Great trade shows (with paid attendance of over 10,000) offer the opportunity for a business to show off products & describe services in an exclusive setting. Well respected shows also create that very critical first impression....
How do you ensure success? You need to have specific and measurable goals that directly feed into your marketing plan. Be strategic. You need to carefully select the show(s) you want to participate in and focus exactly on what you wish to achieve. Budget should always play a definite role in deciding what promotional activity is possible.
Once established - ensure you have a fool proof tactical plan that addresses your desired result. More importantly, before you attend make sure your team understands the promotional approach to pre-show, at-show, and post-show deliverables.
Without a good approach, trade shows are just a very expensive excuse to get out of the office for a few days. Be prepared!