Before you head to your next trade show, you need to be certain you have properly defined your trade show goals and identified your target audience. By addressing these two factors early in the planning process, you will be setting yourself up for success.


Clearly Define your Goals and Objectives

A successful trade show booth doesn’t happen by accident. Before you can build and run one, you must know your goals and objectives. These will dictate the way in which you build your booth.

Some trade shows and trade show booths will build awareness of your company or your product and service. This requires a clear presentation that draws attention, but it doesn’t require an area for selling. You’ll also need to find a way to track your success, such as through newsletter or email signups or through giving out free samples.

Other booths may be designed to sign new clients or sell products. In that case, you will need an area for your team members to meet with attendees to create sales contracts and similar documents. Again, your goal has a direct impact on your designs.

Knowing details about your target audience is also important. Having goals, but failing to align those goals with the target demographic is a recipe for failure. Optimize your objectives, your booth design and your strategies to the needs of your target audience.


Critical Questions You Must Answer

Before you head to your next trade show, make sure you have planned properly by asking yourself the following questions:


THE WHO: First, decide who you are trying to appeal to. This answer goes beyond a simple “customers” answer. Are they new customers or existing customers? Are they people who have heard of your brand, or not? Are they people who are at the event ready to make a purchase, or people who are gathering information?

Having a clear image of your ideal customer will give you the right direction for your efforts. When that target customer walks into your trade show booth, you will be well prepared to present your product to them.


THE WHY: Why are you going to the trade show? What do you hope to walk away with at the end of the event?

There are many potential answers to this particular question. While the obvious answer may be sales, that is not always the only reason to go to a trade show. If your industry has a high-ticket item or offers a service, you may not make a sale at your next event, but that doesn’t mean the event wasn't worthwhile.

You may be heading to your event looking to generate brand awareness about your product or service. In this case, your success is going to have a very different measure.

Another potential “why” is to brand yourself as an authority in your industry. If you are hoping to become an authority, and your brand doesn’t have a presence at an industry-specific trade show that is well attended, you may miss your mark.

Your “Why” will help you with your planning, so take some time to answer it.


THE WHAT: The “what” about trade show booths is closely tied to the “why.” The “why” is your goal, and the “what” is how you will determine if you meet that goal.

If your goal is sales, then the “what” would be the sales that you bring in. If your “what” is new clients for a service-based industry, then new clients will be your metric. If your goal is brand awareness, then you would need to have a “what” that defines how you would measure that, such as customer surveys after the event.


Find the Right Exhibit House

As you contemplate your trade show goals and your target audience, don’t forget the importance of your exhibit house. Exhibit Options has the experience and knowledge you need to create a successful trade show booth that will help you meet your goals. Reach out to our team today to start discussing your objectives and make a plan for a trade show booth that will help you meet them.