Setting trade show objectives

Setting trade show objectives

Trade Show Objectives

“Well, because we go every year”. If that’s your answer to the question of why you’re attending a particular trade show, then it’s definitely time to re-evaluate your trade show objectives. Trade shows are expensive and consume a lot of time and energy, so it’s important to establish valid, meaningful and measurable objectives prior to committing to any events. Objectives help maintain focus during the entire design, implementation, participation and evaluation stages, and perhaps most importantly can improve your return on investment at a show.

There are three key types of objectives you can apply to your trade show marketing program: communications, quantifiable, and logistical goals. Look at each of these objectives, and see how many you’d like to apply to your own trade show strategy. With proper research these goals can be measured and/or evaluated, and can provide a target of success against which future trade show participation can be compared.

Communication Objectives – Awareness, Perception and Positioning

  • Establish or enhance company awareness, credentials and/or capabilities
  • Create, change or reinforce your company’s position
  • Affect general perceptions of your company, product and/or service
  • Promote a specific message such as “The Total Solution For All Your Widget Needs”
  • Distinguish your company from the competitors
  • Introduce a new product, service or capability
  • Enter a new market Read More

Trade shows and competitive research

Trade Shows And Competitive Research – A Step Ahead Or A Step Behind

Trade shows are an ideal venue to scope out your competition. Gathering information about competing products and services, also known as “competitive intelligence” or “competitive research”, will help your company to fine tune its exhibit strategy and give you an edge at future events. How does your company compare to others, based upon factors such as product and marketing distinction, visibility, image, and exhibit design? By using a competitors’ checklist, you can make consistent comparisons, sound decisions, and determine whether you are a step ahead or a step behind.

Direct your booth staff to patrol the show floor and locate the competition. The competitors’ booth display, graphics, giveaways, and other marketing techniques can be evaluated at a distance. Staff can also approach the competitors, and ask some general questions to facilitate a discussion. If a good rapport can be established, more specific questions can be posed, depending on the comfort level of your staff. Consider the following general questions as you begin your competitive research:
Read More

Trade show exhibit booth choices: buy or rent?

To Buy Or To Rent Your Trade Show Exhibit Booth: That Is The Question

The writing is on the wall. Your company is painfully aware that your trade show exhibit booth has become obsolete. The laminate is peeling, the graphics are outdated, and the colour scheme makes you cringe. Here’s a tough question: if refurbishment is not an option, do you buy or rent a new trade show exhibit booth?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Although trade show exhibit booth rentals used to be considered taboo, today’s rentals warrant consideration as a sophisticated and cost-effective display option. Some large companies don’t want fixed assets taking up valuable space in their warehouse, or can’t be bothered with the hassle of insuring and maintaining a display. However, many companies will hang onto their trade show exhibit booths for more than 5 years as an investment. There are advantages and disadvantages to both buying and renting a trade show exhibit booth. The following two-step process will help your company to decide whether purchasing or renting is right for you.

Step One – Conduct A Financial Analysis

  • There are more costs to exhibit ownership than simply the initial purchase price, including: depreciation expense, storage costs, insurance payments, maintenance costs and refurbishment , and final disposal fees
  • Renting, on the other hand, consists solely of the rental fees for the display booth and associated hardware
  • How many trade shows do you plan to attend each year?
  • How does your trade show exhibit fit into your company’s marketing and sales objectives and budget?
  • Have you identified your short-term and/or long-term needs? Read More