Trade show or big event coming up? Looking for the right way to display your products or services can be a daunting task. Also, trying to find that ‘one special thing’ for your event is starting to drive you crazy! You’ve searched the Internet endlessly and cannot find what you’re looking for. Well, you found KORT Sign Design.
We can help you procure the most common trade show booth hardware, ensuring the right dimensions, delivery and set up. But we can also custom-design the graphics to make your display unique. Off-the-shelf products work well is you just want to be like everyone else, but why not create an attention-getting display that will turn heads and get conversations started? We can do it! We have the latest large-format, latex printers and the people with the know-how to help with your next event.
Need a digital display on a TV monitor for your next show? We can put together the presentation and make sure you have all the hardware you need to make it work seamlessly. Need dimensional letters, graphics, symbols? We can custom cut a variety of materials – from brushed aluminum to acrylic to foam – on our CNC Router machine. And we’ll paint it the PMS color your brand requires.
We can build a unique, custom-designed trade show display to make you stand out from the crowd at your next event.
Planning Your Next Trade Show
Your trade show or event success depends on your level of preparation. We’re not talking about defining your target audience or developing a messaging strategy (also important), but a great deal of project management must be done ahead of the show to achieve the look you want and receive a good return on your time and investment. It’s the details!
Side Note: “The devil is in the detail” is an idiom that refers to a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details  meaning that something might seem simple at a first look but will take more time and effort to complete than expected, and  derives from the earlier phrase, “God is in the detail” expressing the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important.
We recommend working backwards. Start with the show date; many trade shows publish calendars to mark milestone dates for exhibitors. These calendars list all deadlines pertinent to a specific show, from the date shipped items may first arrive at a venue, to the final date by which all materials must be removed. While they’re a useful resource for exhibitors, these calendars don’t cover all the work that needs to be done ahead of time to create a dynamic exhibit and prepare for a successful show.
If you’re planning on getting custom-designed materials made for your trade show, typically the turnaround time is 2 – 4 weeks. Sometimes we need to order special material from our vendors. For example, if we’re going to make your logo out of 2” HDU foam, we’ll need 1 – 2 weeks to get that from our supplier. We’ll also need a few days to schedule it on our CNC router table. We’ll most likely have to order your custom, PMS-matched paint from the paint store. But before we paint it, it needs to be primed. Then it needs 2-3 coats of paint for even distribution. That’s another week. Give us a day to gather the right hardware and assemble it as needed. All in all; plan 3 – 4 weeks. Does it need to be shipped somewhere? Plan time for that as well (hopefully without rush charges).
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, writer and pioneering aviator
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra, former New York Yankees catcher
Trade Show and Event Goals
The Sales and Marketing teams, along with management of course, need to work together to develop a strategy for the show. What are the goals? Brand recognition, leads, sales? How are you going to measure these goals? What does success look like when it’s all done?
Are you planning on advertising your presence at the show? Will someone be making phone calls, sending direct mail announcements, posting updates on your website?
Once at the show, how are you going to attract people to your booth? And not just anyone; but your target market person! You have only three seconds to grab someone as they are walking by, reading what you have to say in your booth graphics. Be concise, to the point and target who you want to read it. Eye popping graphics won’t hurt either. If you have a really cool booth, you can get people to slow down and even stop to take a second look and see what you do. If you’re a fit, they’ll talk to you. If not, they’re movin’ on.
Are you planning to give something away? Promotional items are popular, from pens to stress balls to umbrellas. A little creativity here goes a long way – tie it back to your advertising message to be more memorable. And consider having something of real value for your top prospects.
Does anyone and everyone get something if they visit your booth? Will you be offering treats or refreshments of some kind? Be sure you have a mechanism for collecting leads, like a “register to win” display where prospect have to fill out their contact information or drop a business card in a box. (We can help create that pieces, if needed!)
It’s all about the experience while they are there in your booth. Everyone working the booth needs to be cheerful, happy, and knowledgeable about your products and services. (NOT hung over because they went out the night before.)
The graphics need to be inviting and informative. The layout of the booth needs to flow.
Your marketing efforts aren’t over when the show closes. Be sure to follow up with all leads as soon as possible, whether it’s a thank-you email, follow-up postcards, or personal phone call – what is your plan?
It may take up to a year to evaluate a show. Don’t dismiss ‘that’ show because the week after you didn’t increase sales. Especially if you have a capital expense type of product that can take up to six months for approval to buy. Keep in touch and build the relationship with a variety of contacts at each company.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. What’s your goals and how are you going to achieve them?