Exhibiting at IPC APEX EXPO 2024?

Here’s how to get the most from your trade show dollars

So many times, people/companies spend a small fortune exhibiting at trade shows like this IPC APEX EXPO 2024 when they have no idea why they are going, what they are going to do there and what they expect to accomplish at the show. That is plain dumb. You have to have a plan, man! You have to know what you’re going to the show for, and what will happen when you get there. You have to set goals and you have to make sure that you achieve those goals.

The first thing is to know exactly why you are invested in exhibiting at IPC Apex Expo 2024. If this is your first time exhibiting I am assuming that you have scouted the show out. I hope that you have walked the show previously to make sure that the right people- the right connections for your company’s products and services are there to begin with. 

Look if you’re flying into California to attend this show and you’re bringing in some of your teammates as well, chances are you are going to be spending fifteen or twenty thousand big ones on the travel, the hotels, the booth, and the space. Now that is a pretty good investment. And just like any other investment you’d better know why you are investing.

Just to help you out and to make sure that you squeeze every penny’s worth out of every one of those twenty thousand bucks here are sixteen things you need to do:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define specific, measurable objectives for attending the trade show, whether it’s generating leads, networking, or launching a new product.
  2. Pre-Show Marketing: This is key. Tell people you are going to be there and give them a reason to stop by and say hello. Promote your presence at the trade show through email campaigns, social media posts, and targeted advertising to attract attendees to your booth. Best of all make sure you set up appointments with current and prospective customers in advance.
  3. Strategic Booth Placement: Choose a prime location for your booth that receives high foot traffic and visibility within the venue. In the case of this show you had better have done this a year in advance to make sure you are not facing a dead wall with the bathroom doors…come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea right?
  4. Eye-Catching Booth Design: Invest in an attractive and professional booth design that reflects your brand identity and captures attendees’ attention. And if you have a product, make sure you have samples of that product.
  5. Train your staff. Make sure they are prepared for booth duty and that they are knowledgeable about your products and services. These people need to be approachable, and skilled at engaging with attendees.
  6. Networking Events: Attend industry networking events and social gatherings surrounding the trade show to connect with potential clients, partners, and industry influencers. You’re there to network…so network.
  7. Host a Presentation or Workshop: This is key especially if you have a special product or technology or new piece of equipment to talk about. Secure a speaking slot at the trade show to highlight your expertise and attract attendees interested in your topic.
  8. Offer Exclusive Deals: Provide special discounts, promotions, or giveaways exclusive to trade show attendees to incentivize engagement and drive sales. If you’re selling equipment, make sure you sell that demo model you brought. You don’t want to ship that back to the factory in shame!
  9. Lead Capture Technology: Utilize lead capture technology such as QR codes, business card scanners, or mobile apps to efficiently collect and organize attendee contact information. You’re there for the leads…Make sure you not only capture them but you also note what each lead wants so that you can provide them with personalized information when you follow up.
  10. Follow-Up Plan: Develop a structured follow-up plan to nurture leads acquired at the trade show, including personalized emails, phone calls, and targeted content. This is key. This is what it is all about in the end. Gather feedback from booth visitors to assess the effectiveness of your trade show presence and identify areas for improvement. This is where the true value of the show comes from.
  11. Social Media Engagement: Leverage social media platforms during the trade show to share live updates, behind-the-scenes content, and engage with attendees online.
  12. Collaborate with Partners: Partner with complementary businesses or industry associations to co-host activities or share booth space, expanding your reach and resources.
  13. Attend Educational Sessions: Participate in educational workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches offered at the trade show to gain insights and stay informed about industry developments. You are also there to listen and to learn. Pay attention. Going into the show you should have a list of things you want to find out about.
  14. Build Relationships: Focus on building genuine relationships with attendees rather than solely focusing on sales, as cultivating trust and rapport can lead to long-term partnerships and referrals.
  15. Measure ROI: Track key performance indicators such as lead conversions, sales revenue, and brand visibility to evaluate the return on investment from participating in the trade show.
  16. Post-Show Analysis: Conduct a comprehensive post-show analysis to review your performance, gather insights, and inform future trade show strategies and investments. Make a list of what worked and what did not. Include what you would do differently. In fact, ask yourself the most important question of all, will you invest in this show again next year?
  17. Get some branding and publicity. Hook up with media companies like I-Connect 007 and get interviews if possible or better yet talk to them about what they have to offer through their branding and advertising programs.

If you do these things and you do them well I can guarantee that you will in the end get the most bang for your investment dollars. It’s only common sense.

I have a complete plan for getting the most from your trade show dollars that I developed for my clients. If you’re interested in a copy just get in touch with me [email protected]