- Determine your purpose for exhibiting.
- Determine your strategy.
- Figure out what show or conference to attend based on type and number of attendees and exhibit fee.
- Get your booth display items ordered (banners, handouts, equipment, drawing box and forms, etc)
- Arrange manpower needed.
- Before the event, set up your booth.
- After the event, take down your booth.
- Get the drawing prizes delivered.
- Go through the contacts received and follow up as mentioned by Joseph. I call for appointments or send email newsletters.
- Determine whether this event is worthwhile attending again.
• I prefer to do exhibits at conferences for my primary target market, libraries, as this is the most cost and time effective but I also exhibit at events with teachers for exposure.
• My purpose for exhibiting is to get names, contact info and permission to contact potential customers. (I do give short demos but many attendees are on time restrictions.)
• I have drawings at my table and the prizes are attractive logo bags filled with books. My drawing form asks for: name, school, phone, email, asks if they buy books, asks if ok to contact, asks if ok to send email newsletters on new products and specials. The prizes are also an indirect form of advertising as the bag has my company info and the books are samples of what I sell.
• My display consists of my company banner, display stands with books, PC (to demo audio e-books), the prominent drawing box, entry forms and pens around the table. I give out a one page list of the companies I represent and the buying terms if people want them and give out book catalogs only upon request. Like Michael, I found giving away catalogs to everyone in effective.
o A versatile attractive banner that can be used in the front of the exhibit table or hung as a back drop is good.
o I leave the $1 Office Max pens out to complete drawing forms as any other good/attractive pen will walk away immediately.
• For small (couple hundred people) events, I man the exhibit myself as I stand in front of my booth and ask people if they want to enter my drawing. But when I do have detailed discussions, the pens and drawing forms are set out around the entire exhibit so people can fill out the forms themselves. For large (thousands) events, I get help for the times when the exhibits will be packed. Since asking teachers to enter the drawing is easy to do, I had high school students help at the last teacher event and that worked out well.