The following trade show checklist will help you prepare and plan a successful exhibit.
Exhibit where your target audience attends. Pick a couple of tradeshows in your industry and research what companies exhibit, and what companies/people attend. Tradeshows are expensive, so you want to be in front of the right people.
See what booth spaces are available. Try to get good traffic. Select a booth near a big attraction, on corners toward the front, near the entrance or other areas where most people will be walking. If you wait too long, you’ll be stuck in a low-traffic corner in the back.
Plan the details 6–12 months ahead of time. Orchestrating your tradeshow presence takes time, and many details need to be considered. You have to reserve booth space; order electrical, carpet, furniture, etc.; decide who will represent your company; book flights and hotels; purchase or update your booth; design graphics; plan a pre-show mailing–the list seems endless. Having your bases covered well ahead of time will help create a successful show.
Set goals. Before you leave, decide what you want to accomplish. Perhaps you want to promote a new product. Maybe you want to unveil a new company image/identity. Or maybe you want to generate more leads and, ultimately, more sales. Know why you’re there and take steps to reach your goal. Quantify your goals as best as you can so your performance can be measured and analyzed.