Dear Mr. Hill:
What should I be doing to get ready for to exhibit at the next years trade shows that my company will be participating. I just have been told by my vice president that I will be responsible for the coming year’s trade show activity. Much of the advice that you give is after the fact. What I am looking for is what I do now to get ready for the 4 major trade shows and the 4 regional trade shows that I will be responsible for. If you can give me some “now” advice I would appreciate it.
To trade shows,
Regional Sales Manager
San Diego, CA
Now is the time you should be investigating all of the trade shows where you intend to exhibit. Check out the show producer, the location, and the list of exhibitors at the last show, and if any of them have signed up for this show. One thing is always true about trade shows, (you should put this up on the wall of your office) “No trade show is the same” Just because you went to the XYZ trade show in Las Vegas last year, do not expect it to be the same this year. Always plan for the unexpected, do not assume anything. Right now you can be checking your E-mail list, and your snail mail list and who you anticipate will be your 25 best suspect/prospect for 2007. Now is the time to get all of the troops involved (company employees). This is a good time to send out a questionnaire to your clients, prospects and suspects asking them some basic questions. For example, did they attend the XYZ Trade Show last year? If YES, did they stop by your booth, if NO, Why not?
If they did attend the trade show and they did stop at your booth what was of interest to them? These types of questions can give you some very candid insight into what these Clients, Prospects and Suspects liked about your booth and what was on display or what your were demonstrating. You will get very real answers, which may cause you to rethink how and what you want to present or to demonstrate. Trade Shows are a continuing work in process. If anyone tells you that they are an expert on trade shows, run do not walk as fast as you can away from this person. I have been involved with trade shows as a attendee, exhibitor, trade show producer, trade show manager, and a trade show coach for over 30 years and I learn something new every time I am involved in a trade show, and it still gets me excited! I think you have a wonderful opportunity to really make a name for yourself as a “trade show pro” who can produce qualified leads and trade shows results for your company.
To your continued trade show success
John Hill, Trade Show Coach