Planning ahead for trade shows in the time of Coronavirus

The trade show industry has experienced an unprecedented hit with every trade show around the world being affected by COVID-19. With countries in lockdown, and many companies across the world facing reduced sales, it’s vital that businesses use this as the time for strategic planning and preparing for the future.

Business events and trade shows provide essential platforms for creating new business opportunities, and when things get back to normal (whatever normal is after this), they will be a key tool for rebuilding businesses and even to some extent the whole economy. 

At this time, businesses are understandably tightening their financial belts in anticipation of the unknown. This may be the case for you and your business. 

It’s easy to think that right now trade shows on hold, the preparation can be put to the side and picked up again later. However, when trade shows are back, confirmed, and in the diaries there is going to be an influx of companies in a rush to get ready for these events – and I’m sure you don’t want to be one of them.

There are a number of things you can take action on now to prepare for the future. We have listed some things to consider below, the majority of which don’t require any financial commitment, but will help you prepare for a successful trade show participation:


goals and objectivesRefining Participation Objectives

With the current situation your company’s trade show participation objectives have probably changed. Now is the ideal time to review these and to ensure these are up-to-date and aligned with the rest of your marketing/sale campaigns. You’ll want to maximize the return on your investment, so it’s important to let us know your objectives in your stand design brief. 


Stand Design

While trade shows are on hold it’s the perfect time to be thinking about the design of your booth or stand. We offer free 3D design services for our clients, and have a dedicated team of in-house designers. We will work closely with you to ensure your brand is suitably represented according to your budget, even if your event isn’t until the end of next year. Now is a good time to start.


budgetingBudgeting For the Future – Multi-project Contracts

If you plan to participate in multiple trade shows, why not combine all of the stands together into one contract? Some of our clients tell us that they plan to participate in multiple projects, but simply don’t have the time to plan ahead for all the shows at the same time. During this downtime why not spend some time to catch up and prepare a multiple show brief. At Fret Free Productions we can usually offer special rates for multi-project contracts, meaning that you’ll get more for your money.


Engagement & Your Super Stand Squad (SSS)

A professional and creative stand design and build can help attract visitors to your space, but without a doubt engagement is what’s going to determine whether your participation is successful or not. Think about how you’d like to engage your audience. Audio visual (AV) technology can be a great engagement tool if partnered with the right content – do you have this ready, or do you need to hire somebody to develop this for you? If you’re interested in incorporating AV into your stand design let us know in your brief, and we can offer recommendations on the best solutions.

The engagement tool that is arguably the most important, is your staff. Now is the time to make sure you have a ‘super stand squad’ ready to help you get the best return on your investment. Use this time to prepare trade show guidelines – set out clear rules for your staff, spend time to train them to ensure they know the ins and outs of your business, products and services. Think about the tools they’ll use onsite for database collection and presentations, and post show follow ups – again we can help advise on this should you need any assistance.

Digital marketingTrade Show Digital Marketing Campaigns

To make the most out of your trade show experience, it’s important to have a comprehensive marketing campaign to support your participation. Digital marketing can help promote your attendance, and offer your audience insight into what you’re doing at the show and what products/services you’re promoting. Look at pre-show, onsite and post-show promotion.

Corporate Trade Show Manual

At Fret Free Productions we can design and prepare a Corporate Trade Show Manual for your company. This is very much like a Corporate Identity Manual, however it focuses specifically on trade show participation. 

We include 3D designs of various size spaces, and core elements of the stand (such as counters, showcase displays, logo presentation, lighting, core brand colours & suitable materials) that should be incorporated into every trade show design. This will improve your company/product/service’s brand recognition and consequently save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Obviously these are just some of the things you can do to prepare for future trade shows. At Fret Free Productions, our focus is to help our clients prepare and get the best return on their investment, after all we’re all in this together.


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