Let 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 attend.
Step 1: Justify
First things first, do your research! Download Valley Box's helpful Trade Show Qualifications Check List and this should get the ball rolling in making your case to attend.
Step 2: Budget
You'll need to find out how much attending the trade show or convention 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 Valley Box's 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. Are you planning to exhibit? 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 shipping crates 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 WASTECON. 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
- Get your ideas about theme and products down on paper
- Create deadlines and milestones. Reverse engineer your timeline, if the trade show is out of your state you need to make arrangements for your booth and supplies to be shipped well in advance.
- Practice setting up exhibit at home or in your office – then ask for evaluations from neighbors, business associates, sales persons, etc.
ONE - THREE WEEKS BEFORE
- Get all printing and signs prepared at least one week in advance.
- Take samples of products – not all you have.
- Get all your supplies together and consolidated: Decorated box or basket for contest/drawing, with sign describing prize, stapler, tape, signs, paper clips, pens/pencils, brochures & plastic holders, display items to draw potential clients to your table, business cards, writing pads for lead information, visual aids, tablecloth, easels and display stands.
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 the Valley Box article 10 Things To Do After Attending a Trade Show or Convention 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 shipping 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.