Trade shows are one of the most cost efficient ways of upholding your company’s products and services. Trade shows bring buyers (attendees) and sellers (exhibitors) together under one roof. Each aims to establish or maintain profitable business relationships.
“At trade shows, the attendee’s acuity is the exhibitor’s actuality. This holds true no matter how hefty or diminutive your company is, and no matter how imperfect or enormous your products and services are. The attendee will leave with a sensitivity of your company based on your exhibit, your booth staff and the literature and information you provide,” added CITEM Agri Marine Director Jose Molato, during one of his talks in one of the country’s anticipated trade fairs, Philippine Food Expo.
A well-thought out trade show, he said, can level the playing field for smaller companies. A start-up company with an effective exhibit, skilled personnel and pleasant literature will look better to an attendee than an established company with a poor exhibit, an amateurish booth staff and poor literature. On the other hand, a larger company willing to spend more in its trade shows can set itself apart from the competition with a better exhibit.
Consequence of Preparation
Planning is the key to realizing a high return on investment from your trade shows. Every year, companies across the globe invest thousands of hours and millions on trade show exhibits. Planning alone spells migraine for many, while others avoid the subject entirely finally making panicked judgments at the last minute. There is a way to restructure this process, cut the fretfulness and come together on schedule and under budget to create a successful show.
Step one is to define your function at the show. For most, it is to sell products and services, inform clients, assemble lasting relationships and of course, see what the competition is doing. Determining which of these is most significant can offer direction in structure, layout and graphics during the exhibit design process.
Next is determining your budget. There are many factors to consider when planning your budget. Allowances for show services (booth space, install and dismantle, electrical, etc.), exhibit design and manufacturing, staffing and transportation, shipping and storage, and promotions need to all be considered when planning.
Step three is to plan. Plan your exhibit. Make your pre-show measures. Make your travel arrangements. Prepare your promotions. Step four is to put your plan in motion. All the planning has to come together impeccably. Step five is to analyze post show results, whether the show met your expectations, reached your goals.
Choosing a Show
To start a show, one must start with its customers. They will tell you which shows they like to be present at. Trade publications publish industry calendars that list every show of significance and the features to mull over, such as number of attendees, dates, locations, etc. Most industries have at least two major shows that everyone attends.
Selecting Booth Space
Legroom depends on a number of factors. Typically, each salesperson is given 25 to 50 square feet of space. The eventual target when choosing exhibit space is to have room for all visitors without too much additional space. If you anticipate 100 visitors per day at your booth, and the show runs for 5 hours each day, this amounts to 20 visitors per hour. Supposing each salesperson can assist 5 people each hour, you will need 4 salespeople in the booth at peak hours. This means you will need 100 to 200 square feet of space plus space for products, demos, conference and storage.
How do you choose your exhibit space at a show? First determine what is available to your company. It is key to know that show management gives main concern to repeat exhibitors and larger exhibitors, so a smaller, new company may have restricted booth space choices.
Choosing a Display
Although there are dozens of display styles, they are generally grouped into three categories: portable, modular and custom. As you bear in mind the choices, make a list of what you want to realize at the show. Then you can decide the display that best matches your needs. If displaying products is most important, shelving, graphics and other forms of product display need to be an essential part of the design process from the start versus an addendum. If building relationships is priority, a conference area should be considered. By defining your purpose and deciding which rudiments of that purpose take precedence, your company can make the most of important trade show space.
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