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The Five Best Ways to Get Ready for Your First Trade Show

Christine O'Kelly
Jun 13, 2008
Trade shows are the perfect way to market a product or service, but preparing for your first trade show doesn't have to be an intense experience. If you take the time to do a little research and make a sensible trade show marking plan setting out sensible goals, you're first trade show exhibit will be a success.

Do Plenty of Research

Before choosing a trade show, research the many trade shows available to ensure selecting the one most beneficial to your business. In addition to researching the actual trade show, researching the rules, audience attendance, other participants, and even the travel time and available lodging options will help narrow down the choices. Research should be a major part of your trade show marketing. When done correctly, trade show marketing will save you money and make your trade show exhibit a financial success.

Ask Plenty of Questions

By asking trade show organizers plenty of questions, you will help narrow down the choices of which trade shows are best for your business. Ask what typical trade show exhibits look like and if they resemble your trade show exhibit. Standing out is important in trade show marketing. Find out the facility specifics, rules, size restrictions, assistance provided, and any other details vital to the success of your trade show exhibit.

Make a Written Plan for Your Trade Show Exhibit

Why is your business participating in trade show marketing? There must be a reason, a desired result. Make a written plan of the goals you want to achieve with your trade show exhibit and a map of how to get there so stay on track with your trade show marketing. A written plan is vital for every trade show exhibit, not just your first one.

Construct a Winning Trade Show Marketing Plan

A great way to draw potential customers to your booth is by offering a prize or some kind of contest at your trade show exhibit. For instance, the swirling cash flying around in a cash cube money machine provides a cash incentive, visual stimulus, and entertainment to draw customers to your trade show exhibit.

Think of marketing tools that will make the most crucial impact on getting potential customers to your booth. These may include packets of information, fancy graphics, specialty promotional products, or even free prizes. As it takes many weeks to plan and order trade show marketing materials, make sure you start early.

Set Sensible Goals and Objectives

The biggest realization you need to make about trade show marketing is that you must set sensible goals and objectives. Be realistic in making your plans and understand that trade show exhibits are about more than just making sales. You want to share information, launch your products, and make a note of what your competition is doing. By setting unrealistic goals, you will not have an accurate estimation of the success of your trade show exhibit. You may also obtain useless research or make the wrong changes in your trade show exhibit, product, or target customer.

Researching and preparing for the perfect trade show can be nerve wracking, but trade show marketing is valuable. After your first trade show, you will know what changes to make to your trade show exhibit so you can achieve your goals and set out of the road to success.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is a writer for Jonathan Edelman, a trade show marketing consultant with more than a decade of experience. Jonathan is the founder of Ideas 4 Now, a trade show marketing company offering products such as the Prize Safe. Edelman is also the founder of the premier trade show vendors directory Trade Show Vendors.com.
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