5 Ways to Better Plan and Manage Your Trade Show

Whether your job is dedicated to coordinating trade shows, or a show was just dropped in your lap yesterday, there are a few quick ways you can make the experience smoother for you and the staff attending the show. There is a LOT of planning that goes into a trade show and only the planner will know all the minute details. It’s important to find an easy way to share that information with those that will be staffing the show so you can ensure the show is a success. Providing your staff with a briefing book will get everyone on the same page and ensure they’ll have the necessary information they’ll need while onsite.

The briefing book

A briefing book or briefing document has the information pertinent to the conference that your co-workers need to know about the conference. In our briefing book, I provide everything from hashtags for the conference, travel plans for all employees, computer log-in information, booth graphics, floor plans, etc. This may seem like a ton of work, but I’m able to reduce my workload and make the information easier to absorb for staff by using images throughout. People retain 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read.

Here are five ways I use images throughout each of my briefing books:

1. Exhibit hall floor plans

Giving your staff a lay of the land, the floor plan for the exhibit hall, is very helpful. I take a screenshot of the entire floor and mark it up to call out our booth location, the location of our competitors, and any other companies of interest (resellers and partners). This helps staff quickly know where these other important companies are located so they can find them easily for any research needed or so they know where to go to greet resellers at the show. I’m pretty tickled that now it’s even easier to capture those massive floor plans using panoramic capture in Snagit.

Panoramic Floor Plan

2. Booth layout

Another helpful image to put in the briefing book is a layout of the booth space and the graphics you are using as the backdrop. You can have everything in one place: internet and electrical placement, where you want any tables to be set up, and optimal placement for any backdrops or pull ups. Hopefully this reduces the panicked phone calls you get on evenings and weekends from booth staff.

TechSmith Booth Layout

3. Forms

…dun, dun, dun!!! One of the most stressful parts of the trade show experience for booth staff can be the return shipment forms. They. Sweat. Bullets. Dog Wiping SweatTake a screenshot of the forms they are going to have to fill out and then annotate them so they have a perfect example at their fingertips. It gets them out the door and heading to their flight much faster, reduces their stress by bucket loads, and ensures you actually get your materials back at the office (the way you intended for them to come back). Putting the wrong thing on the bill of lading can result in increased shipping costs and delayed shipments.

4. Attendee demographics

Many conferences make nice graphs for you detailing the breakdown of who is attending. Instead of retyping the demographics or copying and pasting the images one by one, you can easily capture their graphics and quickly insert them into the briefing book. Doing so takes just a few moments. This saves your booth staff time getting up to speed on who they will be encountering on the show floor because they can absorb this information in just a few minutes.

Attendee Demographics

5. Computer log-in information

Booth attendees have quite a few different systems that we need to log into once we get to the show floor. To save countless phone calls to the event planner or to our IT staff, we include screenshots of how to log into everything.

Computer Log-in Information

If you’re looking to save time while also setting your booth staff up for success with a briefing book that provides key information, then I’d recommend that you choose an upcoming show and give it a try.

If you are already creating a briefing book, but you’re looking to spice it up with images. Download a free trial of Snagit today! What type of content do you include that I didn’t touch on above?

 

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Author
Jo Sutka

Josanna Sutka is the Trade Show Manager at TechSmith.
You can follow her at @josutka

  • When not running TechSmith tradeshows, you can find her nose in one of her many favorite books or wandering in the woods.
  • She has great love for tiny plastic dinosaurs.
  • Favorites: The great outdoors (especially National Parks), craft beer, and all things potatoes!