Welcome to the first step in Exhibiting 101! Tthis is a visual walk through of the steps of exhibiting. We're breaking the process down so you know where to go and what to do along the way.
This is an overview of your annual trade show or event plan. Many companies create a yearly budget for shows because the ROI can be so great! To make the most of your budget, plan for events in the year ahead.
First, it's important to plan ahead for every event so your entire event team can stay organized and be aware of what is required.
Here is a short list of things you should consider when creating your annual plan:
1. Make a detailed schedule and budget for each of the shows on your target list.
- Once created, pick your top 3 or 5 shows that you think are necessary to exhibit in. Laying out all of the costs and dates in front of you helps create more realistic goals.
2. Set clear goals. How will your success be measured?
- Whether it's a SMART goal or another cearly measured system, make sure your goals are as specific as possible in actions, quantity, and deadlines.
3. Does the message on your display and materials match your goal for each event?
- By this, I mean: what do you think attendees are taking away from your display? Does that message support what you wrote in your goals?
- If it doesn't give the right message or support your goals, update your display and materials immediately.
4. Do you have enough display properties for each event?
- Have as many reusable pieces as possible. This will save time, money, and is a great way to be green!
(See our How to be Green in the Trade Show Business blog)
5. Make sure your team is ready.
- Role play with the members of your team, even if it feels silly, it works. Include move in, set up, tear down of display, and move out process.
Why are we doing this? Our CEO, Rex Houlihan, can explain why:
"Too often, I hear clients say, "I have never been to a trade show and I'm not surewhat goes on once the display is picked up." or "They just tell me where to ship our stuff." And no this isn't said with malice or sarcasm. Usually, the marketing coordinator is thrown into their role with very little training. Event shipping is a required task in the exhibiting process yet the most mundane and not sexy. It also can be very confusing for beginners.
Our intention in creating the Exhibiting 101 series is to shed some light on the entire process so everything is less confusing. We want you to be aware of the steps so you can successfully plan for the year ahead.
Will shipping ever be sexy? Highly doubtful. But it can be done with a clearer vision and purpose. We have attempted to distill a huge amount of information into a digestible format. Your comments are encouraged and appreciated- we want to hear your thoughts and what you have to add!"
Now that you know about annual planning, stay tuned for the next step in Exhibiting 101! We're here to teach you something new every day and answer all of your burning questions about the trade show world.