If you’re in a business where trade shows are an important part of your schedule, you probably feel the weight that comes with these events. And as beneficial as they are for your organization, it’s hard not to internalize the stress that stems from these events.
Reduce Stress With These Helpful Tips
Trade shows are rarely inconsequential. They’re typically highly impactful and profitable, or they’re a big waste of time and resources. Typically, this is where stress comes into play. You’re afraid of making bad decisions that will take the trade show from successful to destructive. But you don’t have to constantly teeter on this edge.
If you know what you’re doing, you can execute, reduces stress, and experience success on the back end. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
1. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until the final day to sign up. You should be looking nine months to a year down the road and registering as soon as you can. Once you sign up, then you immediately start to plan.
So much of the stress around trade shows is due to procrastination. When you’re up against a timer and the days are counting down, any little issue is magnified. However, by planning ahead, little issues stay small. You have time to work through them and there’s no added pressure of a ticking clock.
2. Set a Budget
It’s not enough to know how much money you have to spend on all of your events throughout the fiscal year. You need to know precisely how much you have set aside for each individual trade show. By sitting down and identifying individual budgets, you free your team up to make informed decisions with the big picture in mind.
3. Use a Modular Display
One of the more stressful aspects of a trade show is setting up and tearing down your exhibit. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and something always seems to go wrong. But have you ever considered that you might be doing it all wrong?
Instead of renting a display every time you attend a trade show, why not go with a modular trade show display that easily converts to different booth layouts based on the different requirements of the trade shows you attend? These reconfigurable booths take all of the guesswork out of what’s otherwise a finicky process.
4. Properly Pack and Ship
Packing and shipping is a huge hassle if you don’t have a concrete plan of action. This is where it pays to have rigid systems in place – and it all starts with properly filling out your bill of lading.
“Accurate and complete information is essential,” logistics expert Bill Schwar writes.
“Whether shipping to the advance warehouse or shipping directly to the show site, you must include: show name, exhibitor name, booth number, service contractor, the number of pieces, weight per piece and total weight, the payer and the target move-in date. Failure to record any of this information could result in a delay or a very inconvenient situation.”
It’s also vital that you properly pack and label shipments so they’re easily discernable. If you’re shipping to a warehouse, make sure you have a point of contact saved in your phone so that you can quickly get in touch with someone should there be problems.
5. Know the Rules
Never assume that you can do something at a trade show, simply because you’ve done it at another trade show in the past. Every event is highly unique and it’s up to you to read the rules and abide by them. A failure to do so could lead to penalties, delays, or even removal.
6. Hire Good Help
The final step to reducing trade show stress is to hire the right people. You need your best brand representatives on call. These are people who know your products inside and out, have gregarious personalities, and are willing to go all out for the benefit of the brand.
Make Your Next Trade Show a Success
The less energy and focus you waste feeling stressed and anxious, the more opportunities you have for success. Hopefully this article has provided some ammunition you can use to maximize your company’s next trade show experience.