When your trade association decides to put on a trade show, are you doing everything you can to maximize attendance and get the most from your event? If you take a look at even the longest running trade shows, you will notice that the idea of putting the “show” back into trade show has become extremely important. There are several ways that your trade association can make your trade show so exciting and dynamic to your target audience that they will simply have to attend.
Have The Proper Amount Of Staffing
Before we get into the exciting stuff, there is one bit of practical business we need to attend to. According to the American Business Media Association, your trade show is doomed from the start if you do not have enough staffing. You can create an exciting agenda in a venue that is extremely important, but if you don’t have enough staffing then your event will fall flat.
There needs to be several “take charge” type of people on your trade show floor who you trust to take care of any kind of situation. It can take a while to find the right people, but it is worth the search once you have people in place who can take care of your guests and keep your show flowing smoothly.
Allow For Plenty Of Networking
If you visit some of the newer trade shows these days, you will notice that there are areas set up on the show floor for people to meet and mingle. Normally, the networking at a trade show is done in the after-hours events and at each individual booth. But, as Patrick Hull of Forbes Magazine points out, networking is a critical part of any trade show and you must accommodate networking if you want your show to be a success.
You need to create comfortable and accessible areas where people can meet and discuss business issues. While it is up to your presenters to develop meeting areas in their own booths, it has increasingly been the responsibility of the trade association to facilitate networking during a show by giving attendees places they can go to just talk.
Be Smart With Your Timing
Your trade association appeals to a specific target audience and that target audience has a sales cycle it works with each year. The trade show experts at ProfitableTradeShow.com remind us that the most exciting trade shows take place during the down portion of an industry’s sales cycle, so plan your trade show calendar accordingly. It is impossible for your attendees to get excited about your trade show if it falls right in the middle of their busy season. But it is a little easier to get your attendees excited about your show if it comes at a time when business is down and they are all looking for more business contacts.
Other trade show elements such as hiring exciting keynote speakers and choosing a location that enhances the exciting element of your show are also critical in creating an exciting trade show. But if you want to really make your next trade show exciting, then you need to cater to your audience and give them a good reason to get really worked up about your event.