Businesses spend thousands of dollars each year preparing and exhibiting at industry trade shows. While there are many things involved in making a trade show successful, in order to maximize your return on investment you need to have a purpose and a specific goal in mind.

By purpose, I am referring to that inner sense of excitement that motivates you and your team to perform at the top of your game. ThinkĀ  BIG because a purpose brings focus and clarity with a potential for BIG results!

Maybe you’ve introduced a new product or service this year that you know will improve your customers work day. Or, maybe you are more interested in educating trade show attendees about innovative aspects in your industry. In other words, how can you meet and fill a need for others.

Whatever your purpose, set a budget and begin planning well ahead of the show. Pay a little more and choose the best booth location so you can more easily attract people into your booth and engage them. It’s important to make sure you are attracting crowds without intimidating or overwhelming them.

Contact your graphic designer or display company and let them begin to create and develop your trade show display and graphics with your purpose in mind. Develop invitations around the same concept and make sure to target current and prospective customers and attendees.

Be creative and think of ways you can get their attention before they ever arrive at the trade show. Make sure they know where your booth is so they can look for you once they arrive.

Design all your promotional items, special offers, contests and literature around this central marketing purpose. And, don’t forget the power of social media and the excitement you can build through Facebook and Twitter!

Last but not least, make sure your exhibit staff is made up of high energy people. Choose company representatives who have extensive product knowledge and love interacting with people.

Are you attending any trade shows this year? Do you have a game plan?