Curating Your Tradeshows

By Ryan ONeil

Some hate them. Others put up with them. Yet, one of the cornerstone pieces in the growth of Twisted Willow over the past three years has been trade shows. In fact, they've been so effective that they average 45 consultations booked per show and their record is 100 for a large two-day show

However, preparing for trade shows can prove to be an incredibly painful process. There's so much to consider: booth design, which items from your portfolio to highlight, developing promotional material, etc. Our Curate team recently attended the International Floriculture Expo (IFE) and found a way to curate our trade show (pun intended). Here are three tricks we utilized Curate Proposals and Curate COGS to employ:

1) Add details about the trade show in the Notes and Document sections.
IFE had a lot of information for exhibitors that would have been tedious to keep track of. Saving the bulkier paperwork as PDFs in the document section allowed us to pull things up easily as needed while copying and pasting the key details into the note section was great to give us a high level view of what needed to be done. This was especially helpful as we were on the road to unload our booth and realized we didn't have the loading address set in our GPS.

2) Create recipes that include everything on the checklist.
This was pretty crucial for us as we were taking a lot of new things along with some items that we use in the office daily, rather than pulling from an official trade show stash of stuff. By creating the recipes, we were able to build out our pull list and made sure we didn't lose anything. PLUS, adding in the costs for all the new equipment, marketing materials, trade show registration fees, transportation costs, and the per diem for each team member helped us keep track of the expenses incurred along the way, which is great for being able to keep track of our ROI for the event.

3) Utilize the timeline functionality so the team knows what's going on.
We severely underestimated the usefulness of this tool and could have avoided late night "What time are we leaving in the morning?" messages if we had utilized this more. Add in EVERYTHING. What time are you supposed to leave the hotel, check in, unload, set up, or tear down? Do you have any special events you're attending during the show or setting up a team building exercise (we had a blast with an escape room)? Is the whole team grabbing breakfast together before the day starts? What time is each team member taking a lunch break? All of this info fits perfectly in the timeline section to keep everyone on the same page and makes your trade show experience a lot smoother.
How else have you curated your tradeshows? Share your tips in the comments!

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Tags: Efficiency, Small Business Sally, Curate, Corporate Cate, Established Ed, catering, rentals, florists


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