“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” – John F. Kennedy

We all know that it’s best to plan ahead. As the saying goes, “failure to plan is planning to fail” and all that. However, during a busy marketing season (AKA, your entire year), planning ahead can be thrown by the wayside. There always seem to be SO many fires that take attention away from pre-planning. Well, at the risk of using way too many metaphors, dare I suggest that some of those fires have been created by keeping important things on the back burner for too long?

Dedicating time to pre-planning right after setting up your trade show and event schedule ensures that you will reap big rewards in the long run. Here are six key benefits of early planning:

1. You take advantage of early Bird pricing!

Trade shows are expensive endeavors. Why not save money where you can? Booking your trade show space early is a no-brainer – it allows you to take advantage of discounted rates and save money compared to booking closer to the event.

2. You avoid rush charges for booth properties and show services.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Exhibit houses and show management companies are often just as busy as you are. They are usually willing to put in extra time and effort to complete your project, but waiting too long to finalize your plans may result in having to pay a premium for their services.

3. You give yourself time to implement a STRATEGIC, cohesive marketing plan that includes pre-event, at-event, and post-event initiatives.

Memorability of your brand is greatly increased when there is a consistent theme across all your marketing materials as well as your booth space. By having a cohesive theme throughout the event lifecycle, you can better align your efforts, create a more engaging and memorable experience for attendees, and ultimately achieve your goals and objectives more effectively.

4. You lock in the best onsite talent before other exhibitors contract them.

Experienced, cream-of-the-crop trade show professionals such as Presenters, Directors, Event Managers, and Brand Ambassadors possess unique and valuable skill sets. This elite talent is in high demand and can make or break the success of your trade show campaign. The sooner you can secure the best talent, the better positioned you’ll be for a smooth-running and effective exhibit.

TPG Brand Ambassadors in the Topcon booth at ConExpo.


5. You leave yourself plenty of time for quality checks, covering both your marketing materials and your physical booth.

There’s nothing worse than seeing a marketing piece released in the wild riddled with errors. Similarly, a booth on the trade show floor that has graphic or structural mistakes can be a real let-down. Why not give yourself the time to thoroughly check and double-check all your elements before releasing or deploying them? Taking the time to ensure quality and attention to detail can make a significant difference in how your marketing materials and trade show presence are perceived by your audience.

6. You eliminate (or at least lessen) your stress levels.

Who are we kidding? You work in trade shows and events…you will likely NEVER eliminate all stress. There are always unknown gremlins that creep in and throw you curve balls. By planning in advance, you can control what is within your power to control. This leaves you available to attend to the inevitable unforeseen occurrences that may arise along the way.


So, there you have it…money, success, and less stress! If those aren’t good enough reasons to take a little time to pre-plan, then I don’t know what are. And I should mention that we’ve seen these lessons in action by some of our best and most successful clients! Why not join the ranks of the prepared elite? The pre-planning pros? The…well, you get the idea. Put a little time in at the beginning and you’ll reap tremendous rewards at the end.

Kim Mallery, TPG Program Manager

Partnering with a seasoned event marketing team that brings creativity and expertise to the table can alleviate much of the stress that accompanies planning an event. We’re eager to engage with you and begin crafting a strategy for your upcoming event, so you can sit back and relax.