It takes months of preparation to plan a trade show that will generate excitement before it even begins. Building excitement for your event is just important as the event itself. With many competing alternative shows, it’s your job to draw people in and give them a message that will resonate. Whether you’re a newcomer or one of the most influential shows debuting in a new city, hosting a pre-launch event will generate buzz at the most auspicious time. Secure your success by incorporating some of the following suggestions for your pre-show launch event.
Make your Pre-Show Launch Event an Investment
Throwing an unforgettable launch party in the host city not only gets the word out about your future trade show, it’s an opportunity to grow and enhance your network. It’s the perfect atmosphere to gain valuable contacts and build a community. You can develop relationships that will last long after the event is over. This takes preparation and a commitment to follow up on the newest members of your community. Before all of this can happen, you have to start at the beginning.
Purpose and Vision
The show launch event should take place three months prior to the show opening. Exhibitors are already on board and have begun marketing the show. The purpose behind the launch event is to build awareness for your trade show. Understanding your purpose can help you determine what might add value to your event and filter out what you don’t need.
To create your event you need a vision. The following details can help you decide how you want your event to look and feel.
- Determine your budget. How much you can spend will influence how elaborate your event can be. Do you have sponsors?
- Consider how many guests you anticipate when choosing a venue. Do you want a more intimate setting like a dinner party with a small and carefully selected crowd? Do you envision a large crowd at a unique venue? Make sure your setting suits your audience.
- Hire a keynote to speak at your event. This can bring extra publicity and draw more guests.
- Choose a date and time that is practical and works best for your guests.
- Spread the news and promote your launch party.
Don’t forget to sell your story. Communicate your vision with your guests. Announce any new and exciting things that your show will offer. Show them you care about their experience. You want your guests to leave your event will a clear understanding of what they can expect to experience at your trade show.
Continue the excitement you have begun to build with the success of your show launch event with occasional meetups before the show. These are smaller gatherings designed to nurture the community you have been building and further connect with your guests. A meetup takes some planning ahead of time. Here are some ideas to make your meetups productive and meaningful:
- Make it smaller, let them know they are important and worth spending personal time with. Consider doing this at a venue such as a restaurant or bar.
- Arrive early to make sure everything is in order before everyone else shows up.
- Invite people that didn’t attend the show launch event.
- Be organized and have a clear direction. If there is no focus and specific topic discussions, it’s likely the meetup will come to a quick end.
- Try setting up a virtual meetup. Provide show details that everyone will find helpful. Invite a keynote to drum up more attendance.
When properly planned and executed, a Pre-Show Launch Event can have an impact on everyone involved in the show that resonates far beyond the actual event dates. This little bit of additional effort will create relationships and even a community that is not found at most other events. Be sure to consider what Post-Show Events you could host like meet-ups or even webinars.