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Guide to Trade Show Planning – Decision Making Process Part 2

10/22/15 by Brandon

peer-to-peer-planning-for-cpd-350x230Last week I told you I would go over the decisions that were made at our first planning meeting so you could see how we went from brainstorming to decision making. You will also learn how the team was involved to help in the decision making process. From the brainstorming questions and ideas we shared came a basic concept as to how we would accomplish the marketing goal we set. That goal, if you remember, was to sign up 200 to 300 attendees each day at the show.

The result of our decision making processWe all agreed on an upscale, square shaped shot glass as our trade show giveaway for anyone one who signed up to join our Exhibitor Lounge weekly video e-zine. If the word “e-zine” is new to you, it’s just an acronym for the term “electronic magazine.”

So why did we pick a shot glass? If you are a regular in the Exhibitor Lounge community, then you know that the drink of the week is a signature part of the video e-zine series and newsletter. What better way to promote the Exhibitor Lounge on the show floor than to give away a shot glass with our logo. We agreed that it would be a very collectable and unique show floor gift, and fit well with the Vegas venue. So we made that decision at the first meeting.

Notice I said that we would only give out a shot glass to attendees who signed up to be weekly subscribers to the Exhibitor Lounge. Your giveaway should always have a purpose. I explained this in detail in a previous blog titled “The Proper Use of Promotional Products.”  If the person did not want to sign up then we would have a postcard available to give as a way for someone to sign up later. We always remind everyone that the Exhibitor Lounge is a free service, and they can opt-in or opt-out at any time.

Here are some basic decisions that got us moving forward from the first meeting.

  1. The giveaway would be for attendees who signed up only.
  2. We discussed using a laptop, a tablet, or an app to sign attendees up. We assigned Kay (our marketing manager) the task of figuring out how we would sign up attendees fast: one new subscriber per minute.
  3. We talked about the need for a lead retrieval machine and assigned Angela (our Account Manager) the task of seeing if there was a show attendee list we could get instead.  We felt that a lead retrieval machine would slow us down at the show.
  4. We discussed the need for internet service so attendees who signed up would get an instant welcome reply from our website. We decided that was not necessary.
  5. We practiced how we would shoot video on-site and what kind of interview microphones we should use.
  6. We assigned the Design Department with the task of researching any changes we needed to make to our video and audio technology. What we use in the studio may not be the best solution on the show floor.The Decision Making Process is Crucial to Success

That should give you a good idea of our first meeting. It only took a little over an hour and you can see how these planning meetings are a critical part of a successful event. Without a strategy and good planning, you are just another attendee at the show. You just happen to be in the booth, not in front of it.


Tune in next week for the continuation of our Guide to Show Planning series.