Attending a trade show can be overwhelming – but hosting one can feel like an even bigger undertaking! Whether you’re new to the trade show scene or have participated in these events before, having the right strategies is critical for its success. In this blog post, we’re going to share our top tips that will make sure your next trade show appearance or hosted event is as successful as possible.
From deciding on venue and layout considerations to ensuring you have enough sponsorships beforehand, putting these critical steps in place ahead of time will put you in good stead on show day. Keep reading to find our best advice for ensuring you get the most out of your next big trade show experience!
How to Organize an Eventful Trade Show
Organizing any event is a huge responsibility since so much planning and work is put in to guarantee its success. If you’re new to these types of shows or just want to create a memorable event, below are some basic strategies you can use as a guide:
Prepare Some Layout Ideas
Most trade shows have a similar layout, especially if you have attended similar ones in the past. You can research the different types of layouts and pick one that works best with the theme of the trade show. Since trade shows depend on the industry you’re focusing on, you should begin there.
Some examples of major trade shows include:
- Book fairs
- Camping-Caravan expos
- Art exhibitions
- Electronics show
- Bridal expos
With this in mind, the proper layout should fit your budget and, at the same time, align with the event’s goal. For instance, book fairs require a lot of space so that it’s easier for attendees to walk around and browse different book collections. Meanwhile bridal expos might need more of a boutique-like setup with attractive displays.
Choose the Perfect Venue
Once you have your layout in place, the next step is to find a venue. If your trade show is big and major businesses will be there to set up their booths, you have to choose a location that’s big enough to accommodate not only the guests but those who will be operating the booths.
Furthermore, your venue should be accessible and convenient so that attendees are more than willing to come while bringing in potential customers. The venue must also have enough parking space for everyone who will be bringing their vehicles.
The venue should have a strategic floor plan to ensure the booths are well-accommodated. It means having enough space that you can allot for the vendor’s marketing displays, such as their product samples. For instance, Comic-Con venues enable organizers to hang event-specific display banners during the day of the event to showcase the businesses that joined the convention.
Gather Solicits and Sponsors
Sponsors and gathering solicits from supporters is one way you can support your trade show event. Most major trade shows aren’t possible without them. If you’re on a tight budget, sponsors can help support your event with monetary and non-monetary contributions, allowing you to allocate funds for marketing or other necessary expenses.
Apart from their contributions, they can spread the word about your trade show to their audience. There’s a huge chance that their followers will also be interested in your show since they share the same interests.
As for solicits, you can ask local vendors or businesses to participate in your trade show. It will not only bring in more variety and attract different types of attendees, but it will also help promote your event through its marketing channels. Plus, with a shared audience, partnering with other businesses can result in potential collaborations and partnerships.
Hire Entertainment and Food Stalls
The most crucial element in every event is the food and entertainment, so it’s highly recommended to NEVER skimp on these two. Depending on your budget, you can either hire a professional entertainer or look for local talents who are willing to provide background music while attendees are walking around.
In terms of food stalls, it’s best to have a variety of options. Some popular choices include:
- Burger stalls
- Ice cream carts
- Food trucks
- Mini dessert stands
- Beverage sections
A wide selection of food selections ensure that all attendees’ dietary restrictions and preferences are accommodated. You can also get caterers who can provide light meals and drinks to your guest speakers and entertainers.
Get Organized and Develop a Strict Schedule
No event is perfect, but following a schedule will ensure nothing becomes too chaotic. You should have a carefully planned program that includes timing for booth setup and take-down, as well as locations where they can load their materials.
In your schedule, you should also include when the different special events and guest speakers will take the stage. To ensure everything runs smoothly, it’s best to have someone manage the timing and transitions between these events.
If you want to keep things organized, remind the vendors to hang posters with their booth numbers. It will not only help attendees locate them quickly but also allow them to showcase their brand and products while maximizing exposure.
As for your attendees, make plenty of maps and event guides. It’s a must-have, especially for bigger trade show events in large venues. You don’t want them to get lost or not find the booth they always wanted to see. Furthermore, they can follow the entire event’s program without missing out on anything.
Create a Solid Marketing Plan
The final touches are in place, and you’re ready for the trade show to begin. The only thing left is to attract attendees! A marketing plan should be executed weeks or months before the event to ensure it reaches your target audience.
Some marketing tactics you can try include:
- Social media marketing
- Flyers and vinyl banners
- Email marketing
- Creative invitations
Ask your sponsors, vendors, and the rest of your team to promote the event on their page for more support from their followers. It’s essential to spread the word and let everyone know about the event, when it will happen, and where it will take place!
Ace Your Trade Show with Our Foolproof Strategies
We understand how challenging organizing an event can be, especially specialized ones like trade shows. So much work goes into the entire process, from planning, finding a venue, and executing the event. With these foolproof strategies in mind, you can create an unforgettable trade show your attendees and vendors will enjoy!