Over the years I wish someone had provided me with this very same checklist; it would have saved me a ton of time, money and angst as I worked my way through aggressive tradeshow schedules.

BEFORE THE SHOW – Choose the right tradeshows for your organization only after carefully assessing the show management, the venue and the history of the attendees. You’ll be miles ahead of the competition if you do.

If the show management is topflight, they’ll prepare literature about the show, its features and benefits and what you can expect to meet your goals and objectives. Review it thoroughly.

Design the most compelling, dramatic, open and inviting booth you can; it’s worth the effort.

Train your exhibit staff; do a little role-playing and have them prepared to answer the hardball questions about your products, services and capabilities to meet the prospects’/customers’ requirements. Make sure they greet every attendee warmly and with a smile.

DURING THE SHOW – Set up a rotating booth schedule for your staff. Noone likes surprises – your staff OR your prospects/customers visiting the booth.

Have your staff make notes on each attendee to the booth. Persuade them their memories aren’t anywhere nearly as good as they think they are. These notes will help close the sale whenever they have the opportunity to speak with the attendee again in a sales setting.

Make sure you have a book handy to allow attendees to comment on your booth. Why?

You may think your booth has every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed, but you never know.

AFTER THE SHOW – READ the comment book; it may tell you volumes about what you’re doing right and, more importantly, what you’re doing wrong (or perceived to be doing wrong).

FOLLOW UP by calling, writing, emailing (with a teaser in the subject line), sending brochures and other requested material(s) AS PROMPTLY AS YOU CAN. [No more than a week tops.]

When responding to the attendees, make it easy for them to take the next step in the sales process, AND THEN keep detailed records of their wants, needs, desires, comments.

Finally, if there are any LESSONS LEARNED throughout the entire process – make sure you take them to heart – you’ll close more sales than ever before.

For the record, this is not original with me (albeit I embellished it somewhat) but it was sent to me and I thought it had great wisdom from which I could benefit and pass along to others.

Jim Deady owns Showstopper Exhibits, LLC – www.showstopperexhibits.com in Richmond, VA. For a free consultation on your next tradeshow, call him @ (888) 440-0377 OR email him @ jim@deady.com to make your trade show display a Showstopper.