5 Key Questions to Answer When Building an Award-Winning Trade Show Program

BMA People's Choice Award


Imagine you are a newspaper reporter who’s on the tradeshow beat. With the heat of a vitally important deadline breathing down your neck, you stare at an empty screen. Tick toc, you’re already sweating and can’t seem to get your creative juices flowing. What to do? What to do? What to do?

In times like these it’s best to pause, take a deep breath and, with a tip of the hat to that harmonizing Von Trapp family, start at the very beginning. Whether you are a journalist or a tradeshow event manager running a portfolio of 150 tradeshows each year and it’s time get that event strategy finished and out the door: pause for a moment and then kick into high gear with the five W’s and one excellent H. That’s right. Ask and answer the all-important newspaper reporting questions: Who, what, where, when, why and, the leader of the pack, how.

WHO is your target audience? Yes, there will be loads of people there but, truth be told, not all of them matter to the same degree. You can’t be all things to all people or please everyone. Those who matter most are your target audience. Hop in their shoes for just a moment: What do they need? What are their pain points? Remember, while you may have a fantastic brand with a great story to tell – this tradeshow is not about you. Who is your target audience, what matters to them?

WHAT is your strategy? What are you trying to accomplish? It is building brand awareness? Is it launching a new product or service? Is it gathering key measurable data? Qualified leads? Be specific. With a clear strategy in mind, where can you make the most impact? Is it through engaging technologies and dazzling a/v rentals? Compelling interactive multimedia? Consider your overall campaign, your messaging and possible touch points. What are your deliverables? From media and PR to a dedicated online presence either through your brand or company website or, more specifically, a show-specific micro-site or landing pages, you can tie your message to add value to the overall campaign.

WHEN should you take action and execute? Circling back to the objective and strategy is sure to answer the question: What is it you want to get out of the tradeshow or event experience? Clarify and tighten your objectives. Be clear. Be specific and outline your plan of action: Pre-show or pre-event, what action will you take before the event to support your objectives? During the event or tradeshow, what action will you take? How will you draw and capture the attention of your target audience? (Reminder, ask and answer the question: What matters to them?) And post-event or post-show, how will you keep the momentum going?

WHY are you participating in the first place? Circle back to strategy. What are you trying to accomplish and why? Are you aiming for lead retrieval and data capture, to harness the potential from key interactions?

And last but certainly not least, the all-important… How.

HOW do you plan to execute? With a solid tradeshow marketing strategy in place, how do you plan to execute? What steps do you need to take to travel down the road to Trade Show program success?

Working in partnership with leading global brands for more than 30 years, 2020 Exhibits knows exactly what to do – starting from the very beginning through to the very end. Let us help your brand and your business increase engagement, make an unforgettable impact and inspire your clients, customers and prospects to take action. Ready? Set? Let us help you today.