Execute the Perfect Expo with This Trade Show Checklist


09 November 2018


Trade Show

Are you heading to a trade show?

Anyone who’s ever tried putting together a public product launch knows a trade show checklist is essential to standing out. After all, your competition includes anywhere from 50-250 companies as hungry as yours.

Each one will bring passion and planning to their table. You have to assume that anyway. With that assumption in mind, here’s what your to-do list should look like.

1. Get the Budget on Paper

Any preparing for a trade show checklist should start with the finances. How much money do you have allocated for things like marketing, travel, personnel, and materials?

Will you be there for the launch of a new product? Or will your attendance be more informational in nature?

Either way, there’s going to be overheard. Will that overhead, justify the projected cost-benefit you hope to achieve from the trade show itself?

This isn’t something you should ballpark. Details reduce expenses and create profits. They also provide a benchmark for future trade show marketing efforts.

Some other benefits of budgeting include the following:

  • Ensuring you don’t overspend
  • Helping achieve profitability if you plan on selling anything
  • Providing relevant numbers for tax purposes
  • Giving you a clear idea of which spending efforts are producing the best results

And that’s just a start. You also may be able to create partnerships from these exhibitions that inform data such as the cost of customer acquisition or indirect revenue generation.

2. Make the SMART Objectives

Any trade show exhibitor checklist will need to be written in the form of objectives. Objectives are specific things you hope to accomplish in the planning, execution, and breakdown of your trade show exhibition.

But for objectives to be effective, they need to be SMART, not smart. (Okay, maybe it’s both.) By SMART, we mean:

  • Specific: Your list shouldn’t say, “Pack up all trade show materials.” It should say, “Pack booth into box truck rental.” In other words, each item or group of items should have tailored directives.
  • Measurable: You should be able to look at your objective and determine whether (and how) it was accomplished. This ensures you remember to pack the important stuff. It also helps avoid partial shipments.
  • Action-oriented: Each piece of your inventory or each goal you hope to achieve should be attached to an action verb. Think “employ,” “carry,” “ensure,” etc.
  • Realistic: Can it actually be done? Or are you trying to do too much, too quickly?
  • Time-sensitive: Being time-sensitive keeps you on track. It makes sure everything gets the level of attention it deserves.

Make sure your trade show preparation aligns with these components. Doing so will ensure all your objectives are SMART ones.

3. Learn Your Audience

Another essential step in how to prepare for a trade show is getting to know the people who will be there. Take the annual San Diego Comic-Con, for example.

Superhero, horror, and fantasy films and TV series earn billions of dollars each year. But that’s from general audience support.

The audience at Comic-Con is a lot different. A lot more, shall we say, fanatical?

Playing to their sensibilities have made Comic-Con one of the largest and most successful trade shows in the world. Exhibitors give the people what they want.

These “fanatics” create a culture of fandom that helps put whatever property they’re supporting on the radar of general consumers. Only when exhibitors fail to make that connection to the fanatics do their films/TV shows fall flat. So make sure your audience is priority number one.

4. Make Early Reservations

Content should be your primary focus. You need your attention on it early and often. So get room and space reservations out of the way early.

Determine how many are going, how many rooms you’ll need, and when you plan on arriving. It usually doesn’t cost anything to make a room reservation, especially when you get ahead of it.

5. Dot I’s and Cross T’s

What are the legal terms of your attendance? Is there anything you may be overlooking?

Don’t just assume you can show up and be good to go. Read the fine print. It’s not a bad idea to hand it off to your attorney either, especially when the contracts are written in legalese.

6. Figure out Your Materials

Will you have any tents with your logo on them? Printed marquees or business cards?

Flyers, handouts, reports, books – what will help you leave your mark so the audience doesn’t forget you after visiting 40 other booths?

Now’s the time to figure it out. Don’t be afraid to try something no one has thought of before.

7. Test Your Wares

Launching a product at the trade show? You don’t want the show itself to be the first test run you give to it.

If it’s possible for the product to break or malfunction, make sure it happens long before accepting your first customer. Do extensive testing on your advanced prototypes in the weeks or months leading up to the event.

8. Work out Installation

Any trade show exhibit will have a “storefront” of some kind. It could be a simple gateleg table or a more elaborate booth. Whatever you choose, make sure you’ve got the manpower and the timing down to get it installed so your people can get comfortable with the environment before accepting guests.

9. Select Your Reps

Ideally, your representatives will be an even mixture of competent and personable. Now that package can be hard to come by in just one employee. Do a deep assessment of your talent and make sure they complement one another.

