Your exhibition space is a super-sized shop window that has the power to grow your customer base exponentially. Trade shows serve up every ingredient within your demographic by location, industry, and quality. Marketing for lead generation doesn’t get more efficient than that.
To sweeten the deal, trade show meetings carry an average cost of $142 per prospect, whereas an in-office meeting averages $259. To leverage that savings, you’ll need to extract returns from your investment, and that requires you to strategize your trade show planning and choosing your trade show services wisely.
1. Staying Connected
We live in a plugged-in world that relies on smartphones, tablets, and the cloud to carry you towards the next best thing, so no convention is effective without reliable connectivity.Fortunately, the FCC prohibits the blocking and throttling of personal Wi-Fi connections at hotels, conference, and convention centers. This leaves exhibitors with three options for internet connectivity:
- Purchase a convention-managed connection
Trade show managed Wi-Fi services are notoriously expensive, but they increase your reach in bustling centers by reducing interference from other devices. If your display relies heavily on a fast and consistent internet connection, then the extra cost may very well be worth it.
- Rely on a mobile hotspot
Not to be confused with your smartphone hotspot feature, these portable cellular modems are affordable and quick. If you choose the right provider and model, you’ll also enjoy a collection of extra tools, from file-sharing software to multi-device access.
- Turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hub
Wi-Fi hubs are priced by cell phone providers and managed directly through an enabled smartphone. This feature tends to drain batteries and deliver weak or spotty coverage in exhibition centers – a drawback that's balanced by a decidedly light price.
2. Electrical Needs
Even if you aren’t harnessing power-hungry displays, you’ll need an electrical connection to power your devices and point of sale. This is far from a simple trade show service to order.
Start by taking an inventory of your electrical needs and the required wattage. This could include the number of chargers, LCD screens, computing devices, etc. A laptop device alone uses about 100 watts of power, while a 32 inch LCD screen requires 70 watts. On average, you’ll need 500 watts per power source, whereas a multilevel exhibit may require a 208-volt service.
A typical 10x10 trade show booth will find their outlet in the back of the exhibition space, but a much larger exhibit will have outlets throughout their display. Either way, you’ll benefit from adding cables and adapters to your packing list, especially if you can’t specify the outlet locations ahead of time.
3. Decor & Housekeeping
Many exhibitors delegate trade show orchestration to their own staff. While this is a legitimate option, it’s often not a specialized one. By partnering with a team of experts, you can ensure that your booth meets show regulations and requirements while also aligning with your brand messaging.
These professional trade show services will also coordinate and advise on the technical details, from carpet and furniture provision to housekeeping and flowers. By leveraging their experience and industry connections, this option can also save you money on overhead expenses.
Proper cleaning services alone can cost a few hundred dollars per show, with extra material handling charges to boot. Plus, purchasing your own flooring and furniture comes with a heavy upfront cost that can be mitigated by a team of event coordinators.
Who doesn’t want a snack after hours of cruising the expo floor? Entice show attendees with refreshments, and use the opportunity to introduce them to your service and products.
Keep in mind that some caterers treat conventions as profit opportunities, meaning they’re willing to share the costs of the contract. Many trade shows also offer catering as part of their show infrastructure, but exclusive contracts of this nature often come with extraordinary pricing.
Refer to your trade show manual for the restrictions and regulations around food and beverage service, as incomplete forms and policy violations could result in heavy fines. The manual will also include "early-bird" pricing discounts and the respective ordering deadlines.
5. Shipping & Transportation
This can involve unloading freight, removing empty packaging, storage of materials, and any behind-the-scenes footage after teardown. You can reduce a significant chunk of your expenses by explaining the weight of your exhibit and its packaging:
Select a pocket-friendly shipping method, then consolidate your individual packages into a single shipment. If you've been struck by an unreasonable drayage bill, check the timestamps to make sure you haven’t been overcharged.
Your trade show booth must do more than just wow your audience, and a powerful marketing strategy must include the bread and butter. Your roaring success will be fueled by some of the simplest decisions. Your power outlet choices might not be as thrilling as your multimedia display, but the smallest details can make a big difference in your ROI.
Are you ready to make your next exhibition a success? Contact us today. Whether it’s design, budgeting, pre-show promotion, or determining the newest trends, we’re ready to help you succeed.