Professional trade shows are valuable marketing instrument that require a professional and efficient management, an intense dedication of the company to get the maximum returns.
The participation in these shows require a special treatment due to the complexity of the project, the time dedication, the economic investment and the opportunities comercially derived.
Thus, it is necessary that the planning, organisation, execution as well as the control of the whole participation project is assigned to one responsible person, capable to assume the responsibilities in these areas. This new figure can be called the Expo Manager or the Trade Show Executive of the exhibiting company who is normally related to Communication, Marketing or Sales.
This professional profile is more than just being simply responsible or coordinating the stand, but to execute the main responsibility and to develop the functions, from the definition of the trade show politics of the company, the analysis and selection of the shows, the administration and budget control of the participation and the training of staff who will attend the stand or the management of providers.
Nowadays, and depending on the dimension and characteristics of the company, these functions are executed by different professionals of the company, from the General or Sales Director, to the sales force or the administrative person. Sometimes, these persons need to divide themselves when the trade show gets nearer, forgetting the daily tasks and inducing a blockade of the daily activity.
The lack of coordination, planning and frequent improvisation in the development of this type of events are determinants in getting unsatisfactory results.
In the trade show participation plan, it can intervene different departments of the company that the Expo Manager must coordinate to meet the objectives. According to the dimension and the structure of each company, the implication of each department can be large or small.
Management: approve the trade show politics and the participation plan, as well as the budget and to be present at the stand.
Production: make available the product. Product demonstration at the stand. Possible attendance to the trade show.
Administración: disponibilidad presupuestaria.
Marketing: sales, communication, Public Relations
The Expo Manager, apart from planning, executing and coordinating, must control all the tasks during this period of time and according to the conditions, as well as to ensure that all the efforts of providers, collaborators and internal staff end well.
Profile of the Expo Manager:
– Possess a wide knowledge of the product
– Experience in Sales and Marketing
– Complementary training in Marketing and Communication
– Knowledge of promotion, publicity and Public Relations
– Fluent with languages
– Dynamic, communicative and motivated person and a team worker
– Experience in trade fairs and shows
Funcions of the Expo Manager:
– Design the trade fair politics
– Establish the objectives, fix and administer the budget, define the public objective, analyse and select the potential trade shows
– Contract, coordinate and control the tasks of the providers (stand, transport, hostesses, catering, animation, hotel, etc…)
– Contract the exhibition space
– Select the products/ services to exhibit
– Select and train the internal and external staff for the stand
– Control the transportation of samples and materials to the trade fair
– Supervise the set up and tear down of the stand
– Develop the pre-trade fair communication campaign
– Order the promotion material for the trade fair
– Supervise the accommodation and travel for staff
– Manage the stand
– Design the system to qualify contacts
– Write the report at the end of the participation
– Coordinate the post-trade fair follow up on the contacts
– Evaluate the results obtained and measure the returns of investment achieved.
Contributed by: Fernando Le Monnier, our trade fairs and exhibition expert, General Director of Gag Events and President of APMF (Marketing Trade Show Professional Association)