs after the show — and then give it to them after the show.

14. Before the show even starts, prepare a person, materials, and a database to fulfill your leads…and an all-out effort ready to follow up leads after the show.

15. Plan ahead to give yourself more time to adapt to problems, especially for international shows.

16. Take a binder with all your contracts and contacts with you to the show, including graphic art files on a thumb drive if your display gets lost

Trade show checklist