Last time, we covered the first three essential steps to prepare for a tradeshow (check those out here). Here are the last five steps to help you get the most out of tradeshow marketing.
The Last 5 Steps to Prepare for a Tradeshow
- Line up vendors (6 months out)
Tradeshow season can impact local businesses you might use as vendors. For example, if you’re planning on hosting a networking event at a nearby restaurant, you’ll be competing with nearly every other exhibitor for the best venues. Reserve space and engage vendors well ahead of time.
- Figure out logistics (2-4 months out)
Most companies send a raft of sales executives, marketers, and even members of the C-suite to a tradeshow. Travel and accommodations for this many people can be tough when hundreds of other companies are doing the same thing, so book early.
- Train the sales team (2 months out)
Generally speaking it’s up to marketing to prepare for a tradeshow, and it’s up to sales to execute on the goals of the tradeshow. The sales team needs to be trained on the messaging—including new product specs—and kept up-to-date on schedules, planned meetings, the dress code, and booth operations like lead scanning.
- Spread the word (3 months out, continuing until after the tradeshow)
Tradeshow marketing is all about the contacts. Current clients, leads, and prospects should all know you’ll be at this tradeshow and any event invitations should be sent out well ahead of time (with subsequent follow-ups). Be active on social media and email to generate interest.
- Last-minute details (2 weeks out and throughout the tradeshow)
The last two weeks are a flurry of activity. From ensuring vendors are meeting commitments to finalizing booth display details, it should be all-hands-on-deck.
Getting the Most Out of Tradeshow Marketing
Tradeshow marketing is a huge investment for many companies. One of the most agonizing parts about tradeshows for any marketing team is getting people to notice your company in a sea of attention-seeking displays. Most companies pick a gimmick and hope it sticks.
But you don’t need to go viral to have a successful tradeshow: you just need an experienced team that knows how to plan, execute, and network. Even the best marketing teams can be stretched thin to prepare for a tradeshow, which is why many companies are turning to marketing operations consultants to provide tradeshow marketing support.
If you’ve got a big tradeshow in the coming year and need tactical leadership to get your marketing team through it, give JABR Marketing a call. We’ll put our marketing consultant know-how to work and get the job done for a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.