Last weekend we were working with FaktorTel on setting up their funky new trade show display stand at CeBIT – a leading business technology show that is currently underway at Homebush Showgrounds. In the last few days of the trade show marketing and management process prior to the trade show starting, most of the organising should be done. However, here are some of the final things you should be considering in the final lead up to your trade show;

1. Pre-Show Marketing – The pre-show marketing should be successfully reaching the end. Aside from any last minute reminders, all the advertising and campaigns have gone out and hopefully done their jobs to build brand awareness and get the trade show stand on the “must see” list for visitors. Though of course your Social Media and other marketing efforts can continue throughout the show so maybe schedule ahead some posts that can go out when you are on the stand or be ready to post on your mobile devices from the show.

2. Exhibition / Trade show Stand Summary – We find a trade show summary or run sheet is invaluable for the smooth running and organisation of any trade show stand. Not only as a last minute check list to make sure everything is done but also so that you have a complete summary of everything to do with your trade show stand which you can print and take with you to the bump in. Here’s some things to include in your trade show stand summary – event details, bump in/out, set up, freight/logistics, utilities, catering, parking, stand display, stand layout, promotions/attractions/offers, collateral, audio visual, staffing, uniforms, furniture hire, key contacts, any details that could be required for the running of the trade show stand. Put together a Trade Show Toolkit for yourself including things like packing tape, masking tape, duct tape, scissors, Velcro dots/strips, pens, blue tac and key tools like hammers, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches etc. No matter how organised you are inevitably something doesn’t go to plan and you never know what you might need so it’s always good to be prepared and have everything on hand.

3. Bump In – you should be getting ready to bump in (move in). Double check with stand builders, rigging companies, freight and any other suppliers just prior to bump in that everything is on track for your trade show stand set up so you are prepared early if a problem looks like it is on the horizon. Make sure your staff know who has to be at bump in, when and where it is on, what to wear including any special bump in requirement like a high visability vest, where to park, what to bring to the stand and what is being delivered. Send a copy of the trade show stand summary and any other trade show project management information such as a freight list, trade show stand utilities map etc to everyone attending bump in so they know what is going on, but always print and bring a hard copy along on the day so it is on hand. Try to do bump in as early as possible so you have time to deal with any last minute items that are forgotten or need fixing.

4. Trade show Sales Staff Training – hold a tradeshow staff briefing for anyone that will be manning the stand – show them what the display will be like and how it will work, what equipment is on it and how to use it, explain any show offers/promotions and/or competitions and provide copies of any collateral. Don’t forget to provide contact details for the tradeshow stand organiser and a staff roster so they know when to be there as well as any uniform they may require. Finally give some tips on trade show sales and how to engage visitors, talk through the trade show strategy and key messages so that everyone knows what to say and what you are trying to achieve.

The key to a smooth, successful roll out of your trade show stand is planning, organisation and communication. Plan it well, undertake detailed organisation, communicate clearly with everyone so they know what is going and double check everything. Then kick off your trade show and have fun because visitors are attracted to trade show stands that present well and look like they are happy to be there.