January 2007 / Issue 13

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Show Shakedown

Yet Another Top Ten List – How Original

Andy Darmohraj

By Andy Darmohraj, CAE
Senior Vice President, APPMA

I am writing this the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  The best thing about this week is that every magazine and TV show is featuring some sort of Top Ten List.  Top ten books of 2006; top ten movies of 2006; top ten stupid things Britney Spears has done in the third week of December.  You get the idea.  Since it is easier to copy an idea than to come up with something original, I offer you the top ten things you need to do to get ready for Global Pet Expo.

#10.     Make sure you know the dates and location of the show – February 22-24, 2007 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida.  This is one month earlier than the 2006 show, so please plan accordingly.

#9.       Order your badges for the Show.  The lines at Registration can be long.  Save time by submitting your badge order online at http://globalpetexpo.org/exhibitor/badgereg_form1.asp and the badges will be mailed to you before the Show.

#8.       Support PIJAC and have some fun.  The 3rd Annual Allan L. Levy Golf Tournament to benefit PIJAC will take place on Wednesday, February 21st.  Held at Grand Cypress, the outing lets you reconnect with friends, have some fun and raise money for a good cause.  Register at www.globalpetexpo.org/golf.

#7.       Order the products and services you will need for your booth.  The Exhibitor Services Manual was sent to you in December.  You can use the cd that was mailed to you to print paper forms to submit orders or you can go to www.ges.com and place all of your orders on-line.  Doing this now guarantees that you will received discounted rates.

#6.       Make sure you budget enough time to get your booth and product to the Show.  If you plan ahead and ship to the GES warehouse, your shipment will be in your booth when you arrive at the convention center.  You can ship directly to the convention center as well, but your freight will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please check your Exhibitor Services Manual for dates and addresses.

#5.       Plan your PR approach.  Nearly 200 members of the press will visit Global Pet Expo.  Their first stop is the Show’s Press Office.  Get the media’s attention by having your company’s press kit available in the Press Office.  Information on how to produce a press kit is available under the Trade Show Marketing tab at www.globalpetexpo.org.

#4.       Speaking of the Trade Show Marketing Kit, if you haven’t looked at it yet, do it right now.  The Kit offers many marketing tools for you to promote your participation in the Show.  Free stuff includes: personalized brochures to send to your customers, postcards and sticker to notify your customers of your booth number, on-line exhibitor training and booth critiques.  We want you to have a really good show and these free programs will help you get the word out about your company.

#3.       Enter the New Products Showcase.  The New Products Showcase is the first stop for buyers at the show because they want to find the next big thing.  Entering products in the Showcase give you an opportunity to show your product to every buyer that walks through the Showcase.  The entry form is available under the Trade Show Marketing tab at www.globalpetexpo.org.

#2.       Be proactive; contact your customer.  The days of buyers walking up and down each aisle are long gone.  It is up to you to reach out to your customers.  Call them and set up appointments for them to see you at your booth.  Doing it this way lets you plan for the meeting, decide what you want to show and determine what you want the outcome of the visit to be.  It puts you in control of your destiny at the show.

#1.       Set goals for the Show.  You have paid a lot of money to exhibit in Global Pet Expo.  What do you want to accomplish?   Do you want to find new distribution channels?  Do you want to sell internationally?  Do you want to write a certain amount of orders?  You’ll never know if the show was successful for you if you don’t know what you want to achieve.  Make a realistic plan for your company and then do everything that you can to make it happen.

Good luck in planning for the Show.  We’ll see you in Orlando!

If you have any questions about this or anything else related to Global Pet Expo, please contact me at Andy@appma.org or 203-532-3606.