It is a best practice for businesses and organizations to begin planning their promotional and trade show displays at the start of the year. How and when you get ready for upcoming events can and will make a tremendous effect on the results of your marketing efforts. Here are 5 things you must know when planning your promotional and trade show displays for the year.

#1: Plan As Early As You Can

You know that old axiom “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Well, it definitely rings true when it comes to annual event and promotion planning. We advise that you start planning for trade shows ~ 5-6 months ahead. For promotional displays and large events, it is best to start planning at least 2-3 months ahead of time. Planning ahead gives you the necessary time needed to create the perfect displays. Not only will it bring you peace of mind, but it can also bring you savings as well. You can save on rush fees, which can cost from several hundreds to several thousands of dollars.

#2: Get Your Design Assets Ready

Design Proofing is one of the major parts of the process in acquiring display products and it is also one of the parts where marketing personnel and entrepreneurs alike generally burn through time with back and forth communication. You can save yourself a great deal of time and hassle if you prepare your digital assets in advance. Large format printing is by nature can take a lot of time depending on the complexity of your needs. We advise that you save all of your graphic files in a vector format like .SVG, .EPS, .PDF or .AI. Another important thing to keep in mind is that if you require exact colors, it is necessary that you provide critical PMS Coated or CMYK color codes for correct color matching to be applied to your order.

#3: Request Design Assistance

As you might probably guess, the designing of promotional and event displays is often times the most tedious step in the planning process. We recommend pinning down your approach to design near the beginning of the year and try your very best to adhere to it. If you don't already have one and your budget allows, you can hire a design employee or go through a freelancer. If you are very tight on cash and/or have some design skills of your own, you can opt to just do the design yourself. There are many free design software options you can use, such as our Online Design Tool to design vector print-ready graphics. You can also check out our Free & Professional Design Services and one of our client representatives will walk you through the process.

#4: Buy in Bulk for the Best Discount

One significant advantage of beginning your year with event and promotion planning is that you can buy the entirety of the products you will require for the year at the same time. Depending on where you purchase your displays, some suppliers offer significant quantity discounts when you buy in bulk. Even if you are only purchasing more than 2 products, you can receive a discount of between 5% and 15%. For products where you might need several hundred units, you can see savings between 20% and 40%. For large enterprises ordering thousands of products at once, you can receive an average of 50% to 60% off each unit! Deciding ahead of time which and how many products you will need for the year could even allow you to afford more products and increase your marketing capacity

#5: Add Margin Time to Your Orders

Due to the nature of large format printing and the proofing process, there are many aspects of purchasing promotional and trade show displays that can cause delays. Shipping delays also come without warning, so when planning, consider your in-hand date and add extra time as a buffer when ordering. We suggest you add anywhere between 2 and 5 extra business days so in case anything goes wrong (as things sometimes do), you will not be in jeopardy of not receiving your products in a timely manner.

Promotional planning can be a painstaking process, but if you remember to do these 5 important things, you are much more likely to breeze through the process with confidence and peace of mind.