Numerous companies have joined exhibitions and trade shows, whether it’s a simple community trade show or an international exhibition. These kinds of events are worth joining, as they allow you to establish a broader network with fellow businesses and suppliers and, more importantly, reach out to your target audience in a more effective way. But if it’s your first time joining an exhibition or trade show, you may be understandably uncertain as to how to properly prepare for it. Here, then, is what you need to know in order to properly prepare when joining an exhibition or trade show.
Set your goals and objectives – and determine your budget
The first step to joining an exhibition or trade show is to set your goals and objectives, and this, in turn, will also help you determine your budget. Ask yourself what your main objective is: is it to increase your sales or revenue, to increase awareness for your company and brand, or to tell customers about a new service or product? Depending on your objectives, you can set a budget for the exhibition or trade show. The budget will also depend on where the event will be held, how long it will be held, what you need as marketing materials (business cards, product samples, exhibition banners and stands, and so on), and other necessities such as food and accommodation.
Once you have determined your goals and budget, don’t waste any time – book as early as you can. By booking early (and by early, we mean a few months or even a year before the event), you can take advantage of cheaper deals such as special rates for early bird participants, and you can also get good discounts when it comes to airline tickets or hotel accommodation. But the advantage of booking early isn’t just related to budget – it’s also related to getting better visibility with a better place for your booth and stand.
Let your regulars know
Another thing you can do to properly prepare for an exhibition or trade show is to let your regulars know. When everything is confirmed, send an update to your regular customers through your newsletter (if you have one) or through a post on your social media accounts. Also, if you are thinking of speaking at the exhibition or trade show, make sure this is mentioned, too.
Do your research
When the event is a few weeks away, you can do your research about the other exhibitors and check the list for competitors. This serves a double purpose – by doing your research, you can also find out if there are certain distributors or suppliers you may be interested in meeting. Once you have done the research, make a list of those whom you would like to meet. This way, you can maximize your participation in the event.