How to Prep for Your Next Trade Show

With the holiday season upon us, making a good impression at your next conference may be the farthest thing from your mind. However, tradeshow season will be ramping back up before you know it. The beginning of the year is prime time for some of the biggest shows in tech like CES in January and Mobile World Congress in February. Now is the time to begin your preparations for a successful show. Here are five questions to ask yourself:

What are your goals for the show? First things first, you must determine your definition of success. Will you be happy with the outcome of the show if you give X number of demos, land a certain amount of qualified leads, or receive press coverage in a specific publication? Success may be different for every organization. Ultimately, if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, it’s going to be very difficult to achieve it.

What is your big announcement? There are going to be hundreds and maybe thousands of other companies vying for media attention at the show. If you want to be a part of the buzz, you’re going to need an interesting story. Perhaps you want to announce a new product,  partner, customer, company strategy, expansion, or leadership position. Whatever it is, figure out a unique angle that will get your story heard above all the noise.

What opportunities will you have to be seen and heard? Will you have a booth at the show? Will you participate as a sponsor or show daily advertiser? Giveaways, paid speaking opportunities and participating in association activities are other ways to help boost your presence at the show.

Have you tested your key messages? If you want a chance at landing press coverage, creating awareness or building relationships within the media and analyst communities, it’s important to ensure that your messages are clear and concise. A step often overlooked is the socialization and testing of your messaging with impacted executives and personnel, trusted customers and friendly analysts. Securing early feedback ensures that the positioning is not only well targeted but is also received as intended while identifying any holes that need to be filled concerning “proving” your strategy to internal and external stakeholders.

Do you have a concise elevator pitch? To make a good impression and take full advantage of your investment in the show, it’s critical that your first impression is clear. A big piece of that puzzle is honing your company’s elevator pitch. By honing your company’s positioning and key messaging, crafting a killer elevator pitch and getting everyone on the same page, you’ll undoubtedly experience an increase in ROI from your next big trade show.


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