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7 Steps to Strategic Planning While Tradeshows are Postponed

by Ed Zilinskas, E.V.P. at Lab exhibits & services

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”

Sir Winston Churchill
Tradeshows

The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting tradeshows around the globe. It has left many companies trying to find the best way to manage their business through this challenging situation. 

Though these circumstances are not ideal, it may be useful to use this time to regroup and re-focus your tradeshow marketing strategy. 

Sales and Marketing Analysis – Use this time to do a deep dive into your sales and marketing initiatives over the last two years. See what worked, what didn’t. There is always something to learn when you spend the time on analysis.  

Create a Marketing Taskforce Team – Choose key individuals from different departments to assist in the development of a new interim marketing plan. Have them help in identifying the overall strategy to manage this temporary situation.   

Re-think or Re-focus your Tradeshow Strategy – Tradeshows will be back, it is just a question of when, and what the industry will look like in the beginning. Your budget may also be different, so changes to your current strategy may need to happen. Start planning now!

Tradeshows will be back, it is just a question of when, and what the industry will look like in the beginning.

Take the opportunity to meet with Executive Management – Normally, there is usually too much work and not enough time to obtain focus from upper management. Use this time to share your analysis and any new strategies to get your company through the temporary loss of Tradeshow opportunities.  

Boothmanship Training – Most exhibiting companies often overlook tradeshow staff sales training.  Sales teams believe that the tradeshow exhibit does 80% of the work, but the opposite is true.  The exhibit is there to represent your image and brand while supporting messages that help the team engage the targeted audience that generate leads to sales. Use this time to effectively train your staff on the do’s and don’ts of Boothmanship to give them a competing edge and help improve your ROI.

Video Conference Sales Training – Many salespeople have never had to meet with clients through video conferencing platforms like GoTo Meeting, Zoom, Skype, etc.  Now is an excellent opportunity to work with your team to get them comfortable using video conferencing tools. They can also learn “best practices” for selling through video conferences. 

Build an Email Marketing Campaign – Email is still a great marketing tool. Use email to keep in touch with customers and prospects often and take the opportunity to remind your audience that your company is strong and will only get stronger during challenging times. You do not want to be the company that is struggling to catch up when tradeshows are going full steam ahead.

At Lab exhibits & services, we are here to help you through all of your current and future tradeshow and event needs.

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Ed Zilinskas, E.V.P. of Business Development and Partner at Lab exhibits & services in Aurora, IL.

As a 30 year veteran of the trade show and custom exhibit industry, Ed has grown his display creation skills from the ground up. He has taken his experience as a show floor supervisor and coupled it with his executive-level design and marketing vision for his customers. He has excelled at helping his clients develop unique and functional displays that promote their brand, communicate their message, and create a positive and memorable experience for their target audience.
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