The Trade Group® is the authority when it comes to executing flawless trade shows and understanding how to maximize your trade show investment. Not only do we understand the importance of exhibit design, we intimately understand what it takes to get the right people to your exhibit, all the while measuring and proving your return on investment. We share some of this knowledge, gained from working with hundreds of exhibitors, in the following white papers and research reports. These resources give exhibitors valuable insight into different areas of exhibiting that pose a challenge for even the savviest exhibitors.



Setting Effectual Goals and Objectives

Malcolm Forbes has been known for saying, “If you don’t know what you want to do, it’s harder to do it.” This is especially true in the trade show arena. Just apply the same principle to your personal life: Would you drive around aimlessly in unfamiliar territory without any directions or a roadmap to help you reach your final destination? Probably not. Yet all too often exhibitors participate in show after show without developing a roadmap for success, neglecting one of the most critical parts of trade show planning— setting reasonable and measurable objectives.

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Designing Exhibits to Support Your Goals

In the previous installment of the Trade Show 101 White Paper Series, “Hitting the Mark: Setting Effectual Goals and Objectives™,” we explored five of the most common goals established for effectively monitoring and evaluating the success of trade shows. In this installment we will review how exhibit design plays a role in reaching those trade show goals and objectives.

A common misconception promoted by the exhibit industry is that your trade show exhibit’s main purpose is to “stop traffic on the show floor.” Once again, we must examine the validity of this statement by looking through the filter of goals. The fact is that the exhibit is but one important facet of an effective trade show strategy. When combined with pre-show, at show and post-show activities, your exhibit can help you achieve your trade show goals, but the process can’t be started until those goals are clearly defined.

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Proving Trade Show ROI

Well, the show has successfully concluded. The trade show goals you and your team established aligned with those of the company, you determined how you were going to measure success, you designed and executed a flawless pre-show marketing strategy, your team was polished and effective on the showroom floor and your post-show strategy and execution was seamless. If you’re like some exhibitors, you’ll step back from the masterpiece in which you just created and let out a big sigh of relief. If you’re like other exhibitors, however, you know the real battle has yet to begin. Now it’s time to prove to your executives that your tradeshow investment can not only be justified, but warrants an increase in next year’s tradeshow budget (or better yet, a raise for a job well done).

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Pre-Show Tactics Build Foundation for Success

As we uncovered in the most recent chapter of the Trade Show 101 White Paper Series, “Designing Exhibits to Support Trade Show Goals™,” the best way to accomplish these goals, in addition to building a solid pre-, at- and post-show strategy, is by designing an exhibit that effectively communicates your brand and effortlessly relays your message to your target audience. If your message is communicated clearly, staff members will ideally spend less time qualifying traffic and more time solving prospects’ business pains.

Now that we have established goals and objectives and identified our priorities for the show, let’s review different pre-show tactics that will help us accomplish our goals.

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Walk an Exhibition in Their Shoes

This white paper was designed to help exhibitors understand what attendees expect from you as an exhibitor (and your exhibit) when they visit a trade show so that you can better prepare your staff and company to handle the needs and requirements of every attendee with whom you interact. Research indicates that many exhibitors, particularly exhibitors
at high tech shows, are missing the mark when it comes to providing attendees with the experience they hope to receive while at trade shows. Those organizations that have uncovered the key to meeting expectations are experiencing significantly better results at each show because they are listening to attendees and giving them what they want.

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Booth Staff Boot Camp

As most exhibitors know, trade shows and events oftentimes consume a significant portion of a marketing or sales budget. Aside from the considerable financial resources that are pumped into each event, companies are also forced to invest a great deal of time preparing (travel, hotel, freight, exhibit setup, etc.) for a show to ensure everything is perfect prior to heading out to the event. However, recent studies have shown that very few companies take the time to prepare their staff to effectively manage and execute the show they are scheduled to attend.

Over the years, companies have actually been decreasing their level of pre-event training at a staggering rate. This white paper offers exhibitors a comprehensive guide and useful tips they can use to train booth staff on how to represent their organization in the best light and effectively reach the business’s trade show goals.

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Effective Post-Show Activities

Companies and their exhibitors invest resources (human capital, financial and time) in trade shows and events every year with the sole intention of turning that investment into
a profitable gain. It should go without saying that the more profitable the investment, the better. And in turn, the more significant the return on investment, the more likely and willing those companies and exhibitors are to invest even more resources in additional shows and events.

Unfortunately, however, most companies in the U.S. leave money on the table every time they attend a show. Rarely, if ever, do attendees pull out the company credit card to make a purchase on the showroom floor, especially when the product or service is a big- ticket item. The transaction takes place after the show, and that’s when companies fail.

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Digital Marketing and PR for Trade Shows and Events

If you think about it, trade shows and the Internet have a lot in common. They’re both crowded. It’s difficult to make yourself and your brand stand out. Especially with the introduction of new technology, you have to be innovative and creative to be noticed – yes, I’m still talking about both trade shows and the Internet.

With more and more people turning to the Internet for the majority of their information, digital PR for trade shows is more important now than ever before.

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Simplifying Global Exhibiting

Maybe you’re considering exhibiting internationally; perhaps you’ve participated as an attendee or even exhibited at a few global exhibitions that are important to your industry. Whatever the level of experience, the task of exhibiting in a foreign country is most likely confusing, if not hugely daunting for most. In this white paper, we’ll take a closer look at overcoming some of the challenges that can allow you to take advantage of the great opportunity of exhibiting globally.

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