Thriving at Trade Shows: Reserving a Space
Participating in a trade show is more than the space you occupy. The area you rent becomes a reflection of your business. It is an advertising piece in the marketing plan for your company. Talking points and ideals you project within that footprint must meet the standards of your organization.
Let's assume you have done your due diligence and found a trade show that is right for your business. Before you reserve the space, there are a few things you need to know so you can adequately prepare. Don't make assumptions about what comes with your payment; make sure you understand the details and ask questions if you are uncertain.
You do not want to show up the day of the event and find out you were supposed to bring a table or worse; the location is not the size you thought it would be. This type of error is easily avoided if you ask the right questions and pay attention to details when doing your research.
Here are some typical questions;
- How big is the space?
- Is the table included?
- Are chairs included?
- Is there an additional cost for electricity?
- Is wi-fi available, and does it cost extra?
- What is the map of traffic flow?
- Are food and drink allowed in the venue?
These items can influence what you do with your area and make a difference in how to design your layout. Some also affect what to expect from a consumer's point of view. Having a payment portal is a convenient way to close a deal, but worthless if there isn’t any wi-fi!
Missing any of this information can cost you extra time and money, especially if you wait until your arrival at the event. If you are expecting a table and chairs and find out they don’t have any, it can be a scramble to find a rental at the last minute. Consider the time involved in driving to pick something up or having something delivered instead of working on your display. Making last-minute adjustments like this are significant, and everything gets pushed back while you rush to be ready on time. The stress carries over to your first hour or so, and potential clients feel the tension as you try and get grounded again. It's a horrible way to start a show.
Asking questions ahead of time will lead you in the right direction for a successful show. Planning is an essential part of any business, especially when you go “live." Trade shows are a fantastic way to promote your company if done correctly. Just remember, this is all about relationship building, and first impressions count. So be on track for success with proper preparation.
This article is the third in a series of Thriving at Trade Shows as we prepare for the 2020 Alternative Health Expo. Check back weekly for new tips on how you can optimize the experience and make your participation a success!
Kathie Fingerson is the founder of Healers of the Valley and the Alternative Health Expo. This event attracts thousands of visitors each spring in Grand Junction, CO. See more tips on creating a successful expo experience, click here.
The Alternative Health Expo is growing into a destination event for our community. Our March 2019 event was a huge success with around 4000 visitors! E.P.I.C.™ Grand Valley magazine launched their first issue, a wonderful publication dedicated to Empowering People and Inspiring Community. Everyone had a great time and learned about lots of new and exciting healing techniques.