Your Must Have Trade Show Checklist
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Your Must Have Trade Show Checklist


Your Must Have Trade Show Checklist

We thought this could help while planning for your next Trade Show.  We’ve done our research and think these are important things to have.  If there is anything you think we are missing, let us know.  We want to offer the best help you can find! 


Stage One – Choose and Secure Trade Show Dates (1 year + prior to event)

  • Choose the role trade shows will play in your marketing/sales plan
  • Develop a budget and estimated return on investment
  • Pick the shows and dates that you’d like to attend plus reasons why
  • Present to the board, and get them to buy in


Stage Two – Get Your Team Together (12 + months prior)

  • Decide what team members you will need
  • Set your meeting times and put it on your calendar


Stage Three – Strategizing Time (10 to 12 months prior)

  • Create a Marketing Plan for the event that includes
    • Pre-Show Marketing
    • At-Show Marketing
    • Post-Show Marketing
  • Create a Strategy for the actual event
  • Decide on a sales goal, number of customers you want to reach, how much information you want to send out, leads, etc. etc.
  • Predict any possible setbacks and figure out possible solutions
  • Calculate your budget
  • Calculate estimated time frame


Stage Four – Secure your Spot (9 to 11 months prior)

  • Identify booth space needs
  • Register for your space, and requests information on all exhibit details


Stage Five – Booth Planning (6 to 9 months prior)

  • Design your exhibit
  • Decide who you want to hire
  • Solidify a design and set a timeline to have it done
  • Research location – figure out if there are any needs you should add to your list – for example lighting, space, location, etc.
  • Create your sales message and promotional strategies
  • Determine the marketing materials and information you will need


Stage Six – (4 to 6 months prior)

  • Order any promotional items or giveaways
  • Check up on design process for you booth with exhibitors
  • Pick staffing arrangements and create booth schedules
  • Start making travel plans


Stage Seven – (1 to 3 months prior)

  • Finalize all travel arrangements
  • Schedule a staff training
  • Contact sponsor, designer, host, etc. to check on any last minute details
  • Schedule other events at the show for your team such as meals, and meetings
  • Finish up pre-show marketing plan
  • Create follow-up packets for your leads right after the show


Stage Eight – (1 week before show)

  • Confirm shipping arrival dates
  • Double check actions list and make sure everything is completed
  • Finish up any more staff training


Stage Nine – (night before to day of)

  • Have your final meeting with your staff before the show
  • Check with final booth design
  • Check all promotional items, forms, cards, etc.
  • Rehearse sales plan
  • Don’t forget the small things
    • tool-kit
    • lots of lead forms and business cards
    • extra extension cords
    • appointment calendar available
    • cleaning supplies
    • hygiene items
    • first aid kit
    • office supplies
    • mints
    • water
    • energy bars
    • cheat sheet of your company’s info – and info on other competitors, targets, etc.

Stage Ten – Follow-Up (up to a week after)

  • Send out lead packets
  • Come up with stats from the show and evaluate
  • Review budget
  • Make reservations for next year
  • Formulate a report
  • Formulate a mini report (of success), and thank you packet to sponsors and everyone involved

We hope this helps!  Let us know if you have any questions, and we wish you the best of luck with planning!

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