Event Marketing

Healthcare Tradeshow Checklist

Healthcare’s fall conference season is coming – are you ready?

As the calendar turns from August to September, Marketers shift their attention to the crazy fall conference season when there is literally a conference each week. In the fall, there are many large conferences like MGMA, RSNA, HLTH, and SHSMD as well as more focused events like Kyruus’s ATLAS and PointClickCare’s Summit.

Years ago when I was responsible for managing tradeshows, I created a checklist to help ensure nothing got missed. Over time, I shared this checklist with colleagues who improved upon the list. The existence of this checklist has slowly spread and through the years more and more people have asked me to share it with them.

This year I’ve decided to share it with the world. Below is my Healthcare Tradeshow Checklist. I hope you can use it to create one that is more suited to your organization and I look forward to hearing how you have improved upon it.

You can also download a PDF version here.

Healthcare Tradeshow Checklist

12 Months before

  • Book as an exhibitor

3-4 Months Before

  • Choose exhibit location (if you didn’t at time of confirming as exhibitor)
  • Note the dimension limitations of booth (including ceiling height, poles, etc)
  • Book electrical/power
  • Book carpet
  • Book lead retrieval (if none, then bring own tablets with electronic lead forms)
  • Book cleaning services
  • Book décor (plants, couches, coffee tables, etc)
  • Book accommodations for onsite team if exhibitor MUST stay at a certain hotel
  • Finalize booth staff
  • Note the exhibit times
  • Email staff to book airfare and accommodations, note the date/time you want them there
  • Send calendar invite to staff – not the exhibit hours for staff AND the times they should plan to be there
  • Book pre-show meeting with staff
  • Book post-show recap/debrief with staff (for 1 or 2 weeks after show)
  • Verify that staff will have enough business cards by the time of the tradeshow
  • Finalize key messages and order specific booth graphics with that messaging
  • Arrange booth shipment
    • Booth structures
    • Pull-up banners
    • Existing collateral to be shipped
    • Existing promotional items/giveaways
  • Book in-booth entertainment and temporary staff (if needed)
  • Get buy-in and sign-off for tradeshow goals and objectives

2-3 Months Before

  • Verify booth arrangements – power, carpet, wastebasket, cleaning services, rigging, décor
  • Create booth duty schedule (allow for breaks/lunch)
  • Check agenda to see when clients/prospects are speaking
  • Finalize/Order show giveaways
  • Determine booth uniform (if applicable)
  • Identify prospects to notify that you will be attending tradeshow and see if they have time for a meeting at your booth
  • Finalize pre-show marketing campaign to raise awareness of your tradeshow participation
    • Highlight clients/staff that are speaking
    • Hint at any announcements
    • Give them a reason that is valuable to THEM to drop by your booth

1 Month Before

  • Finalize talk-track for booth staff (ie: opening greeting/welcome, 30 second elevator pitch, demo script)
  • Verify that no real patient data is used for any demonstration
  • All-hands meeting to review tradeshow details
  • Start inviting clients/prospects to dinner/evening events

2 weeks Before

  • Email marketing campaign to likely tradeshow attendees
  • Finalize “Thanks for stopping by” emails for staff to send to people that stop in the booth
  • Queue up social posts for the tradeshow
  • Pack and ship tradeshow emergency kit:
    • Painter’s tape
    • Electrical tape
    • Duct Tape
    • Scissors
    • Paper
    • Sharpies
    • Stapler
    • Paperclips
    • Pens
    • Extra business cards
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Hand lotion
    • Ziploc bags
    • USB thumb drives
    • Batteries (for peripherals)
    • Power strips
    • Extension cord
    • Phone charging cables

During the Tradeshow

  • Have bottled water on hand for staff
  • Ensure extra giveaways are stored securely
  • Review lead-retrieval system with staff
  • Document questions and product enhancements asked by visitors

2 weeks after

  • Debrief meeting – what worked, what didn’t, trends identified
  • Email followup to booth visitors offering something valuable
  • Notify winner of draw (if applicable)

 

About the author

Avatar

Colin Hung

Colin Hung is an award-winning Marketing Executive with more than 15yrs of healthcare and HealthIT experience. He co-founded one of the most popular healthcare chats on Twitter, #hcldr and he has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Healthcare IT Influencers”. Colin’s work has been published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, American Society for Healthcare Risk Managers, and Infection Control Today. He writes regularly for Healthcare Scene and here at HITMC.com. Colin is a member of #pinksock #TheWalkingGallery and is proudly HITMC. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

2 Comments

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  • Nice work Colin! A great resource –– especially for small companies and startups newer to exhibiting and needing to remove extra time and effort in the exhibit process to focus on marketing and messaging.

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