If you’re signed up to an exhibition, trade fair or presentation you’ll need to be ready in good time. This means getting to grips with some basic project planning. There are loads of benefits to be had from showcasing your small business at events and if you’re wondering if they are for you, see our short guide to putting your business on show. If you’re already committed and have a deadline looming this quick and not too dirty checklist will help you get ready to make the most of the opportunity.
1. Check the details
What exactly have you signed up for. If you’ve booked a booth at a show or fair, what does it include exactly? Will you have a shell that you can attach boards to? Does it have lighting, if so, what kind, how much and where is the light directed? Will you have access to power as part of the package or do you need to buy it in? If you’re trying to save money, make sure you don’t cut this corner if it’s needed to demonstrate your product.
2. Work back from the date you need to be on site to get your stand ready
Unless you are an old hand and have everything you need in storage for a stand of the size you’ve booked, you’ll need to plan methodically to have everything ready on time. Given you know exactly what’s provided and what’s not, you’ll know what you need to dress your stand. Make sure your business name or product name is clearly displayed somewhere on your stand. Put everything together before you get to the show to check it works and you’ve not forgotten flooring/wall covering/lighting/product display and that it works for your customers.
3.Get your supporting documentation ready in good time
Check your brochures and sales literature are up todate, that prices and details are correct and they include for any new products or product lines. If you need to revise it get the work done well in advance. Make sure that everyone who will be working on your stand has business cards and the details on those cards is up to date. If you are using extra help on the stand, get a generic card printed with the business name and contact details on that everyone can use.
4. Send out a press release
Make sure you have something new to say and then tell the world. Launch a new product or service, or announce an award or your support for a new charity and link it strongly to your presence at the show. Make sure you send the release out in good time (for glossy magazines it could be two or three months in advance) and send with a professional photograph to websites, industry blogs and magazines. And don’t forget radio.
5. Get tweeting
Plan a social media strategy designed to maximise interest in your show and put it into practice early. Include an incentive for new followers or new likes to encourage them to attend your stand or presentation at the event. Remember to include LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube and prepare content for them all, delivering it to a regular schedule. If you are not too fond or familiar with social media get some help and get active now!
6. Get to the event in good time
Obvious but you don’t want to give yourself extra stress by being late. Plan to arrive the night before if you can, there’s no point getting stuck in traffic or not having enough help to load up your van or anything else that could delay you. You want to get to your stand cool, calm and collected to get the best out of your trade show time and money and meet your customers with confidence!