You’re a few months away. Suddenly, you swear the clock is ticking louder and the room temperature has gone up at least a dozen degrees. A bead of sweat forms on your forehead. “A few months, that’s plenty of time”, you tell yourself. But you know better than that. Planning accordingly for trade shows isn’t an overnight ordeal. But you have no idea where to even start this time. There’s so much to do!

Don’t panic. You’re not too late.

Trade show season is coming upon us much like Winter in Game of Thrones. Peaking in October and November, you know others have already had their preparations well underway for months. What do you do?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Many people don’t need much time to prepare, some do. Regardless of which you are, we’ve put together your to-do list for the remainder of the summer that will get you ready for trade show season. There’s no need to worry about missing something or being unprepared. We’ve got you covered.

  1. What message do you want to communicate to your visitors? Great. Now condense it to be delivered within 30 seconds. Got all the key points in there without sounding manic? Perfect. Now its time to rehearse that message with everybody who will be working at your booth.
  2. What do you need to attract the people you’re looking for? Is it vibrant signage? Is it an interesting layout? Is it a killer logo? Now is the time. Actually, last week was the time but now will work too. Get these designed either by yourself, a freelancer, or a local design firm and get them made as soon as possible.
  3. Did you forget lights? Don’t forget lights.
  4. What materials do you need to help you deliver your message? It’s a good idea to have both impactful giveaways (something big more fun than pens and lanyards, please) and promotional materials such as brochures and business cards. It’s time to design these and get them sent away for manufacturing.
  5. Take a week to breathe. You’ve earned it.
  6. Have you breathed enough? Great! Check back through all the materials you’ve considered. Did you miss anything? Does your 30-second message still work? Make necessary changes and orders at this stage.
  7. How are you getting there? Plan and confirm your travel now. Flight (or drive), hotel (if necessary), car rental (if you need it), AND delivery for your booth materials all need to be factored in here.
  8. Start marketing your booth at the trade show via blogs, social media, and whatever other methods you use to get your news out. How are you going to entice people to come?
  9. Is everybody trained that will be working at your booth? If not, train them now.
  10. Are all of your travel arrangements made? Did you make arrangements to have dinner with Bob, that one guy you promised last year that you’d take out for a steak this year? Make that reservation. Bob remembers.Voila! You’re ready to go.