Trade Show Timeline for Easy-Peasy Planning: Part 1

trade show timeline

Trade shows are great opportunities for networking and marketing your organization. But, they’re also a serious investment of your time, thought and money. To help make your next trade show performance profitable, we’ve broken down preparation strategies into an easy-to-follow trade show timeline—from one year out to after the show.

trade show timeline budget one year

Trade Show Timeline: 1 Year Out

One year out from any trade show, you’re in the position to make decisions without crunching deadlines or depleting budgets. While there’s plenty you don’t need to worry about one year out on your trade show timeline, there are two decisions that significantly impact how much bang you get for your bucks.

Select a Show

First, decide which trade shows are worth your time! It’s tempting to hit up every trade show you can fit in your schedule, but we urge you to be selective. Choose trade shows that complement your brand and help you connect with people in your target market.

Set a Budget

Next, while it’s the least fun to consider, a well-defined budget is important for trade show success. You need to know exactly:

  • How much money you have to spend
    Where you want to allocate those funds
    And steps to get your best return on investment

If you end up spending too much money on one area, when another could have made more of an impact, you risk not getting the getting the biggest bang for your buck.

trade show timeline booth design trade show timeline booth design

Trade Show Timeline: 9-12 Months Out

Marketing at a trade show is of the utmost importance to drive the maximum possible traffic to your booth. The good news is, plenty of it can be done ahead of time!

Define Your Goals

Once you’ve set sales and lead generation goals, it’s time to come up with a marketing plan. Build anticipation for your booth with emails, mailing cards, or even ship out promotional products — anything that speaks to your specific target audience and stirs up some excitement to visit your booth.

Design Your Booth

It’s also time to consider what your booth is going to look like! Designing a stellar, on-brand look for your booth is our sole mission at Fresh Wata. But, even if you want to try your own hand at booth design, we encourage you to put some thought into how you can make an immersive experience.

Once you’ve got your purpose, budget, and marketing goals established, you’re set up for trade show success. But, hold on to your hats… things are about to start moving fast! We’ll cover what to do in Part 2 of our trade show timeline series up next.

READ: trade show timeline for easy-peasy planning: part 2

Don’t have the time to design a knock-out booth yourself? Whether you’re a first time trade show presenter or a seasoned veteran, Fresh Wata can blend custom fabrications, tech installations, and creative design to help you produce the perfect trade show display!

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