Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, March 22, 2010

Trade Show To-Dos

Here's a good list by a veteran trade-show person about how to execute the logistics of a trade show effectively.

Some key things to remember:

RTFM: Loosely translated as "Read The Fine Manual", it's important to read all of the trade show materials thoroughly. And then don't hesitate to ask questions if you're not sure you understand something. You really don't want to spend a lot of time, effort and money on a show booth that you won't be allowed to set up because it's a little too tall or has non-approved colors or something. You may have a clever idea that isn't covered exactly by the rules... better make sure you get a ruling before you commit to doing it.

List services you require: Think about what you will have to rent or buy or use during the show, and make a list. Electricity? Phone lines? Padding under the carpet? Shipping and setting up your booth? Think through the whole process ahead of time... if possible, set up your display beforehand and practice what you will have to do. This will alert you to all of the little things you'll need to bring with you... or rent... or hire.

Understanding the show floor plan and drayage requirements. Before you pick your booth spot, think about the placement of the booth and what's in neighboring areas. Hopefully you have some idea what the large booths look like, or what kind of traffic they might draw. Sometimes being next to a large booth may be bad for your traffic, if you're on the back of it... or where crowds might make it impossible for passersby to see your booth. Drayage? That's the art of moving stuff into the booth, which often requires professional help that must be hired from the show. You may be able to carry things in yourself, but usually under strict limitations (for instance, no hand-trucks). Prepare to bring materials accordingly, and try not to make last-minute changes.

The bigger the show, the bigger the preparation should be. Shows are usually expensive, so you really want to make every dollar count as effectively as possible.

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