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how to make your next trade show a success -  Part I

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Part I - before the show [plan, plan, plan]

One of my favorite quotes is "Failing to plan is planning to fail." I couldn't agree more. Plan ahead for your trade show, and start early.
    1.  Determine your Purpose:  What is the purpose of exhibiting at this show? Why are you there? Are you introducing a new product or service? Are you looking for new customers? Do you just have to be seen there (if so, make it worth it).
    2.  Set Goals:  I want to meet "x" number of new prospects a day. I want to make "x" dollars in new orders each day. I want to contact "x" number of current customer and arrange to show them our amazing new widget at the show.
    3.  Make a Checklist: what do you have to do? Secure your booth space?  Order power, carpet, etc? Do you need a portable trade show display, or if you have one, is it in good working order? Do you need graphics for it? Do the graphics need to be designed? Do you need new literature? Do you need to contact current customers to let them know you'll be exhibiting at the show?
    4.  Assign Responsibility: Who has to do what? (this is really easy for a one-person exhibit)
    5.  Create a Timeline and Set Deadlines:
    6.  Pre-show Promotion: let people know you'll be there (postcards, emails, phone calls).
    7.  Create an Incentive for them to visit your booth: Consider having a drawing, or consider handing out trade show giveaways.
    8.  Plan, Plan, Plan...
    9.  See #8 above.

Part II - at the show [qualify, qualify, qualify]

Part III - after the show {follow-up, follow-up, follow-up]


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