Advance planning, as much as 9 to 12 months before the meeting occurs, is the most important first step. If it is a scientific meeting, this includes the identification of abstract submission deadlines and working with your clinical group to submit data which supports your product messaging (these deadlines are often months in advance of the meeting) and making strategic decisions on which meetings you should exhibit at and the scope and scale of your involvement each meeting.
Its important to not limit your planning to booth associated activities (e.g. booth design, shipping, installation, materials) and staffing (e.g. who will attend, room reservations, booth schedule), but to also include other activities which can drive a successful show. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Development and distribution of pre-meeting communications to customers in order to drive booth traffic (e.g. pre-mailers, e-mail blasts, website content specific to the meeting).
- Planning and implementation of presentations by product champions during the meeting (e.g. satellite symposia, booth presentations, dinner meetings).
- Public relation-related initiatives in conjunction with the launch of a new product during the meeting or the presentation of new clinical data on your product(s).
- Development of multimedia content which can be leveraged during the tradeshow.
It is also important to focus on tradeshow follow up in order to leverage your investment in the meeting. This includes involving sale management in the development and execution of a plan for following up with leads obtained during the meeting and measuring lead conversions.
The Atticus Group can help you to realistically assess the potential benefits of exhibiting at a tradeshow and weigh these against projected costs. If you make a decision to exhibit, we have the experience to help manage all aspects associated with tradeshow planning from identify/designing your appropriate presence at the meeting to following through on the logistical requirements which need to be taken care of to insure your success.