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Planning Ideas For Successful Trade Show Exhibits

Apr 23, 2008
Your company's presence at industry trade shows is critical to stay competitive in a global marketplace. Properly managed trade show displays can be one of your most effective and powerful sales tools.

Here are some pointers to consider as you approach the challenge of maximizing your trade show selling efforts:

Identify or Develop Trade Show Exhibits Expertise

To get started, enlist the early interest and participation of your Marketing Director. He/she should be a dedicated promotional partner in getting your exhibit program launched.

Seek guidance from reliable sources. If you do not have a communications department in your company, consider hiring your trade show exhibits company or an outside trade show marketing consultant. If you do not have the budget for a consultant, take the time to educate yourself and your sales team on the basic essentials of trade show selling.

Integrate Trade Show Exhibiting into Your Marketing Plans

A study on the nine basic marketing approaches used by the nation's top companies, trade show exhibits rank #3 in marketing dollars spent, only behind advertising and sales promotions and ahead of sales force management, direct and online marketing, premiums, public relations among others.

Recognize the importance of trade show exhibiting and give it your very best. Business-to-business marketers in greater numbers every year are adopting the trade show exhibit function as an increasingly valuable component of their promotional toolkit. What this means is you need to spend time and effort on exhibiting at trade shows to remain competitive.

Set High Quality Standards

Set standards for the quality of your trade show exhibits, design and staff conduct to optimize the trade show exhibit area experience. A well-presented exposition area can be a very compelling attraction especially if you make it a first class event with strict standards for quality trade show displays with a set of guidelines.

Portable and custom modular exhibits are now available through professional exhibit specialists who handle the entire design and build function from initial graphics to delivery of the finished exhibit at the trade show site. New lightweight materials and collapsible construction make assembly, breakdown and shipping both easy and affordable.

Get Trade Show Training

Train your staff to effectively sell at your trade show booths. Keep in mind who you are exhibiting to, what your specific message is and why visitors to your trade show booth need to know about your product, service or message.

Practice your message with your staff to make it clear and brief. Be sure you have the informed staff at your booth to answer specific questions in detail. Make sure they are effective representatives for your company and that they have proper trade show booth etiquette, which means: no eating, no lounging, no chatting amongst themselves and ignoring client prospects.

As you plan your sales and marketing function, take a closer look at the added value of well-conceived or upgraded trade show exhibits. In today's business environment, where the high tech conveniences of e-commerce and cell phones eliminate face-to-face encounters, your company is probably craving the high touch experience a trade show exposition can add to assist your sales team.
About the Author
Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics, headquartered in California with showrooms in Sacramento and Sunnyvale. Find more useful information on topics related to Trade Show Exhibits at the Professional Exhibits & Graphics website.
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