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The thing about trade shows is that they can drain a decent amount of your sales and marketing budget. You need to factor in the cost of attending or exhibiting as well as any travel and accommodation costs that may be associated with it.
Tips to Prepare Your Team for a Tradeshow
It can add up to a large sum, however – when trade shows are done correctly – they are well worth the investment. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they just pitch up and expect it all to happen, but you need to prepare. We have listed some tips below as to how you can prepare your team for a tradeshow.
1. Make Sure Social Profiles are Up To Date
People will always do a little digging when they are prepping for a trade show or conference, so if you are visibly on the attendee list – expect for your LinkedIn profile views to be on the up. Make sure that as part of your preparation you update your social media profiles with the most recent and relevant information.
Your background should be expansive and fully outline your job role, and achievements with appropriate links to the corporate pages. This should apply to all team members who are attending.
For business pages – you should ensure that they have been updated fairly regularly in the lead up to the event – and you should also promote your attendance there.
2. Create pre-show booth meetings
You can use the tools given by the trade shows (sometimes they have attendee lists, networking apps etc) to your advantage. Your team shouldn’t be shy in reaching out to prospective good connections and try to set up some solid meetings pre-show. That way there is a bit of pressure taken off, and you at least have some scheduled activity in place.
3. Get your Marketing Strategy Together
To maximise your exposure at the event, you should have a solid digital marketing strategy. There should be content pushed out pre, during and post trade shows to continue to deliver your message.
If you are exhibiting you could take some behind the scenes footage of your stand being built, or set up for example. It’s always a good idea to round up your customer experience too. This could be a short video diary of your activity at the event, it could be a content piece summarising key takeaways of some of the presentations or talks for example. Make sure you loop in with the event organisers, if there is anything a little out the box you are planning.
Business event organisers such We Are Event People (weareeventpeople.co.uk) who are often used for big events of a corporate nature, with teams of trained staff for every eventuality to ensure a successful event. They also sometimes assist with influencers or brand ambassadors. It’s a good idea to research anything that may occur within the event in advance.
4. Make Sure you Fit Everything In to your Itinerary
Usually there will be a speaker schedule. This could be anything from master classes, to keynote speeches to more informal, and intimate round tables. A big part of these shows can be the learning aspect, and it could be that you want specific members of the team to be educated on certain topics, so it’s important that these are all scheduled in advance and in a shared calendar. Oftentimes, trade shows can become a bit hectic, and key educational elements are missed out.
5. Create Fun, Achievable Goals
Trade shows can be a little high-pressure, so it’s important that although you will have defined objectives of what you are looking to achieve, that there is a fun element to it as well. Of course make sure there are KPIs like a certain number of meetings, specific talks/presentations covered etc – but mix it up with the likes of:
- The person to collect the most business cards wins a prize
- A selfie competition to see who can get the most selfies with the other delegates
- Host a treasure hunt, or networking lunch
These things will help motivate your team into making it a successful show. They will be far more inclined to make it a successful event. Your own micro event as a bolt on can also give you additional exposure.
If you are getting ready for a trade show, make sure you make the most of both the time and monetary investment and plan ahead. Have clear goals and objectives in advance and create the appropriate plan to execute them. Trade shows can be a massive part of your overall sales and marketing strategy.