Planning and managing a trade show in the Greater Boston area is a lot more difficult than simply designing and hosting a booth at an industry event. When you start making plans for your business conference in Massachusetts, it is important to identify what it is that you are doing. There are three terms that are thrown around when it comes to planning professional events: trade show, conference, and convention. In fact, these terms are used interchangeably, yet have very distinct meanings.
A trade show is also known as an exhibition or expo. It is usually closed to a specific industry as a vehicle to demonstrate new products or services. A conference is a meeting that is used to provide education, an exchange of ideas, consultations, or to discuss a specific topic or agenda. A convention is a formal meeting of representatives, members, or delegates, such as a union, political party, or fraternal group. Armed with this information, it should be much easier to know what “title” you should give your gathering. Is it a Boston area trade show, conference, or convention?
Planning a Trade Show in the Greater Boston Area
For the sake of argument, we will discuss tips on how to plan a trade show at our popular Milford conference center. A trade show, which includes an exhibition floor for a specific industry, can also include aspects typically dedicated to a conference or a convention. For example, if you were to provide educational opportunities, such as workshops and seminars as part of your trade show, you could even call it a trade show and convention. On the other hand, if your expo also included a formal meeting of members within the specific industry or local group of tradesmen, you could call it a trade show and convention.
To get started you need to identify what your goals are for the event, what you hope to get out of it. If you are doing this as a money-making venture to profit from creating a gathering for a specific industry or group, then your goals will center around opportunities that will generate income. Registration fees for attendees, expo booth fees for vendors, participation fees for speakers or businesses, and sponsorship fees for companies that want to post banners or support the event financially. It is easy to monetize just about every single aspect of your Greater Boston area trade show, from special speakers to luncheons, after parties, and everything in between.
Choose a Location and Set a Date
The next step is to pick the location for your business conference in Massachusetts. Our Milford conference center has ample room for a local trade show, conference, or convention, depending on your needs. We have all of the audio-visual equipment necessary to help you pull off a professional event, plus we also offer in-house catering for refreshments or meals to be served to your guests. Schedule a tour of The Crystal Room Conference Center so you can make sure it has all of the space that you need. Ask questions and work with our on-site event coordinator to ensure that you understand what is available and how things work.
Once you decide on the venue, you can pick a date. Depending on the time of year, local meeting rooms and conference centers may be busy for weddings, graduations, and other types of events. Choosing a weekday or block of days during the week may be your best bet. If the event is local, it is easy to attract area professionals who would be interested in attending even if it occurs Monday through Friday. Avoid scheduling events during holidays to maximize your attendance and check with local school schedules to prevent scheduling during seasonal breaks. Once you set the location and date, you can start working on other important aspects of planning a trade show in the Greater Boston area.
Other Essential Objectives
The next phase will be in setting a budget, finding sponsors, reserving entertainment and other vendors, creating a layout, and marketing the event. You will want to establish a schedule for the event and create printed materials that can be handed out to attendees to make it easier to follow. Consider creating a unique app that attendees, sponsors, and supporters can use during the event. There are many programs out there that will do this for you if you don’t have the in-house resources to do it on your own. Connect the app to a website for online registration opportunities to increase interest. Reach out to the best industry speakers, workshop programs, and representatives to provide quality content to your attendees.
Visit The Crystal Room Conference Center
If you are planning a Greater Boston trade show or business conference in Massachusetts, consider our Milford conference center for your event. Located just a minute off the I-495, we are close enough to Boston to make it convenient for your guests, yet removed to prevent traffic complications and distractions. Give us a call at 508-478-7800 to speak with one of our representatives or to schedule a tour of our facility.