Planning your 1st Exhibition? We are here to help you, every step of the way…
Exhibiting for the first time can be quite daunting, but you’ve made the all-important first step by deciding to get involved! The popular saying, often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” rings so very true when it comes to trade fairs or exhibitions – planning is key.
A clear & focused plan will give you the direction and clarity to prevent you being distracted from your primary purpose – which is achieving what you set out to by attending the exhibition in the first place.
• The Plan: What do you want to achieve? Clear goals and objectives from the beginning will help you keep focus and make your planning considerably easier. There may be any number of reasons for attending a show such as generating sales leads, raising brand awareness, launching a new product or explaining a product or service. Try and set yourself some clear KPIs against your stated objectives for the show, that way you can measure its success effectively at the end, once the dust has settled.
• The Right Fit: Find the show that best fits YOUR objectives – try not to be tempted by last minute deals from show organisers, unless the show is a good fit for you.
• The Budget: Have a clear idea of how much you have to spend – allow for the stand space, any extra costs for services (if applicable), the stand itself, your staff costs (will you have to close your normal business to cover the show?), hotel & accommodation, food & drink, marketing materials, logistics & shipping. If you know what you are looking for, and what show you are looking to attend, you can always fill in our Quick Quote form for a quick estimate on stands, set-up and shipping logistics.
• The Look: What do you want it to look like? It needs to fit with your own brand and be a good fit for your target audience. Nobody knows your brand as well as you do – this is your chance to show the world who you are and what you are about. Consistency across your stand, literature even staff clothing can all help to achieve the look you want. Need a hand with any of this? Just let us know and we can help.
• The Stand – to buy or rent?: How can you achieve the stand you want, cost effectively? There are a wide variety of stands available, from simple pop up banners to full custom-built structures. Rather than purchasing outright for your very first show, there are several solutions that you can simply rent and personalise with your own graphics for a more cost-effective presence if you are not ready to commit to buying all your own stand equipment. You can see our collections of Modular stands, Portable Displays, Stand Rentals, T3 Modular Stands, you can even rent Audio Visual equipment and furniture. If you are not sure which one is best for you, give us a call on 0203 780 0666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options and find the right fit for you.
• The Logistics: How will you get it there & set up? Are you confident setting up your own stand? If not, we can offer a full service where you simply turn up at the start of your show to your expertly built and fully set up stand. A stress-free start to your show – how amazing does that sound? You always need to check your stand booking so you know exactly what is included and what needs to be booked as extra services – what is included as standard may vary from country to country. (If exhibiting in the USA, you can visit our blog here for more information on how to avoid some common pitfalls). You will also need to think about the end of show how will you get everything packed up and sent back, do you have the storage space available if you have purchased a stand or equipment?
• The Show itself: This can be the most challenging, but also the most fun part! How will you grab attention and generate interaction with show visitors? Get your props and marketing materials organised – will you need any giveaways/ branded gifts? How will you be memorable? How do you want visitors to remember you? Plus the more practical aspects – if you are selling from your stand do you have the stock & systems in place to do so at the fair? (WiFi can be unreliable in busy exhibition centres due to high demand on its services). If your goal is generating leads, how will you collect and keep their information & have a plan for how you will use it afterwards (always bear in mind GDPR).
• Your people: Staff training is key – knowledgeable staff on your stand are a must. For visitors to have confidence in what you are showing or telling them, every member of your show team must have confidence in what they are saying. Manning a stand can be hard work – make sure you have enough staff to cover breaks, lunches, meeting cover and so on, and it’s always handy to have drinks and snacks available.
• How was it for you?: Debrief after the show, review with your team how the show went, was it a success, did you meet your KPIs, was it cost effective, what could you have done better, appreciate what went well, would you like to do it all over again? Make sure you follow up on any leads gained through the show, while it is still fresh in their minds, leave it too long and you may have missed your opportunity.
Assuming your show was a fabulous success and you want to do it all over again next year, or another event…bear in mind that it may be possible to enjoy significant savings on the logistics by booking early!
Contact us today if you’d like a quote for any Exhibition or Conference you are thinking of attending.