Taking the step to bring your company into the trade show spotlight can cost you a lot of money, time, and resources. While the cost is high, it pays off with increased clientele and product exposure. By strategically planning for the event, you can get the most of your trade show experience and get the leads you need to expand your horizon.

“No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.” – James Cash Penney

Tracking Return On Investment.

Determine what your ROI is. What does every lead cost? How many leads do you want to generate? How many products are you selling? You can have more than one goal, but you need to be clear about setting your goals so you can determine the most important question: Is it worth it to be here? This can help you and your team focus on the goals and turn the event into a success.

Do Your Research.

Always scope out the convention the year prior to joining as an exhibitor. While looking at YouTube walk-throughs of previous years may help, nothing beats being there in person. Choose the trade show that has your target audience, figure out the areas in the show that have the best foot traffic. The bottom line is: can you generate leads here?

Before registration, contact the trade show and ask for the media kit. Review the audience numbers – did they increase from previous years? What days of the week does the show fall on? There are a lot of things to keep in mind, as you don’t want to be exhibiting in a stagnant trade show.

Early Bird Catches the Worm.

It always helps to be early when it comes to registering for an event. You can message the convention registrar if you have a specific booth spot in mind. There are a few tricks behind getting a good location, as outlined by TSNN. Most conventions offer a discount for registering early, take advantage of this to get the most out of your ROI.

Make Connections.

Social media may help in this regard, but you want to make sure that you collect your leads. Exposure and B2B contacts are just as important. Don’t skimp out on promotions. While this eats into the budget, having a raffle or giveaway can capture an audience that will generate leads. Check our previous post for Tips on Running a Promo at your booth.