IMTS 2014 MARKETING PLANNER
Planning an IMTS show is no easy task. Juggling budgets,
logistics, exhibit planning, demos, and pre-show promotion
can be an overwhelming task for even for experienced trade
Use the IMTS 2014 MAREKTING PLANNER to help you plan an
effective IMTS show.
Think of the planner as your IMTS Cliff Notes
IMTS Planning Guide: Must Knows
Show Dates: September 8 -13, 2014
Booth & Exhibit
who is in charge of the show
who is in charge of move in - move out
who is in charge shipping
who is in charge of the demonstrations
who will make the hotel/travel arrangements
who is in charge of the sales leads
who will work the exhibit
Booth & Exhibit
what is your show budget & what is included
booth type (inline-island-peninsula)
booth payment dates
will you rent, build or use an existing exhibit
who is your exhbit company
Services & Logistics
pre-show service ordering dates
name of trucking company used
show move in date
show move out date
Machines & Demos
what equipment will be exhibited
what are the machine demonstrations
what services & materials are needed for the demos
how will we draw exhibitors into our exhibit?
Be sure to keep a budget
on your IMTS expenses
hotels - air fares
McCormick Place IMTS Halls
East and West Buildings: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
North and South Buildings: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Understanding the trade show lingo
Trade Show Terms
Convention Center is where the trade show takes place. IMTS 2012 will be held at Chicago’s McCormick
Trade Show Association promotes the trade show, rents out the convention centers, hires the show
contractors, and decides on the cost of the exhibit space and hotel rates. The Association For
Manufacturing Technology (AMT) is the association for IMTS.
General Show Contractor is the company who manages trade show, including leasing the exposition
facility, hiring official contractors, and promoting the show. Freeman is show contractor for IMTS 2012.
Exhibitor Appointed Contractor is hired by an exhibitor to perform trade show services independently of
show management appointed contractors. Dimension Craft is an exhibitor appointed contractor who
builds, ships installs & dismantles exhibits.
Shipping is the cost to bring your exhibit and exhibited material to the convention center’s loading
Drayage (material handling) is the cost to bring your exhibit from the convention center’s loading docs to
your booth space. The charge is normally based the weight cartons skids, and crates.
Bill of Lading is an official document between the shipper and the carrier listing the items being shipped.
Most shows contractors will only issue your bill of lading once all your show expenses have been paid.
Understanding the trade show lingo
Trade Show Services
Electricians will install and dismantle anything electrical. Be sure to provide an electrical layout plan
when submitting your electrical request. This will speed up the electrical set up process and save you
money. If exhibiting machinery for shows like IMTS or FABTECH, it's a good idea to leave the machine
locks in your booth (oppose to storage) so you can lock up your equipment immediately after the show
ends. Pre-wiring your equipment and providing quick disconnects can also save on your electrical cost.
Plumbers will provide the installation and dismantling of water, air, gas lines to your equipment and
exhibit. If your exhibit requires plumbing, be sure to provide a location layout, and valve fitting sizes
when submitting your plan.
Riggers will uncrate/unskid, crate/skid and position your machinery and exhibit. You can save on
rigging cost by uncrating your equipment before the show. If exhibiting machinery, it's a good idea to
mark the location of your equipment on the visqueen carpet covering before the move in. This will
help the riggers spot your equipment.
Carpenters will install and dismantle your trade show exhibit.
Decorators will assemble (non-electrical, non-structural) overhead signs, and draping. Exhibitors can
now mount their own signs to their exhibit walls. Be sure to bring in some Velcro when packing for a
show if you plan on doing it yourself.
1. not understanding drayage
2. not confirming ordered services ahead of time
3. showing bad body language
4. loosing your cool at a fellow employee or show official
5. waiting until the last second to make move out
6. not ordering carpet padding
7. wearing new shoes
8. poor exhibit lighting
9. cluttered or low quality graphics
10. handing out mindless give-aways
2. first aid kit
3. electrical extension cords and power strips
4. cleaning supplies: Windex, paper towel, small vacuum
5. phone charger
6. business cards
7. tool kit
8. breathe mints
9. bottled water
10. promotional hand outs
Secrets for a
Trade show events can be fun and exciting but also very stressful especially with larger custom or rental
exhibits that display equipment and machinery. Long days on your feet, late night dinners, and lack of
sleep can create stress. You can reduce your trade show stress by reading the following the advice.
Don’t do everything yourself. Rely on your trade show exhibit company for your exhibit transportation,
installation/dismantling, service ordering and fellow employees for setting up product demos,
hospitality events and lead management.
