When you decide it is time to participate in tradeshows, there are several factors to consider, and location of the event is a big one. It can be disheartening to invest in products, promotions, and samples then end up marketing to the other vendors because there are so few visitors!
How the venue is promoted is just one aspect of the likelihood for success. In today's digital age it is impossible to be everywhere for everyone. I have spent thousands of dollars promoting an event, and still had visitors tell me I did not advertise well because they didn't see anything about it ahead of time!! This was with TV, radio, social media, billboards, magazines, and print in place months and weeks prior.
The important thing is, they were there visiting! So how did they find us if they didn't know? The event was held in a place with good foot-traffic on main roads, yet this is a just one critical piece of the success story.
When looking at a tradeshow to participate in, look for the additional criteria;
- Is it well-known in the area? Locals will make up 90% of the flow-through traffic.
- Is the event or the signage going to be visible to those walking by? Events held in hotels or office buildings may not be as noticeable if the signage or crowd-flow can't be seen.
- Is the venue known to hold events? Past visitors will look to see what is coming up. If the venue is known for things that are at odds, or completely different than your tradeshow, the wrong clientele are seeing the notifications. This is overcome if the venue is known specifically as an event location, such as a convention center.
- What is parking like? There should be adequate parking for vendors and visitors with disabled parking available. If the parking is not convenient, the foot-traffic drops significantly. It is the impulse shopper that will take advantage of open parking and a well-located event.
- Accessibility is key. Do visitors have to maneuver stairs, elevators, or other obstacles to reach the vendors? The less they have to go through, the more likely they are to come in.
- Requirements and restrictions. Are there obstacles in place that will prevent or hinder the way you want to interact with visitors? You need to know ahead of time or you may have an unpleasant surprise as you start setting up. If your product involves food samples and the venue does not allow that, you've wasted time and money.
- What is the history of the promoter and their events? How many times have they done this? Were past events successful? These are important questions to determine your chances of achieving your objectives.
- What is the cost? How does the cost of the booth compare to other events at this venue? Compare apples to apples; space size and inclusions such as wi-fi, electric, tables, linens, and space separators. What will it take to reach your financial objective? If you are looking to introduce your brand or company, what is the target goal for handing out literature and talking to potential customers? If you are selling a product, what do you need to sell to be profitable? Does your product price range fit with the expected visitor disposable-income?
As you can see, there is more to participating in a tradeshow than just showing up. Planning ahead can save you time, money, and frustration. It can be worthwhile to have a good strategy months ahead of time and then find the perfect venue to bring those plans to fruition.
If you would like to have a tradeshow strategy, contact us for a free 30-minute consultation, we would love to help you create the perfect plan to achieve your goals! firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-639-0819.
Kathie Fingerson 12/21/17