Plan Ahead to Make the Most of Your Tradeshow (Part 1)

Trade Shows

Getting ready for a trade show can be overwhelming, but with the appropriate direction, pulling off the perfect trade show can be as easy as 1 * 2 * 3.  In this 3-part series we cover tips from local industry experts on how creating marketing materials, putting together a display, and selecting promotional products will help you make the most of your tradeshow.  Part 2 (Display Booths)    Part 3 (Promotional Products)

Step 1:  Create your Marketing Materials

Have your more expensive brochures on hand, and use them if engaged with a potential customer, but don’t put them out for the masses.  Chocolate candy is always a draw!

Autumn Edmiston of Edmiston Group discusses best practices for creating marketing materials for trade shows.

Q: How far in advance should one begin developing their marketing materials?  Autumn: If possible, begin planning two to three months prior to the trade show.   It will also allow time to order any promotional products prior to the show.  This will also allow time to create particular show offers, obtain targeted marketing materials as well as notify others that you will be attending the particular show.  The show exhibit announcement can be sent out in your monthly newsletter or as an electronic “Come See Us” invitation.

Q: What budgeting tips should one keep in mind when creating marketing materials?  Autumn:  Create high quality colored flyers – they are more cost effective than a multi-page brochure or in some cases print take away flyers on bright colored paper.  Line cards (sometimes called rack cards) can be cost effective in highlighting your core service offerings without breaking the bank.  A nice door prize with a well thought out registration slip is a sure draw to capture names, addresses, e-mail addresses and ask some pertinent questions pertaining to your business. i.e. would you like to receive our electronic newsletter, are you interested in learning more about marketing services.   Have your more expensive brochures on hand, and use them if engaged with a potential customer, but don’t put them out for the masses.  Chocolate candy is always a draw!

Q:  What #1 tip should organizations keep in mind when creating marketing materials?  Autumn: Make sure you have a clear message – explain who you are, who you help and how you do it.  Utilize display units such as display holders to put information at eye level creating a dimension to your table.  Perhaps put a client testimonial on display.  A professional pull up display can be a cost effective way of setting you apart from the competition.   Make sure the display follows your brand.   If creating a show offer, put an expiration date on the offer to create a sense of urgency to take action.  Have extra business cards.  Be sure to have an extras bag for incidentals, scissors, tape, extra pens, extension cords, candy.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group ~ The Edmiston Group provides senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis.  Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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