A Trade Show Manager's Guide to Exhibit Success

Your readiness checklist for exhibiting at The 2018 NAMM Show

The NAMM Show is just weeks away. Are you ready for business?

The following is a checklist and links to insure your team has a smooth experience connecting with key buyers, promoting your products and growing your business.

Educate your booth staff on products and services

It isn’t uncommon for companies to just “wing-it” when it comes to staffing their booth for the show. How hard could it be to share about your product and services when someone asks? The answer depends on your product knowledge, disposition and energy level. Make sure to take the time to educate those who plan to staff your booth about the products and services being sold. Help them by creating an elevator pitch that they can recite in case they get nervous. On that note, it’s a good idea to staff your booth with people who are comfortable talking to and engaging strangers. With so many exhibitors competing for attention, exhibit staff should be ready to make the first effort when interacting with show attendees.

Coordinate booth staff attire

In the music and entertainment industry, anything goes when it comes to attire. The NAMM Show is notorious for the outrageous and attention-grabbing attire of its attendees. You may want to capitalize on this tendency with your own fun frocks or organize matching shirts for branding purposes. And with so many people attending the show, you want to make it easy for interested buyers to ask questions of your team by quickly identifying them.

Staffing Tip:  Don’t bring your work to your exhibit. Checking emails on your lap top or personal device will send the message that you are not available to share with those walking by your booth. Be attentive to the audience around you. The emails will still be there at the end of the show—the buyers may not.

Schedule work hours for your booth staff

Show hours can be long and draining. You don’t want attendees interacting with a booth staffer that is tired and hungry. Worse, you don’t want your team showing up late or leaving early. Take the time, in advance of the show, to create a staffing schedule, giving people time to take breaks, eat and recharge. Make sure everyone has a copy of the schedule and agrees to the schedule. This way, your booth staff will always be refreshed and ready to engage. If possible, it is always good to have at least two people in the booth per 10x10 sq. ft. to ensure that if one person is engaged with a potential buyer, another person is there to help the next person.

Be prepared to sell AND close deals by having the right tools

It’s not uncommon for buyers to want to see all their options before making a purchasing decision. As a result, they may ask you for a brochure or one-sheet that they can take with them as a reminder to follow-up and learn more about your product. Be sure to have these printed materials ready to share. Rather than just put them out at the front of your booth to take, wait until they ask. This will encourage engagement and will give you the opportunity to make sure they are getting the right information. It will also reduce your printing costs because you won’t be wasting these materials on every passing attendee. In the event someone is ready to close a deal, be sure to bring contracts and have pens available for them to sign.

Set-up a lead capture system

Every person who comes by your booth is a potential customer or influencer, either now or in the future. Be sure you have a way to capture their contact information in advance of the show. Something as simple as a fish bowl raffle with business cards to something more sophisticated, such as renting a badge reader from Freeman Show Services are great options. There are many unique ways to capture attendee information; just be prepared to do it when the show floor opens. To increase the number of leads you generate, attach some sort of incentive for sharing contact information, such as a copy of a presentation, a free gift, a coupon, or digital content.

Have an emergency plan

In today’s world, where anything can happen, you have to pre-plan as though it will. Organize some sort of communication strategy with your team in the event of an emergency, such as a texting tree or meetup location. For a few ideas on emergency situations to consider, click here.

Manage your exhibitor dashboard

Make sure you are managing your exhibitor dashboard on a regular basis to make payments, register for badges, get reminders and deadlines, as well as have access to dozens of very important links to help you stay informed. Log in today!

Review your exhibitor service manual

There are many topics in this manual that are extremely relevant and helpful for your success. You must be logged in to namm.org to view. Read about these topics below and more here.

  • Exhibitor Insurance
  • Show Floor Sound & Demonstration Policy
  • Fire Safety Rules and Regulations
  • Security
  • Protecting Intellectual Property

Review general show information

Make sure to review General Show Information as well for air and ground travel discounts, parking and hotel information, important NAMM Show locations, hours and more.

Order show products and services from Freeman

Freeman can help you with products and services for your booth including exhibit furnishings, demo rooms, material handling, electrical, cleaning, lead retrieval, security and more. If you order by December 22, you can save up to 35% on Freeman services. Order here.

Know your freight target move-in and move-out times

Your move-in time at The 2018 NAMM Show, assigned by Freeman, is dependent on your booth number. Go to the website below to enter your booth number and see your assigned move-in date. Move out begins at 5:01pm on Sunday, January 28. Find out today.

Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the show

The NAMM Show is a unique experience, with so many live musical performances, new products to view and local attractions. Carve out time for you and your team to use the show as learning and networking opportunity as well as a time to be inspired by others in your NAMM community.

Order Booth Online

Playback Blog/ Industry Crossroads