trade-show-eventTrade shows offer a fantastic opportunity to move past the typical barriers inherent in marketing and get connected with the right customers. A well-prepared trade show booth can greatly increase your networking success. Whether you are a veteran or a brand new to the trade show scene, planning for the big event can be a daunting task. There are a number of steps to take before, during, and after your trade show. Here is a helpful checklist of tips and ideas to help you plan for your next trade show event.

Pre-Trade Show Checklist

1. Let's start with the basics. If you already know what your goals are for your trip and the message of your exhibit, next take a look at creating a vendor presentation for your booth. This can be optional but highly recommended.

2. Next, pick your exhibitor space. Exhibit spaces usually go quickly, so it's best to act early and pick a spot that will fit your booth and offer the most exposure before it's taken. The best exhibiting spaces are usually near the front entrance of the trade show. If you can't secure a space near the front, at the very least find a corner or the end of the aisle to get maximum exposure.

3. Once you have a spot picked out, it's time to design your trade show booth. There are many types of promotional materials available; from trade show banners, flags, table covers, and other trade show displays, really your budget and event space is the limit. FLS Banners offers convenient trade show display kits perfect for creating a great-looking booth that saves you time and money putting one together.

4. Now it's time to create your trade show banners, booth materials, handouts, and other promotional products. This part of the process can take some time to prepare. Again, earlier is a good idea! FLS Banners offers a three-day proofing process and always priority shipping. Once you have submitted your order and graphics or logo via our easy online process, your trade show booth materials will be ready in no time!

5. What else will you need printed or prepped before the big event? If you have fliers, pamphlets, stickers, or other kinds of handouts, you should get those ordered too. Will you be hosting a giveaway? Make sure prizes are in order.

6. Make travel arrangements to and from the trade show for all staff that will be going. Everything from plane tickets, hotel rooms, transportation, and more will be booked quickly. Make sure you have arrangements prepared well in advance.

7. Get the word out about your upcoming trade show event. Let current and potential customers know what event you will be at, where they can find you, and invite them to come. Using your email marketing list or social media accounts are good ways to do so.

8. Get packing! Even if your booth materials have yet to arrive, it's always good to get a head start on putting together the essential supplies. Business cards zip-ties scissors First-Aid pens and highlighters paper clips multi-tool rubber bands stapler extension cords and surge protectors tape post-it notes comfortable shoes

During the Show Checklist

Depending on your goals for the trade show event, you may have a certain number of new leads you would like to gather or industry leaders you would like to network with. It often helps to put these goals on paper for you and your team. Be sure to:

1. Be active. Keep moving, engage attendees, and promote positive body language. Your actions will stir engagement and attract more potential leads. Get out on the floor and make some new friends!

2. Ask questions. Instigate the conversation with a question. By sparking genuine conversation, most attendees will be willing to discuss what you do.

3. Be ready to demonstrate your product or service from memory. The more prepared you are, the more confidence you will generate, and the more you will impact a potential lead.

4. Take lots of notes and be a good listener. At an average trade show, you will interact with hundreds of attendees. Most likely, you won't remember every detail of every conversation so it helps to take notes. Write down names, companies, titles, and other important details of each promising interaction. Take names and contact information as much as you hand out yours.

5. Stay active on social media during the event. Make sure you are keeping your followers up-to-date on the event and what your team is doing.

Post-Trade Show Checklist

1. Revisit your notes and follow up. Who did you talk to? What did you learn? While the information is still fresh, send your new contacts a brief email to reconnect after the event. Make sure your follow up is prompt. You could sweeten the deal by extending special pricing, free trials, free samples, or other strategy to encourage a response.

2. Apply what you learned. Go over your feedback surveys and recall verbal feedback you received during the event. Make sure you implement the feedback for your next trade show event. As some may argue, a trade show is only as good as you take home from it.

With preparation and a little skill, you can make yours a success by connecting with your audience and learning from your experience. Are you ready for the big event? Contact FLS Banners and order your trade show display materials today!