Test Your Trade Show Savvy - 2006-06-07

June 01, 2006 - Successful Meetings

There are three components of a trade show: presentation, promotion, and logistics. In other words—sales, marketing, and details. These quick questions are a great primer for your exhibitors. Use it to help them cover all three topics well.

1. At a trade show, you have to abide by fire codes regulated by:

a. The size of your booth.

b. The square footage of the show.

c. The fire department where the show is located.

d. The U.S. Department of Labor.

2. There's an opening luncheon connected with the trade show. Your trade show staff is from every region of the country. At the luncheon you should encourage them to:

a. Sit with colleagues from their region so they can catch up on news and information close to home.

b. Sit at different tables so they can meet as many people as possible.

c. Skip the luncheon and eat together somewhere else.

d. Appoint one person to attend the luncheon and give others in their group free time.

3. Show management has contracted with an official carrier for freight. One of the benefits if you use the official carrier to ship your freight is:

a. Your freight goes to the loading dock before other carriers'.

b. Your freight is guaranteed to be at the loading dock 24 hours before the show opens.

c. There's no extra charge for overtime.

d. Drayage is included.

4. At the end of the show, if you forget and leave display materials or other items on the show floor, they will be:

a. Swept up into your space.

b. Swept up and thrown away.

c. Packed up and stored in a warehouse.

d. Packed up and shipped to you COD.

5. Electronic scanners used at shows will scan name badges and give you basic demographic information about visitors. You can add questions for your company's scanner, and those questions should be developed by:

a. All the departments involved in the show.

b. Sales managers.

c. Your firm's exhibit manager.

d. The scanner rental company.


ANSWER 1: C. All fire codes are local. Some jurisdictions are stricter than others. So, when the fire marshal stops by your booth and says, "Can I flick my Bic here?" You'd had better know the right answer. Check the exhibitor's manual for details on the local fire codes and get any certifications you may require from your display builder or manufacturer.

ANSWER 2: B. This is the opening luncheon, so spread out and meet as many people as possible. You will have time later to get together.

ANSWER 3: A. Using the official carrier gets your freight to the door first. Please note: There is never a guarantee there will not be overtime. Drayage is not included with freight. Freight and drayage sound as though they are one process, but they are absolutely two separate processes in the U.S. Freight is how you get your materials to the loading dock. Drayage is how your materials are moved from the loading dock to your booth and back to the loading dock.

ANSWER 4: B. It is the end of the show. If you leave anything in the aisles or in your space, it is gone—swept up, thrown away. Follow these tips: (1) Take it home. (2) Don't be so wasteful. (3) Take fewer materials (premiums, literature, etc.) to the show so there is less to throw away. (4) Make sure you have insurance for the show—called event insurance, and generally a rider on your general business policy.

ANSWER 5: A or B. What is the purpose of gathering information? After the show, is it going to marketing? Sales? To regional offices? Headquarters? To a central CRM? What information do you really need? Are you looking for buying habits, existing problems, blue-sky situations, competitors' names? The more you know the importance of this market- and sales-intelligence gathering opportunity, the more you will be able to get the data you need. Note: The scanner rental company will add your information to your scanner, but will not write your questions.

Julia O'Connor is a speaker, author, consultant, and owner of Trade Show Training Inc. based in Richmond, VA. To contact her, visit www.TradeShowTraining.com or e-mail [email protected]