team gathers to plan trade show
By Matt Stoffel on 09/01/2022

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Who Should Be Involved When Planning to Attend a Trade Show?

Are you planning a trade show but don’t know who needs to be in the loop? 

Gearing up for an exhibit or even organizing your first can feel daunting, stressful, and at times overwhelming. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. 

Executing a trade show is a team effort, and will need a variety of skills and expertise to be successful. 

For over 25 years Showcraft has helped clients through the seemingly overwhelming process. We specialize in going above and beyond while making the process as stress-free as possible. 

We’ll lay out the vital people to include in planning your next trade show and why their roles are important. 

Marketing (Identifying the Goals) 

Before your trade show planning process even begins, your team will need to have a goal in mind. The first members of your team to help set these goals will be your marketing department. 

This person or people will identify the main objective of attending the trade show. 

Examples could be:

  • Attracting new customers
  • Demoing a product 
  • Making a sale
  • Strengthening current relationships

Later in the planning process, once an event has been decided upon, the marketing team will also be crucial for spreading awareness. 

Along with identifying goals, the marketing department will most likely be the division interacting with the exhibit provider. 

They’ll help relay their vision, and work hand in hand with the trade show provider to successfully prepare for the event. 

This includes: 

  • Communicating the date/name of the event
  • Discussing any necessary swag
  • Approving the size, shape, and design of the booth
  • Articulating day of needs

If your marketing department has never interacted with a trade show company before, check out this resource to learn more about that process. 

Sales (Day Of) 

With the goals of the marketing department in mind, it is important that the sales team is in the know. The sales team will be your boots on the ground, making the magic happen. 

By knowing the objectives beforehand, they’ll be better prepared to execute the goals. 

Making meaningful connections the day of is useless without a good follow-up. Make sure the sales team has a method and process in place for following up with the clients they met at the event. 

If your sales team plans to rely on collecting business cards or scanning people’s name tags, make sure the information is imported to a reliable database, like a spreadsheet or CRM site, immediately following the show. 

This will ensure no potential clients get lost in the shuffle and will allow the team to turn their interactions into connections, those connections into leads, and the leads into sales. 

If you’re looking to go the extra mile, have your sales team reach out to a few new key contacts after each night of the show. These would be people they met that day at the trade show, and who they feel extra excited about continuing the conversation with. This opens the possibility of the potential client stopping by your booth the next day for a follow-up. 

Finance (ROI)  

Although it may not seem obvious at first, your finance team is just as important as any other member when it comes to trade shows. 

The finance team is crucial at the beginning and the end of your trade show process. On the front end, they’ll help determine how much your company will spend on the exhibit. 

One the back end, these key players will work closely with the sales team after the trade show has been executed. 

The sales team will help track how many connections from the event led to sales, and from there the finance department will help calculate the return on investment. 

This is why the post-show organization is so crucial. 

This is vital to show the executive team and those that set the budget that the trade show was worthwhile and an investment rather than an expense. 

 Exec (High-Level Vision) 

Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind the executive team. Depending on the size of the company the executive might be more involved in the process, but this is not always the case. 

While they might not be as hands-on as the rest of the team, it's essential to keep their vision top of mind. 

Their vision will likely be high-level, even more overarching than the goals the marketing team created. It could include pieces from the company’s mission statement or key metrics they hope to tackle this quarter with the help of the exhibit.

Start Your Trade Show Journey Today 

Beginning your trade show journey doesn’t have to be intimidating, overwhelming, or stressful. Having the right team by your side will allow you to feel confident and excited about exhibiting at your next trade show. 

Showcraft has helped thousands of clients through every step of the process. We’re reliable and trustworthy industry experts. We know how difficult trade shows can be, which is why our job is to make them as stress-free as possible. 

If you’re looking for guidance assembling your trade show team, or just have a question that needs answering, connect with one of our trade show experts

To learn more about the process of working with a trade show partner or the timeline for starting your exhibit, check out our blogs. 

Download the checklist below to learn how to ensure your next trade show runs as smoothly as possible.

4 Steps to A Stress-Free and Effective Trade Show Checklist

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