Effective Trade Show Planning – Part One

Over the course of the year, perhaps the most resource rich as well as expensive activity a business will engage in is exhibiting at a trade show. Despite the promise these events offer, there are still some management teams that believe trade shows are a complete waste of time that will not produce any return on investment (ROI). At Caliber Signs & Imaging, we know better. So, we have put together this guide to help you with your trade show planning for Irvine, CA.

WHY SOME TRADE SHOW EXHIBITS FAIL

effective-trade-show-planning-part-one1

After previous events show few quality leads and no apparent benefits to attending, marketers find themselves in the position of having to try to defend trade show exhibiting. The following are some of the reasons why these events may be unsuccessful:

  • Poor planning
  • Poorly defined purpose
  • Poor communication
  • Poor follow-up
  • Poor use of resources

To be effective, you do not need the largest booth right by the entrance. However, to make sure you get the best ROI, you do need to do some pre-show planning.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO EXHIBIT AT A TRADE SHOW?

caliber-signs-irvine-tradeshow-displays-11

The main reason an organization should consider having a presence at their industry’s signature trade fair is to

  • Gain visibility in their target market
  • Promote new products and services
  • Meet clients and gain new customers and orders

Trade shows are not standalone events. They are more of a contiguous set of initiatives designed to generate leads and move those leads down the sales funnel until the deal is closed.

HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR NEXT TRADE SHOW

We have put together this guide to make certain that you have successful and effective trade show experiences. The first step is planning. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Pick the show that best aligns with your marketing strategy
  2. Plan marketing strategies for before the show, during the show, and afterward
  3. Reach out to every visitor to your booth after the show through email or phone call
  4. Analyze which strategies worked and which could use some tweaking
  5. Calculate your ROI on the event once the sale cycle has closed

The most important activities leading up to the trade show are to communicate your intention to be an exhibitor to your customers and to create compelling reasons for attendees to visit your booth. This takes months of planning with the most crucial part of the communication cycle coming the weeks leading up to the event.

Caliber-Signs-Irvine-Tradeshow-Displays-8

You should be active with inbound marketing and social media to create a buzz ahead of the event. These tools will maximize the traffic to your booth and maintain a relationship after the event as your prospects move from being leads to closed sales. This effective trade show social media connection needs to be established long before the show, and you need to have a plan for what content will be posted. We will cover this a little bit more in our next entry.

Start out the 2016 season right with trade show displays and graphics in Irvine, CA. Contact the experts at Caliber Signs & Imaging today for a free consultation and quote.