If you think preparing for a trade show is a piece of cake, think again. You not only need to design and fabricate your booth, but also contemplate fetching (or evaluating) the assets that would make it a booth in the first place. Yes, in the absence of important assets such as branded displays, a lead capture and/or management system, demo gear, and marketing collateral, your booth is nothing more than a box, one that would fail to draw in the crowd.
Of course, whether you design the booth on your own or outsource it to one of the leading exhibition booth designers & builders, either way, you do need these assets. And if you already have them, it is imperative that you conduct an audit, a thorough one indeed, as you ramp up for your next show, more so because if something’s missing or is in dire need of repairs, you should at least have some time on hands to do the needful.
Hope For The Best, But Prepare For The Worst
Start off with some of the biggest assets, say, your booth. Dust it off and see if there’s any damage that must be taken care of.
Look closely. Chances are that if you have used the same booth or exhibit for quite a few shows, it would have a couple of rough edges by now. Get them fixed at the earliest.
If the booth designer has an in-house warehouse, and that’s where your booth is at the moment, do stop by for an inspection. Again, doing so would give you the time to get the modifications done, if any.
And if you don’t have a booth to begin with, needless to say, get one designed at the earliest.
Is Your Marketing Collateral Worth Its While?
You do know that marketing collateral could get the word out, but so do the other exhibitors at the show, and in all probability, the attendees would go home with dozens of pamphlets, pins and lanyards. Or would they? Maybe not. Many of them will throw away the “prized” collateral on their way out.
Here’s what you could do:
Take along two different types of materials. The first one could be just a piece of paper, which you can hand over to just about anyone, who comes in or merely passes by your booth.
The second type however needs to be of relatively better quality; like a glossy booklet or a press kit perhaps. Do not keep them out in the open for all to see. They are better concealed, and should be handed over to only those with the purchasing authority. You could also consider giving them to your qualified leads.
Better still, go paperless. Offer digital copies of your material, especially if the millenials form a great chunk of your target audience; anything digital goes down well with them for obvious reasons.
Just so you know, even 3D-printed coasters, scratch-off cards and vibrant stickers make for great marketing collateral – basically, anything and everything that does the trick and is unlikely to make its way into the trash can.
Are Your Technologically Ready?
When conducting an audit in the weeks and days leading up to your next show, do keep a tab on the latest technology as well – because that’s the only way you could offer the attendees an immersive experience – something that they look forward to. Depending on what you sell or offer, you may need some or all of them:
A computer terminal
AR & VR equipment
Beacons, geofencing or any other location-aware technology
More importantly, if your product could benefit from a demonstration, make sure you do a test run to get a reality check before you bring it to the table.
In short, don’t let the niggles prevent you from putting up a good show. Conduct an audit, a timely one for that matter. Being forewarned is forearmed, remember?