You wouldn’t want a couple of Big Bang Theory-type programmers manning a software demonstration if they weren’t very good with people. The goal is to make the product accessible to general customers. Always keep the intention in mind.

10. Make Sure You Document It

What good is a successful trade show if you can’t blast out pictures on social media? Whether paid or organic, the exposure you can get from a few well-tagged, well-captioned photos gives you a lot more bang for your buck – and meaningful relationships – than a dozen Super Bowl ads.

11. Identify Your Neighbors (And Competitors)

Part of getting comfortable with the surroundings in which you’ll be operating is reaching out to the people around you. You’re both in a strange new setting. Even if you’re competitors, it’s not going to hurt to introduce yourself and share pleasantries while waiting for the crowds to build.

Beyond passing the time, however, identifying your neighbors and competition gives you a chance to learn from them and they from you. Watching each other work in the same environment will tell you whether it’s a positive or negative interaction, and it can give you ample ideas for next time.

12. Actively Promote Yourself on Social Media

Promoting the event is important before, during, and afterward. It’s important before for a rather obvious reason – you want people to show up.

During the event? Just as essential. That’s because you can pick up impulse traffic with your social media posts or provide updates to followers who couldn’t feasibly be at your location.

Finally, afterward is a nice time to reflect, post pictures, tag new and existing contacts, and make a new checklist of the things you’ll do the same (and differently) next year.

One final tip here is to consider building a paid marketing campaign before the event. That said, you can go a long way with organic if you bring your relationship marketing skills to the social network.

13. Bring Your A-Game to the Event

In many cases, trade shows are the biggest events of the year for a business. They’re a great way to get whatever you do in front of the people or companies who can help take them to the next level.

As such, you don’t want your B-Team working the room. As mentioned before, bring your most knowledgeable and outgoing people to the event.

But don’t stop there. Ensure they’ve prepared a list of personal objectives for the event. Make sure they get the proper rest and show up to the event in proper attire and ahead of schedule.

14. Ensure Demobilization

Finally, demobilization is an important part of the trade show experience. That’s because conference halls often limit the amount of time you have to clear out your displays and materials before they start charging past the contracted time.

Either hire a moving company ahead of time or ensure you bring along the appropriate amount of muscle to disband and transport trade show materials away from the location. And it helps to have an effective portable trade show display going into the event.

Make Your Trade Show Checklist a Priority

Your trade show checklist will be one of the most important documents you have when gearing up for a major event. The other stuff is important too – exhibits, materials, accommodations, but something inevitably will fall by the wayside if you wing it.

And while you’re here, check out our top tips to help you build a brand for your small business.

I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at Content Rally.

