Vendors Saves Time,
Money and Stress
Peter Eberly, Director
Product and Vertical Marketing
If you’re anything like most marketing or human resources professionals, you deal with significant competing forces for your time. Shrinking budgets and a smaller team may have left you reeling from additional responsibilities — including planning, executing and managing your company’s presence at a huge trade show.
Unless you’re a full-time event planner, this kind of responsibility can be overwhelming. Trade shows are priceless opportunities to share your brand and message with a targeted and highly engaged audience. And they are a huge company investment. As we mentioned in earlier posts, in the U.S. alone, trade shows generate almost $13 billion annually. Depending on the show’s size, expenses related to exhibit fees, giveaways, booth creation and design, storage and shipping can add up to thousands of dollars to ensure a successful presence.
Consequently, if you’re in charge of your company’s trade show exhibit, you want to ensure flawless execution. You have one opportunity to get things exactly right. No pressure!
Take heart. There are companies that can help you pull off the ideal trade show experience. And while they certainly can help at the last minute, building a relationship with a trusted partner early on can help ensure your trade show success.
Finding the right partner is critical. Look for a company with extensive trade show experience and the ability to help your team develop messaging, design a showstopping booth and create a communication plan to drive engagement before, during and after the show. In addition to being able to handle traditional communications, your partner organization should also be experts in leveraging digital communications such as email, mobile, website, augmented reality and data analysis solutions.
What specifically should the vendor be able to provide? A coordinated, immersive experience for your brand at all three phases of the event life cycle.
- Before the show: Event promotions, awareness campaigns, incentive programs and logistical communications
- At the show: Booths and signage, brand collateral, educational materials, giveaways, demand activation tools and customer appreciation messaging
- After the show: Contact follow through, brand reinforcement messaging, feedback gathering, prize administration and distribution
Make sure to get leadership sign-off for proposed messaging at your trade show booth. Changing messaging — even small changes — can be costly. Often vendors will have to recreate entire booth panels to accommodate messaging changes.
Choosing the best partner
Still not sure where to begin? At minimum, consider these factors about prospective partners:
- Experience, including years in business
- Financial solvency
- Track record for delivery
- Security policies, especially if the vendor will ship and store your exhibit materials
- Contract details, including fines
- Verification of insurance
- National footprint or strategically located warehouse or distribution network
- Ability to scale or expand
- Ease of working with point of contact and team executing event
- Effective problem solving and conflict resolution
For a more detailed list of what to look for when choosing a vendor, check out our checklist.
By simplifying and streamlining your trade show experience, your partner should reduce your stress and risk and ensure the return on investment your leadership team expects. Outsourcing key services will ensure you can focus on delivering your message in the most effective way possible.