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Timeline For Planning An Outdoor Marketing Event

There are as many different reasons for renting a booth at an outdoor marketing event as there are different types of marketing events. It is a great way to attract new customers, introduce new products or services to existing customers and position your company as experts in the industry. Tradeshows and other outdoor marketing events also allow you to keep a close eye on what your competition is doing. It takes more than just a few weeks to successfully plan and execute an outdoor marketing event, however. Here is a general timeline to help you stay on task.

One Year Out

Establish a budget for both indoor and outdoor marketing events. Decide which industry events will be most beneficial to attend, allocate the necessary funds and mark your calendar.

Six Months Out

Determine what your objectives for attending the show will be. You can then rent the space necessary to meet those objectives and design your booth accordingly. If you are promoting a series of webinars, you may want to incorporate a large screen monitor that streams some of the highlights. Or, if you are peddling fitness apps at an outdoor retailer show, it may be more beneficial to create an interactive iPad station where customers can really get a feel for what you have to offer. Either way, you will want to make arrangements to rent or buy all of the necessary elements for your booth. These may include:

You will also want to decide on any pre-show promotion vehicles that you may want to use.

Five Months Out

At this time you should select targeted publications for pre-show publicity and promotions. Begin writing press releases, purchase advertising space in trade publications and select your lists for e-mail marketing.

Four Months Out

Incentives and promotional products are a huge part of tradeshow marketing. Now is the time to select and order such items. Be sure that they complement the overall theme of your booth display and brand your company.

It is also a good idea to secure hotel reservations for those who will be attending the outdoor marketing event if it is in another city. Hotels near the venue tend to fill up quickly.

Three Months OutMost magazines work with a three month lead time. If you purchased advertisements, the ad proofs will usually be due at this time.Orders for any customized signage for the booth should also be finalized at this time.
Two Months OutConfirm your rental for booth supplies and/or equipment and make sure that the supplier has accurate shipping information. Depending on the location of the event as well as the venue requirements it may take 4-6 weeks to arrive.
One Month OutBegin your direct mail or e-mail campaign to drive traffic to your booth. Now is also a good time to motivate booth staffers by rolling out some sort of incentive program. You could award prizes to the employee or employees who schedule the most appointments prior to the show or to those who capture the most qualified leads. Train everyone who will be manning the booth on exactly what is expected of them.One Week Out

Check the weather forecast for the venue. Order any additional supplies for your booth that you might need including stakes, tie downs, sun shades, etc.