Trade show planning timeline

Trade show planning timeline

 Trade Show Planning Timeline For Best Results

Being able to follow a precise trade show planning timeline will give you a better chance of succeeding at your next trade show. In the following sections, we’re going to teach you how to effectively manage your trade show planning timeline in the months, weeks, days, and hours that precede the actual trade so that you can get a head start in your planning and maximize your time in the process.

One-Year Out

A trade show planning timeline needs to recognize that although the trade show may be a long time away, it will arrive sooner than you think! Now is when you should start a trade show planning timeline to enhance your marketing.

Start by focusing on developing a detailed budget and plan for how you’re going to increase your R.O.I. at the event. Start setting your objectives, which can include (but not limited to), the products you’re going to showcase, the marketing materials you’re going to bring, the exhibit spot you’re going to secure, and if possible, a get list of the rules and regulations for the trade show marketing event. Although one year may sound like a long time, you’d be surprised by how quickly the opening day will arrive. You certainly do not want to feel unprepared as the trade show draws closer.

Six Months Out 

Start experimenting with different exhibit designs. Determine the graphics and layout that you’re going to choose. The reason you want to do this at least six months before the actual event is so that you can have enough time to order all of the exhibit elements that you’ll need. This is especially true if you’re going to be hiring a company or freelancer to work on various aspects of your exhibit.

When working with a graphic or web design company, make sure that you accurately detail everything you want in your exhibit, as well as discuss things like delivery, cost, and capabilities. Six months out is also the time when you’ll want to start preparing the various promotional items that you’re going to be giving away at the event. If you haven’t thought about giving away promotional items then this paragraph should serve as a pleasant reminder for how effective they can be. Choose items that are memorable, practical, and that won’t cost too much money on your part.

Three Months Out 

Continue working on your exhibit and order all promotional items that you’re going to be giving away. Make sure that you confirm the delivery dates for the trade show that you’re planning on attending. If you’re going to be bringing along staff members (which you most definitely should), then start deciding who’s going to go as well as what their schedules are going to be. If untrained, provide them with pre-written scripts for them to practice prior to the event.

A quality, well-trained staff will ensure that you maximize each and every interaction between you and your visitors. This is also the time to start booking the necessary travel arrangements for the show. If you book too late, you’ll risk paying too much or not getting exactly what you wanted. If flying, this is a good time to book your flight. And while you’re at it, go ahead and book your hotel as well. Book the rental car now as well so that you don’t need to worry about it once you arrive.

One-Week Out 

Check in with all of your staff members to ensure that they are going to A) Be able to attend the event, and B) Be well versed in the written material that you previously provided them with. Complete all necessary staff training during this time as well.

One-Day Out 

You, your staff, and all necessary promotional and exhibit items should already be at their final destination. Work on setting up your exhibit as early as possible so that you don’t feel rushed the following day when the event actually begins.