Planning for Trade Shows in 2015

For many companies, annual trade shows in various locations across the country are an integral part of growing their business in 2015. Research shows that the businesses who attend trade shows are much more willing to make decisions based on what they see and hear at the events. They offer an excellent opportunity for networking with prospects, showcasing products and services, and getting some publicity.

Related: 5 tips to make a successful trade show.

But to truly be effective at a tradeshow, it is very important that a company plans carefully. The more prepared you are for an upcoming trade show, the more confident you will feel and the better presence you will have.

Here are 5 ideas on how you can plan for trade shows coming up in 2015:

1. Find the right shows.

There are over 10,000 trade shows held annually in the United States. Chances are, you can’t be at every one of them. That’s why it is important to take the time to choose the shows that make the most sense for your business. Obviously, you’ll want to start by narrowing down your choices to the trade shows that fit your product or service. Remember that size isn’t everything. Going to only the biggest shows may not end up being very effective for you. It doesn’t hurt to ask your current customers or even your competitors about the trade shows they go to.

2. Come prepared with clear objectives.

Trade shows are fast paced and full of energy. If you don’t stop to see what’s going on once in a while, it can pass you right by. Be sure you have a thoughtful strategy as you prepare for a trade show, including goals and objectives. Write these goals down to hold yourself accountable. These goals might include writing a certain number of sales orders or spending time to research the competition.

3. Plan an Effective Exhibit

Because you only have so much time with a prospect when they stop at your booth, be sure you leave an impression. Start planning now how you will leave that impression and what marketing materials you’ll need. If those marketing materials, such as banners, brochures, business cards, etc., need to be designed and printed, be sure you get on that sooner than later. Waiting until the last minute to have your trade show package prepared leads to additional cost and frustration.

4. What Will Your Prospects Leave With?

Again, your time with your prospect at the trade show may be brief, so be sure they don’t leave empty handed. Whether it’s a flyer, business card, magnet, or even a postcard, make sure your clients have something they can take with them that will remind them who you are and how they met you.

5. Pre-plan Your Follow-Up

If you wait until after the trade show to think about how to follow up with the prospects you gained at the event, you may be too late. Have your follow-up game plan outlined before you ever leave. Great follow-up strategies include reaching the right person at the right time. Be specific when you follow up. Ask about the call to action that should be on your marketing material. Remind them how they met you and why you’re following up.

If you don’t have your trade show package ready to go, Printing Solutions can help. Call us at 480-596-6300 to learn more.

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Andrew Pinch

Andrew Pinch

Andrew has been working in the print industry since 2003, working in prepress, management, and ultimately owner of print shops, including Printing Solutions of Tempe, Arizona. See Andrew's LinkedIn Profile here.