The biggest construction trade show in North America is less than a year away. ConExpo 2020 hits the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 10–14, and we’re already thinking about ways to get ready.
It may seem far out, but preparing early for ConExpo is the only way to ensure you can plan precisely the sort of experience you want. Get started now, and you can make sure your exhibit and your brand stand out.
To help you dig into plans for next year’s event, we compiled a list of eight tips for planning, designing, and executing a successful show.
1) Create Realistic Goals
Before you start planning or working on your exhibit design, first think about your goals for ConExpo. Having goals in place will help keep you focused as you move through each phase of planning and design, as well as during and after the trade show.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. By making sure each of your goals meets these five requirements, you're ready to start your action plan.
2) Prepare an Actionable Plan
With your S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind, create a plan that includes specific actions you will take to achieve those goals. Stay organized by breaking up your action plan into three segments: pre-show prep, marketing, and post-show follow-up.
3) Define Your Message
For your marketing action plan, focus on coming up with one simple message or takeaway that you want attendees to absorb. Trade shows are chaotic environments, and it's all too easy for attendees to forget you and your brand if your message is overly complicated.
The best way to make your message as memorable as possible is to make it simple. Once you've narrowed down one clear message, make sure it's repeated across all your marketing materials — from your exhibit to your social media hashtags.
4) Start Thinking About Your Booth Now
It's never too early to start thinking about your booth design, especially if you can get input on what features your booth staff or sales team want to see. Plus, having a plan for your booth helps align other actionable prep items, like staff training and marketing materials.
5) Book Hotels and Transportation
In 2017, 128,000 people attended ConExpo. That's a ton of competition for hotels and transportation. Get an early start by researching hotels and figuring out your ideal options for flights and ground transportation before things fill up.
6) Research Potential Exhibit Houses
With clear goals and a focused marketing plan in mind, start researching potential exhibit houses to create your custom booth. The last thing you want is to have all that energy go to waste because your ideal vendor isn't available. Start early, and you can build great things with a partner you love working with.
7) Send Out Invites
Once you know your booth number, start delivering messages to let attendees know you're exhibiting. Maximize your marketing potential by diversifying your delivery methods. Use direct mail and email, but don't forget about digital advertising. Even simple word-of-mouth can make a big impact.
8) Don’t Forget About Restaurants and Dining
You don't want to have to cram your booth staff into a tiny hotel room for your pre-show meeting, or make VIP clients wait for a table because you don’t have reservations. Reserve dining and meeting space options that align with your brand and will impress your clients, and do it early, so you can snag your top choices without worrying about availability.
Plus, reserving early saves you time and stress, so you can focus on the show instead of making reservations.
Already thinking about who your ideal exhibit house would be? Find out how to conduct a better search by checking out our white paper, How to Evaluate And Choose an Exhibit House.