trade show planning timeline

by Mike Thimmesch, Director of Lead Generation and Industry Relations, Skyline Boston

To master the deadline-driven world of trade shows depends on great planning. Yet all too often, important marketing planning gets overshadowed by urgent logistics planning. Because of the flood of deadlines, we get more distracted by the "what to do" rather than the "why to do" it. Yet it's just as essential to plan marketing things. Things such as your goals for the show, your marketing messages for your graphics and staffers, and creating a promotional campaign that will get more of the right people to your booth.

Here are some ideas for your plan, either for a single show or for your entire program. Marketing and logistics steps are mixed together, as you need to do both to truly succeed.

6 months out
5 months out
4 months out
3 months out
Two months out
One month out
Two weeks out
One week out
At the show
After the show

Give yourself the opportunity to succeed. Take the time to create a solid plan, then work the plan you created, covering both logistics and marketing activities.