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Online Fundraising

5 Best Online Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

We live in what is perhaps the most unpredictable time of the century. There is a pandemic out on the streets and we have been forced to abandon our ways of interaction. Businesses have been forced to adapt almost overnight, bringing about a radical shift in operations. Nonprofits have also been forced to do the same. In just the last year the importance of fundraising platforms has risen exponentially.Fundraising has been the key to the operations of any and every nonprofit. Lately, the more commonly relied-on fundraising methods have been made redundant. A lot of nonprofits have been forced to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate ways to gather funds. Luckily the existence of an online ecosystem means that nonprofits can easily get into the middle of it and utilize the same channels to make their ends meet. Why does online fundraising work? The reason is simple; we live in times where people are willing to lend out a helping hand, anywhere, anytime. Nonprofits simply need to host events online and let their donors know that they are very much active and are trying to make a difference in their communities irrespective of the condition. Sending your message across and showing them the work you are doing can appeal to all kinds of donors.Nonprofits can quickly adapt using fundraising platforms to reach out to donors and volunteers using the same methods that businesses rely upon. These channels have now become the normal way to work through and nonprofits have realized that they also need to be malleable. The pandemic has changed our understanding of what normal is and donors will be understanding. This is why hosting events, and especially fundraisers online has shown a lot of promise.Let us look at five great ideas you can use to supercharge your online fundraising campaign. Five great online fundraising ideas 1. Peer-to-peer fundraisingThe most innovative and proven way to raise funds online is through peer-to-peer fundraising. P2P fundraising accounts for nearly a third of every online donation. The idea is to use the credibility of your donors and their contacts to gather funds for your nonprofit.A great statistic is that ¼ emails sent by P2P fundraisers to their peers result in a donation. It might seem meager, but it is staggering when you compare it to the fact that 1/1250 emails from nonprofits result in a donation.Nonprofits can encourage donors to raise funds and run campaigns on their behalf. They can enlist the help of fundraising platforms to build their campaigns and send emails to their peers. Nonprofits can set up these directly on their websites. They can even use a personal appeal and a social sharing button on their website for direct encouragement. 2. Email flash fundraiserAnother third of every donation made online comes through Emails. Yes, even in this day and age when instant messaging is the norm, E-mails more than do their part to raise funds. It is one of the older ways to gather funds and chances are your nonprofit has already finished its email fundraising campaign for the year. No worries, there are no limits to how many times you can leverage email fundraisers.A great idea would be to select a day and conduct an email fundraising blitz. You should not choose a popular day such as Tuesdays. Enough organizations are running Giving Tuesdays. Instead, choose a day that has symbolic importance to your organization or its cause. Your emails should build up a narrative that highlights your cause, the day, and a call to action. Urgency is the key and the better you express the need of the hour, the more likely you are to receive donations.You may go through: 8 High-Need Animal Shelter Donations 3. A drive for donation matching The idea behind donation matching is to encourage people to contribute, knowing that in the grand scheme of things the total donated amount will be big. Use the frenzy created by your flash email fundraising campaign to launch a drive for donation matching. You can secure a match from a company and advertise it in your email campaign.Donation matching is a good way to keep the interest afloat and to attract the younger crowd. Studies show that millennials are more likely to donate if they know companies are going to be matching their donation.Donation matching can also be used to boost a fundraiser. If there is a noticeable decline in the donations, launch a donation matching drive amid another campaign to acquire more funding. 4. CrowdfundingThere is this misconception amongst nonprofits that crowdfunding is meant only for individuals. This fact could not be further from the truth. Nonprofits can use crowdfunding to amass a wealth of funds in a very short period. They can also use crowdfunding to appeal to a whole new group of donors.Through crowdfunding, nonprofits can gather funds for specific causes and projects. Nonprofits can easily set up a page on crowdfunding sites. They also have social sharing options to further promote your cause.PRO TIP: Before you choose a crowdfunding site, check if they have an easy-to-use UI, integration with compatible software, a mobile-friendly page, and space to tell your story. 5. Prospect researchWhile this may not qualify as an idea as such, prospect research can help you land big philanthropists for your donation pool. Nonprofits can conduct thorough research to identify prospective donors. Doing so can help them focus on donors that can make a difference.Prospect research is especially important when it comes to online donors. The reason for that is online donations come in small amounts and it is hard to identify which donors can contribute in a big way. Research can help you land bigger donations. Final Thoughts These are just some of the ways you can maximize your donation pool through online fundraisers. By using the right tools and strategies your nonprofit will be back on its feet and perhaps, even run better than it did before.Read Also:Turn The Tables For Helpless Children With Car Donation In New Jersey

Funeral Director

How To Choose A Funeral Director?

Choosing a funeral director is not a shopping task that any sensible person would enjoy undertaking. But choosing the right professional for the occasion will help save time, money, and stress when emotions are already running high. There are many things to look for in a good funeral director on the market. Your research plays an important part in this regard. Here are some tips to consider when choosing a reputable funeral director in town.The fee charged by the funeral service should cover all the standard features of a contemporary funeral.  Besides, there are additional extras that you could request depending on your needs and budget. The service should usually include the coffin, the hearse, and the service itself. It may also include the collection, preparation, and transportation of the deceased. But the cost involved in embalming the body isn't included in the fee. Here are some other things that you need to check with the funeral director.The cost involved in arranging a funeral procession The cost of religious officials Do they offer payment plans or do you need to pay upfront? Whether you get a basic coffin or an eco-friendly coffin for the cost of the packageFinding the right price that matches your needs and budget is important when choosing a good funeral director. In fact, the average funeral cost is almost double compared to the amount you had to pay 5-7 years ago. Since more than 75% of the funerals in the country are cremations, the option might be more cost-effective than a burial. Most clients go with word of mouth and recommendations from someone they trust while there are some who prefer to shop around when choosing a good funeral service in town. No matter what method you use to find a reputable service provider, you should make sure to perform the necessary research involved in choosing the best candidate for the process. That will help save both your time and money.The best thing is to look for a funeral director service with a membership of a trade organization such as the AFDA - Australian Funeral Directors Association.  A professional director will be in touch with the client before the funeral as well as on the day of the funeral. They should offer support and reassurance while dealing with the necessary paperwork. They should see that all the wishes of the client and the deceased are carried out according to the plan. The client may not be in a position to pay attention to every detail of the process considering the emotional state he or she is in. That is why it is important to choose a professional and experienced funeral director service at all times. Such a service is in a better position to deal with all the intricacies of the situation.The aforementioned article provides information on what you should look for when choosing a reliable funeral director in town.Read Also:Amid The Grief, Pick The Right Funeral Home Questions To Ask A Psychologist Before Hiring One Send Flowers To Congratulate Your Dear Ones On Their Achievements


Can I Make My Own Headstone?

