A lot of people ask, “How far in advance should I begin to plan for the next trade show?” My immediate thought is, “Yesterday!” Whether this is your first show or your 100th, you do not want to wait until the last minute. No matter how big the show or how big your booth, you should start preparing your budget and marketing plan at least 6 months in advance. If you are seeking to buy or build a new tradeshow display you may want to consider starting a year in advance to allow yourself enough time to find the right builder to partner with and enough time to design your custom display.
Not sure where to start? Always start with the important show deadlines and plan backwards.
- What is your Target Move-In Date? Always plan to install your booth earlier than later – this allows you extra time on the backend for troubleshooting any issues.
- Based on your Target Move-In Date, you can back into your shipping date. We always recommend shipping your display to the Advanced Warehouse to ensure timely delivery of your booth to your space.
- Now you know what date the display has to ship to you; or your display house can figure out the time needed to prepare or build your display for the show. We like to allow 8-12 weeks to properly engineer and build a display.
- As soon as your display begins production you should have your graphics figured out as well. Too many times we have seen a booth shipped out without graphics because they were put off until the last minute. Your graphics are more important than the structure itself and should never be put off to the end.
- Which brings us to the beginning: If you have a show coming up in 6+ months, you need to start thinking about it now and schedule a kick-off meeting with your Display House to get the ball rolling.
These are all things that you can manage yourself or you can take advantage of the experience and resources of an Event Management Company like Apple Rock to take care of all the details for you!