Tradeshow Checklist

Why is a Tradeshow Checklist imporant?

A tradeshow checklist is a valuable organisational tool that ensures all plans, tasks and requirements are completed in a fashion that meets the goals and budget of the tradeshow. Completing a tradeshow checklist helps to confirm that all preparations and responsibilities are seen through.

Here is a useful table that will check off all requirements that need to be completed before the show and during the show.

Before the show

Pre-Show Comments Due Date Owner Notes
Select your show space and booth size Evaluate traffic patterns, competitors, etc.
Determine show goals Identify the primary purpose, and rank secondary purposes, for attending the show. Be specific: number of sales orders taken, leads generated, press interviewed.
Create a show budget Be sure to include a "slush" fund for those emergencies that ALWAYS crop up.
Draft an Exhibit Space Plan and determine signage, graphics, utility, furniture needs, etc. Focus on the spatial planning and what graphics (sizes, shapes, etc.) you need, not on the actual visuals at this stage.
Develop your 30 second "pitch" Make sure you have a 50-word statement to introduce your company and one for each product/service you plan to pitch.
Determine your staffing needs and booth schedule requirements Make sure you have enough staff to handle the flow, but not so full with your staff there is no room for customers and prospects!
Decide what show materials you will need Keep show literature to a min. Instead, send after the show (many attendees throw out materials as they leave due to travel needs).
Order your tradeshow promotional items Giveaways are important booth traffic builders, but require each attendee answer at least some qualification questions before they receive their gift. Let them know they will receive the gift no matter their answer to keep the qualification valid and accurate.
Finalise travel arrangements Double check reservations and create a master list for all attendees’ reference (contact numbers, itinerary, etc.)
Determine your onsite lead development and sales follow-up processes Consider using a lead form with qualifying questions that every visitor completes or has completed for them. Where do business cards go? How do we progress them to a meeting?
Package all items to ship to show
Hold Staff Training session Make sure your training includes role-play demos or pitches for all staff AND is not so far out they forget.
Booth set-up If you have hired labor, stay onsite at all times to make sure your labor hours are best utilised. If you are setting up your space yourself, be sure you have set aside enough time to account for freight delays and other possible hiccups.

During the show

During Show Comments Due Date Owner Notes
Conduct daily "kick off" meetings Be sure everyone (including management) attends to review previous day’s results and that day’s schedule/goals.
Check press room Ensure you have enough press kits in the press room
Run through your onsite promotional plan and validate everything is in place If you have purchased advertising in the show guide, verify it is there.
Take photos Use your digital camera to capture your own booth presence for future reference, but also your competitors and other exhibits you especially liked, or disliked.
Identify key prospects Each day determine the key prospects that you want to follow up after the tradeshow.
Arrange/Handle booth dismantle Note broken pieces and discard on show floor to avoid shipping cost.
Process leads Update CRM with new contacts and code key prospects for follow up.
Submit trip reports It is a good idea to have each staff member submit a trip report soon after they return from the conference, while the knowledge they’ve gained is fresh in their minds.