The trade show season is nearly here and we couldn’t be more excited to get this year going!


This month we are going to cover a detailed trade show checklist, beginning from a 3-6 month vantage point all the way to the day after your event.


So let’s get started!

Trade Show, Before: 3-6 Months Out

Trade shows over the years have had fewer attendance numbers than normal and I believe this  is most likely due to the slash in traveling budgets.


Trade shows are an easy way to waste not only time, but money too. When you factor in your booth fees, travel expenses: hotel, flight, rental car, food, shipping, etc. your amounts can quickly double - even triple.


The combination of high-level strategy and low-level minutia makes a trade show checklist necessary and handy! Here’s how:


  • Have a goal - A goal helps you make the decisions you want and walk away knowing your show was a success! Examples could be:

    • Make a sale on the floor

    • Walk away with at least 20 genuine prospects

    • Talk with a handful of your industry’s leaders

    • Get your feedback - ask potential customers three specific things to use as market research.


  • Schedule a vendor presentation - Most of the trade shows I’ve attended allow vendors to give some sort of presentation (fees may apply). If you can, always take advantage. The value of just a few (hopefully more) people that watch your presentation is far more beneficial than talking to 100+ people at your booth for a shorter period of time.


  • Refine your main message - You have a very short amount of time to convince someone to stop at your booth. Make it count.


  • Location, Location, Location - Booths go fast and location does matter. Being closer to a restroom location is prime real estate because everyone makes a beeline for the head at some point.

  • Plan for enough “grunts” - You need two-three people at your booth at all times, plan accordingly.

  • Purchase and finalize travel arrangements - Well in advance to save money on last minute surprises and risking the chance of full or overbooked flights.

Simple and Successful

By creating a trade show checklist early, you eliminate last minute surprises and expensive “fixes”. It also provides you and your staff enough time to properly plot and plan your trade show event!


~Tony Johnson