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As the economy has tightened over the last few years, many businesses are struggling to keep a positive growth curve. The new tougher economy is making 2015 an important year for the tradeshow industry.
The reliance on new edge technologies, the Internet and social media are no longer enough to keep pulling in the business. Thus the compelling need for many businesses to return to the success of one-on-one networking done at tradeshows. This valuable business resource has been neglected somewhat in the last few years but that's changing in 2015. In this article we'll discuss how a tradeshow exhibitor can maximize their success in 2015.
Wasting time and money on a trade show is an easy trap to fall into. With trade show booth costs ($2k-$20k) and all those travel expenses, booth design, printing, shipping, set-up and the many other necessities it can get expensive if not planned properly. Planning ahead is key to success ... air fare, hotel reservations, car rentals etc. all become more expensive when there's a time crunch. As an exhibitor the trade show can be a successful part of your business development in 2015 if you plan ahead.
Here are some things to prepare 3-6 months before the tradeshow.
Set Goals. Although tradeshow's have many benefits, we suggest that you define a primary goal you'd like to reach. For example:
• How many prospects would you like to identify and connect with?
• Are your goals to meet and learn from industry leaders?
• Are you looking for vendor partners, suppliers, resellers, etc?
• Are you looking to do market research, asking customers questions?
• Do you want to make sales at the tradeshow? ... This can offer a powerful ROI.
Having a specific goal will help you when it comes to making decisions. It will also help you in measureing the success of your tradeshow.
Next Brainstorm Your Message ... When someone glances at your exhibit you have about 5 seconds to grab their attention and convince them you're worth a visit. Are you about saving people money? Simplifying their life? Improving their life? What is your core benefit. Not your core competency but your core benefit. How does your widget or service benefit others? For Example:
"We saved a Medical Office $4600.00 in Year One ... Do You Want To Save Too?" Rather than ..."Medical Billing Software for Doctors". ...
This 5 second Headline Message is what should be displayed on a large banner, a back wall display or tradeshow booth. Make sure that the message and the design interrupts the type of person you want to engage at the show on the benefits you offer. The example above targeting Doctors. Keep your headline message short but impactful. In smaller print and bullets you can explain in greater detail. Ideally you should seek to engage visitors at your booth to share information and make that critical human contact.
Planning a few months ahead. Your advanced early planning allows plenty of time for promotional artwork to be designed and proofed. Allow four to six weeks in advance for preparing your marketing booth, getting graphic design work completed, getting banner stands and booths ordered and printed. Time pressured businesses often get stuck throwing up something last minute which is less effective than one that had lots of time spent in the marketing planning phase.
Too often company's wait to the last minute; trying to jam all the logistics into a few short weeks. This always creates increased costs. Most trade shows fall into specific seasonal rhythms (Spring and Fall) making services and product fulfillment more intense during these peak seasons. As demands increase this can lead to inventory problems from a tradeshow supply outlet. Rush fees can get crazy expensive and cannot be avoided if you're committed to a specific date and you're late to the game.
Design your booth, banners and handouts. Graphic design layout - edits - proofing - printing - fulfillment and shipping is a tedious process. It is recommended that you have a print company you can trust to get you the best product at the best price to meet your tradeshow objectives.
Planning ahead allows you time to purchase tradeshow materials during off season to potentially save you money; and there's always expanded selections when you've got the time to research tradeshow supply options. Working with a trusted supplier like Anything Display early in the process allows you the time and flexibility to communicate and get the best value across the board.
We are here to help you every step of the way. From product selection and design concepts, to design work, printing and fulfillment. Let us be on your team to help you get the most out of your tradeshow budget and to maximize your success in 2015.