7 Essential Steps to Planning Trade Shows and Exhibits

If you’re looking to increase awareness of your business and generate new leads, then a trade show could be a great opportunity. However, preparation is key – if you don’t plan properly, you’re likely to waste time and money. This blog post will outline seven essential steps to successfully planning trade shows and exhibitions. By following these tips, you can ensure that your time at the event is well spent and that you achieve your desired results. Let’s get started!

You can’t just attend a trade show or exhibit without planning and expecting a successful experience. To ensure that your company makes the most of these marketing opportunities, follow these seven essential steps:

1. Define Your Goals

Before considering which trade show or exhibition to attend, you need to take a step back and consider your goals. What do you hope to achieve by exhibiting at a trade show? Are you looking to generate new leads? Increase brand awareness? Drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can start planning how best to achieve them.

When setting your goals, it’s also important to be realistic. It’s unlikely that you’ll achieve all your objectives in one go – focus on a few key goals that you think are achievable. And remember, your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

2. Choose the Right Trade Show or Exhibition

With your goals in mind, you can start looking for trade shows and exhibitions relevant to your industry. Thousands of events occur every year, so selective is essential. Consider factors such as the size of the event, the location, the type of attendees, and the cost of exhibiting.

Once you’ve shortlisted a few events, you should visit their websites and social media pages to get a feel for the event. You can also contact the organizers directly to ask any questions you might have.

3. Book Early

Once you’ve decided which trade show or exhibition to attend, booking your space as soon as possible is essential. Many events can get booked up months in advance, so you don’t want to miss out. When booking, confirm the details of your space, such as the size, location, and price.

4. Start Planning Your Exhibit

Now that your space is booked, it’s time to start planning your exhibit. This is where you’ll need to get creative and think about how you can make your booth stand out from the crowd. First, consider your branding – how can you incorporate your logo and colors? Then, start brainstorming ideas for your display, such as graphics, signage, product samples, giveaways, etc.

If you’re struggling with ideas, consider what other businesses are doing. Attend trade shows and exhibitions as a visitor to get some inspiration. And don’t forget to think outside the box – sometimes the best displays are the unexpected ones.

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5. Prepare Your Marketing Materials

In addition to your exhibit, you’ll also need to prepare your marketing materials. This could include business cards, brochures, flyers, and product catalogs. Ensure all your materials are up-to-date and relevant to your event. If you’re exhibiting at multiple events, having different versions of your materials for each one is a good idea. This way, you can tailor your message to your target audience.

6. Train Your Staff

Your exhibit is almost ready – but don’t forget about your staff! They’ll be representing your company at the event, so it’s important to ensure they’re prepared. This means providing them with training on your products or services and your goals for the event. You should also give them tips on talking to customers and handling sales inquiries.

7. Follow Up with Leads

After the trade show or exhibition, it’s important to follow up with any leads you’ve generated. Send them an email or call to thank them for their interest in your company. Then, keep the conversation going by sharing additional information about your products or services.

By following these seven essential steps, you can ensure that your company has a successful experience at any trade show or exhibition. By preparing and planning properly, you can ensure that your goals are met and that you generate new leads and sales. So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!


Trade shows and exhibitions can be a great way to generate leads, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. However, exhibiting at these events requires careful planning and execution. By following these seven essential steps, you can ensure that your company has a successful experience.

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