Planning, planning, planning. Successful trade show planning is about more than plane tickets and hotel reservations. Even if you do the same event year after year or have an active conference calendar, it’s valuable to take the time to review your strategy and engage your team to ensure you get the most out of each opportunity.

Teamwork!

Rarely are successful events staffed by a single salesperson. Getting your team on the same page from logistics and contact info to your elevator pitch is an essential step to making your event a success. Be sure to hold a pre-event meeting to go through all of the details, including goals and key messages for the tradeshow. While it might seem like everyone “should” know, the reminders are important and valuable. Be sure to review the plan and approach for making the event a success with the entire team.

Pro Tip: Booth Supplies Must-Haves

Besides ensuring your team is mentally prepared, you want to be physically prepared with the right supplies. These are our go-to items when it comes to exhibiting:

  1. A lead capture app (or machine) in a B2B environment. With this awesome tool, you can scan an attendee’s badge and have their contact info at your fingertips. This is by far our favorite trade show tool because it makes following up super easy. If you don’t have that as an option, consider a giveaway or raffle where someone has to give your their contact info in order to enter. The goal is making lead collection as easy and un-fightable as possible.
  2. Carpet padding. Trust us, this will be a game changer for you if you don’t already use it. Your feet and your team will thank you.
  3. Pen and paper. Going old school has its advantages, especially when technology fails us, as it sometimes does. When you’re in a rush, it can be cumbersome to type notes into your phone or lead capturing app, so keep it simple with a pen and paper.
  4. Marketing materials. You want your attendees to be able to take something them to remember you and learn more about you after they walk away. These don’t have to be extensive and certainly shouldn’t be massive or heavy, but they do need to convey the basics of what you offer.
  5. The little things: Brochures, business cards, giveaway items, emergency supplies (bandaids, tissues, breath mints etc), and most importantly, snacks!

Stay tuned for our last blog post of the series where we’ll discuss Objective #3: Converting leads into sales after the show. You can also get in-depth tradeshow advice in Customer, LLC: The Small Business Guide to Customer Engagement & Marketing.