Tradeshows are useful for businessmen in promoting their brand. Thanks to the foot traffic and immense social media attention it can gain, it is a valuable investment for any company. But what would you do as an event planner if you don’t know where to start?
Fret not, for we have compiled the steps you need to take to successfully plan a tradeshow event that will make your clients and their customers grinning from ear to ear.
Step #1: Set Aside Ample Time For Planning
Planning a tradeshow takes time. One whole year to be precise. This is because, unlike other events, tradeshows require a bigger audience, an even bigger venue, and lots of exhibitors. Within the year of planning, you should be able to ponder about your event goals, the theme, the number of attendees you plan to cater, and the allotted budget. After that, you’ll have to gather vendors and sponsors and book entertainment and the right venue.
Step #2: Conduct Research and Consult Experts
Once you list down the things that need to be done, you should conduct a thorough research about the specifics of the tradeshow you are planning. The trick to accomplish this quicker is to contact experts in the industry. You can also reach out to potential attendees to know what they want in a tradeshow. Use the Internet and social media platforms to your advantage.
Step #3: Choose a Venue
Selecting the venue is the next step in planning a tradeshow. This is a relatively easy task if you know the demographics of the target market and the number of audiences you plan to cater. Remember that bigger isn’t always better, so make sure to be open to all possibilities.
Step #4: Create Your Layout
Once you have a venue, you can now draw the layout of your tradeshow. Make sure that your floor plan can accommodate different sizes of booths. You can charge higher for premium ones. These are the ones located along the aisle. Higher booth fee can also be assigned to booths that will require more electrical outlets.
Step #5: Seek Out Exhibitors and Sponsors
For a tradeshow, exhibitors play a critical role in the event’s success. Float your tradeshow’s floor plan to potential vendors and let them choose their area. However, you should already reserve certain spaces for your tradeshow’s sponsors. Remember to take note of all the vendors and sponsors and their assigned booths to avoid mix-ups in the event proper.
Step #6: Hire an Entertainer
While some vendors or sponsors might bring their own entertainment, you should also hire your own. This way, you can avoid the risk of having a dull event in case vendors and sponsors fail to rope in entertainment that your attendees will like.
Step #7: Get a Caterer
Like other events, food and beverages are required for a tradeshow. But since attendees will be strolling the exhibit grounds and will probably taste test from sponsors’ and exhibitors’ booths, you can opt for a light snack or finger food.
Step #8: Prepare Marketing Materials and Distribute Exhibitors Kit and Maps
Marketing can make or break your tradeshow, so make sure to spare no effort in promoting the affair through different strategies. Maximize the Internet and social media by creating a page or website dedicated for the event.
Also, remember to prepare and distribute the exhibitors’ kits and maps well before the day of the event so they can read the rules and regulations thoroughly. Ideally, the kits and maps should already be sent to them one month before the event.