Beginners Guide to Starting a live event or trade show business

You have been to a lot of live events and trade shows if you are wanting to start your own trade show event business but, as a live event producer, it’s important to plan a trade show properly from the beginning and focus on the best practices and the three types of clients you will be serving: your attendees, your vendors and your event sponsors. Those the clients are what will allow you to grow and increase revenue each year.

Trade shows offer a chance to boost business and build long lasting industry relationships but don’t guarantee success, so it’s critical to find an industry that you can promote positively and where you can make the biggest impact. it should be something you have a lot of experience with as well as a passion for. If you arent into shopping or retail then event like Retail X arent going to motivate you like others might.

Once you’ve identified the right show or industry, create a strategic event plan that highlights the branding and sales opportunities for your business, your vendors and event sponsors. In short, who you are and what your selling.

You should know the following at a bare minimum:

  • What you you going to sell?
    • Digital Marketing
    • Show Magazine or publication
    • Sponoships
  • What is your cost for square foot for a booth?
    • Do you have set sizes?
    • Are you charging for WiFi?
    • What booth ammenities will you offer?

Here is a quick list of the 10 best practices so sum things up.

10 Best Practices for Planning a Tradeshow or Live Event

  • Choose a niche so you become the expert in that area and so it’s easier to build strong relationships with attendees, vendors and event sponsors
  • Know your event objective so you know the purpose of the event and can easily share with vendors and sponsors
  • Book a hotel or conference center at least 6 months in advance so your vendors can start planning right away
  • Target a specific audience for your trade show
  • Ensure you have the correct shipping information for your vendors – many venues have a specific address for shipping
  • Dress to impress – before, during and after your tradeshow
  • Set up a stage so vendors have an opportunity to speak and grow their audience
  • When you plan a tradeshow, know the benefits and features so it’s easier to sell booth space
  • Be persistent. Don’t confuse this with being too aggressive. It’s said that your audience needs to hear/see your message 7-9x before they’ll take action, so create a plan and know how you’ll market your trade show
  • Provide your audience with specific information and statistics.