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Planning for your trade show is comparable to planning a mini business strategy. Stick to your objectives.

by Nomadic Display 11. June 2010 02:06
Planning for your trade show is comparable to planning a mini business strategy. At the front end you set your objectives and sort out the finances. When it comes to setting objectives for exhibiting, we all know they should be measurable and achievable, but turning those goals into an action plan that you can follow and stick to is key. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the logistics of just getting to the show and being there. Then your objectives can get lost in the excitement and your budget is ignored.

There are five broad objectives that you can have when exhibiting:
• Sales
• Building relationships
• Market research
• Brand building
• Media relations

There is no harm compiling a comprehensive list of goals but you must prioritize them and make them quantifiable. For instance, if one of your goals is to build relationships with existing customers, then set a target number you wish to invite, meet at the show and benchmark the progress you want to make with them. Produce a step by step plan for each objective and check your progress along the way.

Make sure your activity matches your objectives and budget. You can’t set numerous and overly ambitious objectives if you are working on a shoe string. However, the size of your budget will not dictate the success of your show. Often, if you are working to a tight budget you keep a closer eye on expenditure and it is easier to achieve a higher return on investment from a lower cost base.

Stick to your guns and don’t move your goal posts. Track and record your results to give you something to measure against and beat next time. Remember to make your objectives work within the constraints of your budget, don’t make your budget constrain your objectives.

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