How to Plan A Successful Exhibition – Our Ultimate Exhibition Checklist
Here at Conex, we have a wealth of experience in delivering complete exhibition packages for our clients. To help you prepare for having your own successful exhibition, we have compiled the following guide to exhibition planning:
Item #1: Be in the right place at the right time
The quality of your trade stand, the careful planning of branded clothing, interactive boards and trick lighting will count for nothing if the event hall isn’t packed with YOUR potential customers.
Research trade exhibitions in your field of expertise, choose your target audience and get planning…
Item #2: Book your space
Think about your presence, your footprint in the exhibition hall, get booked early and choose a prime location. With this job checked off you can start to concentrate on the details of your promotional push.
Item #3: Set your budget
Before hiring equipment, ordering staff clothing, printing marketing material or sourcing a gold trimmed red carpet to welcome potential clients, plan the total budget and how this might be shared between the financial demands of attending the event.
Item #4: Decide what to exhibit
Whatever product or service you are looking to promote, decide which lines of your business you intend to “seduce” the exhibition visitors with. Having a wall of shelving or display stands for single small items will be wasted space. Fill, but don’t crowd, your exhibition space with temptation.
Item #5: Make a list and check it twice
Make a trade show checklist. Then check it twice. Your equipment will need transporting, possibly storing and setting up. When are traders permitted to access their space? Where will you park your vehicles? Will you need to obtain security passes for drivers? You’ll be pleased that you asked yourselves all of these questions long before the event, avoiding any panicking the night before the exhibition.
Item #6: Make sure you’re powered up and well-connected
How many power points will you need?
Some of your available power may need to be out of sight, be realistic about how many charging points you may need. Think about how many data capturing devices will need a reliable internet connection. Remember you will have options for interactive displays and all of this will need power.
Item #7: Make a stand
Armed with all the information you have gathered, you can now meet your exhibition stand provider. Together you can begin to plan and plot to have the most prepared, best equipped, and expertly constructed stand in the room.
Here at Conex, we have the experience and expert knowledge in exhibition design and we will work alongside you to ensure you have the ultimate exhibition stand. We have many innovative ideas which you may not have considered. We can help you incorporate these into your plan alongside your own exhibition essentials.
Item #8: Confirm and comply
Make sure you’ve read your contract with the exhibition organisers, that your stand complies with any restrictions (maybe noise, light, height etc). Arrange any security that isn’t provided on site, your equipment will need protecting overnight.
Also make sure your insurance; for your clients, staff and equipment is suitable for the event.
Item #9: Bullseye!
When planning for a successful exhibition have targets. Targets for client data capture as well as sales are not only incentives but they will provide valuable information as to the relative success of your attendance. Think about ‘exhibition only’ deals and sweeteners for your potential new clients and target those offers.
Item #10: Take the right people
Make sure you have enough staff to cover the whole time at the exhibition and that they are ready to be happy and cheerful even after several hours on the floor.
Arrange transport, accommodation and meals. Organise shift patterns to meet your people’s’ needs. This will help keep everybody fresh and approachable until closing time.
Item #11: Make the exhibition worthwhile for your team
When planning budgets and targets, consider incentivising your staff. Hold pre-event training and meetings to ensure that everybody attending with you will deliver your brand’s message. Your whole team should be confident to demonstrate your offerings consistently and enthusiastically.
Rewards for the team contributing towards targets being met will help keep everybody on message from start to finish.
Item #12: Don’t run out (of ANYTHING!)
Ensure you have the paper, pens, ink, notepads, staplers and any other stationery needed to keep you and your team organised. Keep some drinking water and cups, waste bins and anything else you might have in your own office.
Take a good look around before you leave for the show, your trade show checklist should be comprehensive.
Item #13: Let everybody know
Use social media to publicise the exhibition. Create a hashtag and start building a momentum of postings. Follow potential clients and join in conversations to keep the upcoming event in the public eye. Use your own website to share details of your participation at the exhibition and notify all existing clients too. Write a press release and share with all types of media outlet.
Item #14: Be prepared to share content.
Have literature, brochures, business cards as well as posters and banners displaying your full brand details. Make sure nobody leaves empty-handed. Pens, bookmarks and other simple giveaways are all ways to ensure prospective clients are taking your message home with them.
Item #15: Remember that you’re working with a captive audience
Make it easy for you and your team to capture data from your visitors, and make it easy and fun for attendees to share their contact details. If you are using laptops, tablets or phones, ensure they are charged and at full speed, a potential client may soon wander off whilst you wait for an iPad to reboot.
Hopefully, you won’t need to follow your potential clients home! If you’ve planned well, taken the right equipment, the right people and plenty of ways to deliver your message then they will have taken that message home with them. Follow up all leads promptly, deliver on all promises and share the success of the exhibition.
Having prepared well and conveyed your message you can relax, look back at those pre-event targets and dwell on your success.