USA Trade Show Partner

Successful Trade Fair Guideline;

Stage 1: Set Objectives
• Determine the objectives of the exhibition:
• Objectives need to be realistic (bearing in mind the visitor profile of the exhibition), they need to be achievable (within context to the firms resources), they need to be quantifiable and mechanisms must be in place to monitor their achievement.
• Examples and suggested objectives are:
  • To see 200-300 people
  • To develop and attain an understanding of the market
  • To gain an understanding of business to business needs
  • To attain sales
  • To attain and develop customer relationship
  • Introduce and develop brand into industries

Stage 2: Select which exhibition/trade shows to attend
• Select the number of exhibitions and industries of exhibitions to attend
• Attain visitor profiles from the exhibition. Information from these sources will need to be treated with some circumspection; exhibition organizers are unlikely to give a negative picture.
• The role of the visitor and their role in the decision making unit
  • Buyer – responsible for dealing with suppliers and placing orders (purchasing agent, bean counter, wielder of checkbook)
  • Decider – has the power to make the final purchase decision (CEO, CIO, CTO, CMO, COO, CFO and other really important-type people)
  • Influencer – has the ability to affect the purchase decision (engineers, IT staff, researchers, product managers)
  • User – those who will actually use the product (office staff, the worker bees, those who make things happen)
  • Initiator – whoever is the first to determine that a need exists (this can be anyone within a company)
  • Gatekeeper – anyone who controls access to the buyer, decider, influencer, user and initiator (administrative assistant, the real VIP)
• Attain the cost of exhibiting
• Identify the availability of suitable space for a good location. Select identified location
• Select exhibitions relative to the business and consumer purchasing cycles. (Ex. Seasonal: Back to School, Christmas)

Stage 3: Plan for Staffing the Stand
• Commonly most visitors of trade/exhibition shows are not actually in a position to buy, but are probably engaged in the information search stage of the buying process. Therefore it is more productive to man the stand with technical people with perhaps one sales representative to handle buyers and collect leads.
• Temporary staff for the exhibition period is a valuable tool. They may be utilized for leaflet distribution and to encourage people to attend the booth. Models and hostesses are frequently employed for this purchase.

Stage 4: Plan support for Promotions
• Plan for the support promotions before, during and after the exhibition
• These may include:
  • Direct mail shots or emails to potential visitors
  • Personal invitation to consumers and businesses
  • Distribution of leaflets at promotions
  • Distribution of promotional material such as pens, key chains, free bags, etc
  • Attain a mailing/emailing list to use for future marketing tactics
Stage 5: Decide Stand Layout and Contests- Design Stand
• The use of exhibition specialists is commonly used for this step in the process.
• Since visitors are usually information gathering, the stand needs to be eye-catching and attractive and convey solid information.
• The latest products offerings must be displayed at the stand.

• It is often useful to have an area that is away from the public view so that potential customers can discuss their needs with the salesperson in private.

Stage 6: Plan Follow up Activities
• Delaying follow up activities commonly allows the competition to get the business as potential leads are not followed up on.
• A clear appointment book must be developed for about a month after to follow up on all leads. This must include personal sales call/visits, as well as direct mailing/emailing

Stage 7: Plan the ‘Project’ logistics
• It is essential that the logistics of the exercise are planned.
• It must be ensured that equipment, furnishing, promotional material and the staff are all transported to the exhibition at the right time and arrive in good condition to make the exhibition a success
• Exhibition specialists can be invaluable for these arrangements

Stage 8: Evaluate the Follow Up
• Once the exhibition is over, two activities need to be carried out
  1. Follow up sales and promotional activities must occur
  2. The success of the trade show must be evaluated. This may be carried out by formal research, by counting the number of leads generated, the number of visitors to the stand or by other appropriate measures decided upon
• Evaluation should be planned for in just the same way as the rest of the exhibition is planned and not left as an afterthought.

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