The key to planning a successful trade show expo is securing the right exhibitors for your event. However, finding these exhibitors can be overwhelming and difficult, especially with so many events to compete with. Here are three tips to attract and book the best exhibitors for your event:
1. Know Your Audience
When you first start planning your trade show, make sure to clearly identify the audience you’re trying to reach. Your goal as an organizer should be to help your exhibitors and attendees connect. To accomplish this, you have to know who those exhibitors and guests will likely be and what they’re looking to get out of your show. Conduct research on each group and create a plan to fulfill their unique goals. Offer special packages and invite industry experts as guest speakers to attract and intrigue your audience. Your goals should be mapped out in a marketing plan that outlines how you will reach your audience through industry networks, social media, email campaigns, and other communication tools.
2. Scheduling Dates
Once you know the type of exhibitors you're looking to attract, it’s important to pick a date that complements their annual schedule of activities. For example, if you’re planning a retail trade show, schedule it early enough that relationships and deals developed from the show can be executed before the fourth quarter of the year. Avoid holidays and dates around related trade shows to minimize competition with other events, vacation conflicts, and busy periods of the year in that industry.
Location, venue size, and site amenities are key to attracting the right exhibitors to your show. If you’re looking to attract the crowd with convenience, choose a location that minimizes travel time and is easily accessible to the majority of your attendees. Again, if you're planning a retail show, places like New York or Los Angeles would be ideal because they're centers for those industries. If you want to wow your exhibitors and attendees with fun attractions and activities, consider cities like Las Vegas or Orlando that provide endless possibilities during the off-hours of the show. Make sure your venue size can adequately hold the volume of guests you're expecting without being over or under-crowded. Venue amenities to look for include free parking, free event marketing, and catering services.
Overall, finding the right exhibitors may be daunting at first, but once you know who you're looking to work with, you'll be able to identify and deliver the event experience that will bring them in and keep them coming back.
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