2. Confirm your services ahead of time.
Confirm ahead of time with the show association, show contractor and exhibit hall that your electrical
and plumbing services, card readers, and other services and have been received. Bring along a hard
copy of your ordered services just case there is an unexpected issue.
3. Have a company a representative in your booth for the move in.
By scheduling a company rep. in your booth during the show move-in, you can avoid many potential
problems. The rep. should also have the cell phone number of your trucker bringing in the exhibit and
displayed products in case there is a delay or issue. Your rep. can also confirm that electrical, plumbing
and carpet has been laid before the exhibit and equipment arrives. If exhibiting equipment, the rep. can
show the riggers where it needs to be set in the booth.
4. Store items important items in your booth or close by.
For example, if you exhibit machinery, keep a set of tools, and machine locks inside the booth or in easy
access storage. Once the show closes, you can start packing up your equipment right away without
waiting for crates to come back from storage.
5. Don’t wait to the last day of the show to make your move out arrangements
Start making your move out arrangements at least two days before the show ends. The last day of the
show is always chaotic as people are eager pack up and leave the show. Move out arrangements include
paying your show invoices at the convention hall service desk, obtaining your bill of lading (which is your
pass to get out of the show), and scheduling company personnel to pack up your machinery or exhibited
Make sure you avoid the following points when exhibiting at your next trade show.
at a trade show
1. Having too much fun
Your raspy voice, red eyes and tired look are a sure sign you had too much fun last night.
However, you’ll never be at your best since the only thing you care about is going back to your
hotel room and taking a nap. There is no worse place to be hungover than a trade show. Take it
easy and make it a goal to be back in your hotel room at a reasonable time.
2. Loosing your cool
Trade shows can be stressful especially for the trade show manager. During the show someone
will ask the trade show manager “why didn’t you do it this way or you should of done this”.
Instead of responding the lyrics from Cee Lo Green’s recent top music hit, remain calm and let it
roll off your back. Knowing ahead of time that someone will probably get under your skin will
make it easier to remain calm.
3. Talking loudly on your cell phone
Think you look important yapping loudly on that cell phone in the middle of the booth. When
attendees come into your booth, make them feel like they are the center of your attention and
talking away on your cell is not the way to do it. If you have to be on you phone, be discrete by
moving to a part of the booth where its less noticeable or consider text messaging.
4. Bringing people who can’t talk the talk
You need bodies to work your exhibit but bringing in employees who don’t speak the product
lingo is not a good idea. Because an attendees time is limited, you may only have one chance to
connect and impress them. Engineers, product managers, and of course salesman are ideal
people to work your trade show event.
5. Having a messy booth
Garbage cans filled to the brim, coffee stained carpet, and soft drink cans scattered around the
exhibit, do not give a good first impression. Make it a point to keep the exhibit clean at all times,
because you never know what the show attendees are thinking.
Cool web2.0 Marketing Tips
Think all your marketing is done once the show begins? Think again, its just getting started. With today’s 2.0 marketing
tools and the growing popularity of smart phones, you can now also market your products or services during the show.
I’m not talking about handing out trade show bags or expensive on-site advertising but rather these inexpensive 2.0
ideas you can do yourself.
1. Twitter: Tweeting is good way to reach trade show attendees who are not your Twitter followers. Send out Tweet
updates during the show. Be sure to add #showname in your Tweets so they are found in the Twitter real time search
stream. Tweet about your new products, demonstrations, contest or raffles.
2. Facebook: Facebook updates can be used like Twitter but your post reside on your FB wall. Posting FaceBook info to
your wall is a good way to engage with your Fans who may or not be at the show. Your FB post will show up on your
followers (Fans) wall post. This why it’s important to build your FaceBook following.
3. QR Tags: If you really want to engage with a show attendee, add a QR tag to a pop up banner or product ID stand.
When a QR tag is scanned by the attendees smart phone, you can link them to a website which could further explain
your exhibited product or bring them to a RFQ page. The attendee can then share the link with fellow co-workers or
their social network. (If you know of any customers with a large social network or blog following, ask them if they
would mind posting some kind words about your product.)
4. Blogs: Blog posting about your show or event can be done before, during and after the show. Your post can include
new product announcements, or your take on the show. Be sure to add/tag the name of the show in your post. Since
blog post are indexed within hours (unlike web pages which can take up to 12 days), many of your blog post can appear
in a search engines while the show is still going on.
5. Adwords: Google Trends show that searches for trade show names ramp up before and during the event and drops
off a cliff when the event is over. Consider running a Google Adwords campaign before and during the show. Most
trade shows names have little adword competition making the keyword affordable. Your advertisement can announce
new products, specials, raffles, contest, and your booth number.
Internet Marketing Consultant