With your big industry trade show just a couple of months away, you probably think you have plenty of time to finalize plans and prepare. Yes—and no. It is enough time, but you need to use it wisely. If you’re exhibiting at PACK EXPO 2016 Nov. 6-9 in Chicago, use these tips and timelines to guarantee your most successful show ever. Ready to get started?
Ramp up pre-show marketing
This is the time to promote, promote, promote. You want your customers excited about PACK EXPO and eager to visit your booth. Tout your appearance at the show on your website. Create a schedule for email blasts to customers showcasing your product introductions, giveaways/contests, demonstrations, anything special you’re doing. The first blasts should go out 4-6 weeks before the show. Email news releases to trade and consumer media. Put together a social media plan to give your company a strong show-related presence on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms (again, starting 4-6 weeks out). Begin making appointments with key customers.
Plan finishing touches
By this point, you’ve already worked with experts in trade show display to create an attention-grabbing booth that amplifies your company’s mission and showcases your products and services in a memorable way. Make sure all your new product signage, collateral marketing materials, even staff attire will coordinate with the overall booth design for a polished presentation. Order flowers and plants, as well as refreshments. These aren’t after-thoughts. Everything—including the candy in the dishes—should work together to strengthen your brand’s image.
For a successful show, you need prepared, trained and enthused staff. Now is the time to make final decisions about staffing the show. Update your advance manual with clearly outlined duties and responsibilities, show goals (sales targets, number of new contacts made, etc.), schedules, show attire, contact information for everyone attending, etc. Put meetings on the calendar (say, one month, two weeks and one week before the show) to discuss remaining to-do’s. If you’re hiring temporary staff as greeters or sales assistants, put together a quick guide to your company and its products, along with a shorter version of your advance manual with information they’ll need to be effective members of your show team and great representatives of your company. Register all your booth personnel with PACK EXPO.
Book your flight and hotel. (The deadline for special PACK EXPO hotel rates is Monday, Sept. 26). And it’s not too early to make dinner reservations at some of Chicago’s newest and best restaurants for client meetings—and to celebrate a successful show with your team on the last night. (If you already have reservations in place, it’s easier to change the number of people in your party or adjust times later. Plus, you’ll be glad not to have to worry about this detail during the show when you’re swamped with traffic in your booth!)
Start following PACK EXPO on your favorite social media sites for show news, exhibitor tips, deadline reminders and more. It’s on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. While you’re at it, download the PACK EXPO mobile app so you’ll have immediate, easy access to show information leading up to and during the event.
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