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How to Maximize Your Trade Show Investment

Here are some concrete tips to help you get more value out of the shows at which you exhibit.
By Sonja Valenta
Feb 03, 2015

When your company decides to exhibit at a trade show, you will want to make sure that you spend the necessary time, money and effort to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Booking your space is just the first step. Unless you are a well-known brand with a highly sought-after product, you cannot expect people to just stream into your booth and hand you purchase orders. You will need to conduct a combination of pre-show and onsite marketing campaigns.

The amount of planning and work quickly adds up, so it's important to have a dedicated team with clearly assigned roles to manage all of the moving parts. In this article, I will lay out tips and steps that you should be taking approximately two to four months before exhibiting at an event.

Your Booth
By now, you have already chosen your booth location. Prime locations are the first to go, so if you did not receive your first choice this year, start getting ready to secure a prime spot for the following year while you are at the event.

With so much competition in a busy hall, you will want to ensure that buyers do not miss your booth. The top two influencers that will draw attendees are the products on display and the booth's appearance. If you are still working on the design of your graphics, make sure they are high-impact, with attractive colors and clear messaging about your company and offerings. For a B2B show, that means letting people know what solutions you offer and the industries for which they are suitable.

Your booth should have an open, inviting layout that is free of cluttered furnishings and without any barriers to entry. Your products should be displayed in a way that allows attendees wandering by to see them. Having a demo, a video, a white paper or unique giveaways can increase your booth traffic and success. You will also need to make sure that you have the right staff onsite. They should be easily identifiable, friendly, knowledgeable and engaging.

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