Planning for a trade show is a massive undertaking that requires a lot of time and effort and it can be an intimidating project to tackle. A lot of the time we don’t even know where to start. There is a lot of work that needs to be done and having a clear focus on what we need to accomplish helps us not get distracted by other tasks.
How do we do this? I recommend having a small piece of paper with a 2-4 items on it that you have to get done that day. Do not put an entire week or entire show’s worth of tasks on this list as it will get cluttered and intimidating and will defeat the purpose. Only include achievable tasks that you have to accomplish that day.
Be specific. Do not put long-term or abstract goals on the list such as: “Organize trade show,” “Promote trade show exhibit event,” or “Reach more customers.” These will only deter you from actually starting or completing these types of tasks because you won’t know where to start. Having a limited number of actionable or achievable tasks allows you to focus in on the items that you need to accomplish these goals.
Here is an example of good To Do List:
1. Book hotel and flights for show.
2. Call ten clients to set up appointments in your trade show booth.
3. Submit my show services forms.
I know that this list doesn’t seem like much, but you would be surprised how difficult it can be to get some of these seemingly simple tasks done. If you complete them before the end of the day, great! Call it a day or add another task to the list; just make sure you add something that you feel you can complete before the end of the day. Do not start something that will take four hours if it is 3:30pm and you want to leave by 5:00pm.
This is a great way to ensure that you are getting what you need done everyday while feeling good about it. If you are able to identify what you need to get done and work hard to accomplish those items, you can feel good about heading home ten minutes early.
Your To Do List:
1. Break items down into achievable tasks for the day.
2. Do not clutter the list with too many items.
3. Focus and work to complete your list by the end of the day; have a specific ending time.
4. If you finish early, go home or add another achievable item that you can accomplish that day.
5. Repeat from step 1 tomorrow.
I use this technique on a daily basis. It has really helped me break down larger projects into manageable tasks as well as keep me focused on what I really need to get done.
For more tips on how to plan your day and your tasks, pick up The Evolving Role of Exhibit Marketers. This 36 page guidebook shares insight from other trade show marketers about what their job is like and how they get it done. Click here to request your free copy.