When you lose a loved one, it’s hard to know what to do next. One of the most important decisions you will make is sorting through all the headstone designs to pick the right one. This may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about memorial headstones, from whether or not you can make your own, to things to consider before purchasing materials.Can You Make Your Own?The answer is yes, you can make your headstone, but there are a few things to consider before doing so. When making your own headstone, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.The type of stone you use, the size, the weight of the stone, the design of the headstone, and the inscription are all important factors that will affect the cost and appearance of your headstone. Let’s look at each of these factors.The Size and Weight of the StoneThe size and weight of the stone you use will depend on the type of stone and the size of the grave.There are many factors to consider when choosing the size and weight of a headstone, but the most important is the type of stone. Granite is the heaviest type of stone, so it is best suited for larger graves. Marble is a lighter type of stone, often used for smaller graves. Limestone is the lightest type of stone, so it is best suited for cremation urns or other small memorials.The weight of the stone is also a factor to consider. Heavier stones will require sturdier bases, which can add to the cost. Lighter stones are easier to install, but they may not be as durable in high winds or other severe weather.The size of the grave is another important factor to consider. If the grave is too small, there may not be enough room for a headstone. If the grave is too large, the headstone may look out of proportion. It is important to measure the grave before making a headstone to ensure that it will fit properly.The Design of the HeadstoneThere are many design options for headstones, but the most common are traditional, modern, and personalized.We typically make traditional headstones from granite or marble and feature simple designs such as crosses or angels. We often make modern headstones from limestone or other less expensive materials that can feature more intricate designs.Personalized headstones are becoming increasingly popular and can be made from any material. We can customize them with images, symbols, or text that are meaningful to the deceased or their family.The InscriptionThe most important part of a headstone is the inscription. This is what future generations will read about what is there and is the best way to remember and honor your loved one. There are many ways to personalize an inscription. The most important thing is to choose something that will have meaning for you and your family.The CostIf you're looking to save a little money on the cost of a headstone, you may be considering making your own. However, this is not a decision to be made lightly. For starters, you'll need to have a good understanding of the materials involved and the process of creating a headstone. You'll also need to factor in the cost of tools and supplies.The average cost of making your own headstone can range anywhere from $600 to $3,000. The size, weight, and design of the headstone will all play a role in the final price. For example, a traditional headstone made of granite will be on the higher end of the price range, while a smaller headstone may be on the lower end.Types of StoneGranite is the most popular type of stone for headstones because it is durable and comes in a variety of colors. Marble is also a popular choice because it is elegant and can be carved into intricate designs. Limestone is less popular than granite and marble, but it is still a good option for those who want a more affordable headstone.DesignWhen it comes to designing your headstone, there are many options to choose from. The three most common designs are traditional, modern, and personalized.Traditional headstone designs are typically rectangular or oval and feature classical motifs, such as crosses or angels. Modern headstone designs are often more abstract and can include features such as geometric shapes or nature scenes.Personalized headstone designs are those that are unique to the individual and can include anything from a favorite hobby or interest to a photograph or design that represents the person’s life.InscriptionThere are many things to consider when deciding what to put on your headstone. The most important thing is to keep it short and sweet. You want people to be able to read it easily and understand what it says.Some things you may want to include are:Your nameDates of birth and deathA brief message or quoteAn image or symbolRemember, the inscription is meant to be a lasting tribute to your life, so take some time to think about what you want to say. If you need help, many companies offer headstone design and inscription services.ConclusionMaking your headstone is a great way to personalize your grave, but there are a few things to consider before doing so. The most important thing to consider is the cost, as headstones can be expensive. You should also think about the size and weight of the stone, as well as the design. The inscription on the headstone should be short and to the point. Keep these things in mind when making your decision, and you will be sure to create the perfect headstone for your needs.Additionals:Why Engraved Gifts Are the Perfect Gifts to Show That You Care