When planning for a trade show you’ll quickly learn that there’s so many moving parts and it can be easy to overlook critical details. We have put together a short list of trade show planning best practices to help make you look like a pro during your first trade show.

1. Create Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are essentially customer profiles that outline your ideal consumers and entail what motivates them to buy, how they live their daily lives, their demographics, and whether they’re a consumer or a business.

Knowing who your ideal customer is vital for marketing and sales because it allows you to develop focused strategies and campaigns that appeal to them. It will also help your staff identify visitors that would be a good match for your products or services.

2. Proper Staff Training

Whether you plan on hiring new staff solely for the trade show or using existing staff, it’s important to remember that trade shows are very different experiences for both consumers and the businesses attending them.

As such, staff preparation should be done in advance. As a starting point, make sure you choose people who are easily approachable, cheerful, outgoing, and are able to reflect your brand’s image and values.

Next, it’s best to start the training process. Hire a trainer if necessary. The training should cover your company’s goals of the trade show, the people you’re targeting during the show, and the products and services your offering. Be sure to clearly define their responsibilities and how you want staff members to conduct themselves.

3. Lead Organization

Your booth is going to have a lot of visitors. Take advantage of all this traffic by setting up straightforward and efficient methods for adding contacts and organizing leads. Some trade shows have the added benefit of scannable badges, which makes it easy to gather basic information from your booth’s visitors.

As people visit your booth, your staff should keep short notes on every contact. List out the products and services each person took interest in and any other information that might be useful for your marketing and sales teams.

Whether you plan on manually capturing leads or using a digital interface, make sure your workflow for adding leads and taking notes are simple, yet detailed. Include various categories in your lead retrieval software, as this will better help you classify leads using their demographics and needs.

4. Create Buzz

As your trade show gets closer, ramping up your marketing efforts is important for creating buzz. Blast your social media channels to increase awareness and generate excitement. Let people know about various exclusive promotions that may only be available at the trade show. You’ll also want to make sure your website is up-to-date with your latest products and services.

Whatever your goals for the trade show, make sure your marketing efforts work towards accomplishing those goals. If you want to generate leads, offer incentives to visitors when they give email addresses or other basic contact info. Or, if your goal is to sell product, promote those items on social media and email newsletters to let recipients know where they can find you during the trade show. And if you’re unveiling a new product or service, you might want to give sneak peeks to generate excitement and get people curious about what you’re bringing to the show.

In order to keep track of everything that needs to happen before your trade show, it’s a good idea to make a checklist. Need help or have a question? Get in touch with us today.