You may have trade shows that your company attends every year... without question. For these shows, you need to register early. Often, these major trade shows will offer the following year’s registration during the present trade show. This is the prime time to register for the show, because you get in on the best location. Pre-registering is also a good planning measure. If the trade show does not offer this type of registration, it is imperative to obtain next year’s show information as quickly as possible. Often times, trade show associations automatically mail information to prior year attendees. However, you could get lost in the shuffle! Being on the mailing list is sometimes not enough. Stay “in the know” by registering for these association e-newsletters, mail news, bookmark the website for the association, and/or stay in communication with members who run and organize the trade show. This way, information will be readily available to you. Keeping this stream of information coming to you will keep you up to date on information happening in that industry, association, and within the trade show organization process.
When registering, space selection will be a key driver for gathering as many visitors possible to your booth. If you get a good spot... great! If not... all is not lost! There are many ways to drive traffic to your booth. Choose the best space you can. That means choosing a trade show booth in a prime traffic area. Some of the more traveled booth spaces would be located at the front entrance, near concessions, near other high traffic booth attendees, and in main traffic aisles. The earlier you register, the better chance you have at getting a prime location.
Some trade show event organizers will assign the same booth to vendors every year. When registering, don’t be shy to ask about being placed on a cancellation waiting list. By putting yourself on the waiting list for a better booth, you can upgrade your location and be in a more strategic position. Often times, there is a cancellation from a better location.
Sometimes there are trade shows that come your way that are not your normally scheduled events. You may decide that you would like to attend these events. A strategy for saving money is to call the event planner a few weeks prior to the show to negotiate discounted booth space or see if they have reduced size spacing. Do not use this strategy for your regularly attended shows. Asking for a discount is thrifty and business-smart, and trade show organizers will be ambitious to fill every space on the floor! Be sure that the booth location is worth the time, effort and money.