Let's face it, the hardest part about attending a trade show, may be getting permission in the first place! This year your company may be buckling down on marketing expenses and trade show exhibitions may very well be on the chopping block. CMOs, CEOs and Managers are going to look at past successes in order to gauge the effectiveness of attending trade shows. Follow this guide and you should be able to put together a compelling argument to exhibit at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, IMTS.
Step 1: Justify
First things first, do your research! Download our helpful Trade Show Qualifications Check List and this should get the ball rolling in making your case to attend or exhibit at IMTS.
IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world. Manufacturing industry professionals from all over the world attend IMTS to see more than 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, components, systems and processes that can improve their efficiency. http://www.imts.com/
Step 2: Budget
You'll need to find out how much attending the trade show will cost your company. Illustrate to your boss that you know how to - not only live within a budget - but properly allocate the funds. Download our helpful Trade Show Budget Spreadsheet to see how much attending may cost your company. All you'll need is the cost to exhibit at trade show + employee labor cost to attend.
Step 3: Get Permission
Now that you've organized your case to exhibit and how much it will cost - brush up on the reasons to exhibit. Valley Box took the liberty of creating a concise list of the Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show in order to remind you of the benefits.
Step 4: Get your trade show booth ready!
Now that you've gotten the go ahead, the clock is ticking. Do you even have a trade show display? What condition is it in? Who do you need to work with within your company to get started on creation or modification? Once you've answered all those questions you'll want to read Valley Box's 8 Tips to Capture People's Attention with Your Trade Show Booth.
Oh! Don't forget about shipping! How are you getting your display to the event? Purchasing a high quality trade show crate intended to endure long-term use or multiple shipments may cost more upfront but opting for the wrong packaging will inevitably cost you more in the long-term when your display gets damaged by rough handling.
Step 5: Be Prepared
Luckily, there is an article dedicated entirely to the 10 Things to do Before IMTS. But you also need to remember your etiquette, just in case you've forgotten here's a link to a helpful list of Trade Show Day-Of Do's and Don'ts.
Otherwise, to continue impressing your boss don't get caught by the unexpected. Here is Valley Box's Trade Show Check off list giving you plenty of time to catch any problems before they occur.
ONE - TWO MONTHS BEFORE IMTS
- Get your ideas about theme and products down on paper
- Create a list of milestones working up to the trade show, then reverse engineer your time line to create hard deadlines.
- If the trade show is out of State you need to make arrangements for your booth and supplies to be shipped well in advance.
- Practice setting up your exhibit. Then ask for feedback from different departments of your company.
ONE - THREE WEEKS BEFORE IMTS
- Get all printing and signs prepared.
- Gather all samples of products
- Gather all marketing materials; business card jar, brochures and plastic holders, display items, business cards, easels and display stands.
- Get all your supplies together and consolidated; stapler, tape, paper clips, pens/pencils, writing pads, tablecloth.
Step 6: Follow Up
The last step to getting your boss excited to send you next year is to follow up with prospects after the event. This is a sure fire way to prove a return on investment when you can tie orders to contacts made at the event. Check out our blog 10 Things To Do After Attending IMTS for some tips on managing prospects & leads.
Valley Box is a premiere industrial-grade packaging company protecting manufacturer's products inside custom wood crates and made-to-order material handling equipment since 1965.
Valley Box packaging experts develop specialized solutions for trade show crates which require additional planning to design the interior so that display components can be conveniently removed and loaded on location while maintaining proper protection during transit. Valley Box helps you maximize your trade show display investment by incorporating protective details such as; foam or carpet lined surfaces, metal edged corners, vibrant painted exteriors, loading ramps, pedestals on casters and more.