Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tips on How to Plan for an Exhibition

Pre-Plan All the Elements to Exhibiting for a Successful Outcome

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Many of the following bullet points will be covered in more detail in future Exhibition Tip blogs:

  • Set strategy, objectives and goals. You need to know why you are exhibiting and what you want to achieve that is measurable. Participation in trade show should always be reviewed against measurable objectives. This allows return on investment (ROI)to be analysed in order to understand the degree of success of attending that tradeshow
  • Confirm buy-in from other company departments. Discuss with departments their participation and the need for their support resource and staff, both in the pre- planning and on-site stages, for the exhibition to be successful
  • Clarify budget available for the exhibition. You need to know what your budget is before embarking on the stand build, marketing and all the other items that will need to be included in in your plan
  • Start the planning process in plenty of time. The longer you have, the better prepared you will be. Create a timeline document with schedules of what needs to be done when, showing deadlines both from the show organisers and your own. This is a vital document to keep everything on time for payments, tradeshow catalogue entry and planning logistics. The date of the show cannot be put back like a product release: it is happening on the date publicized and everything needs to be ready
  • Keep an updated check list to run in conjunction with the timeline
  • Decide on the promotion and marketing of the exhibition both on-line and with traditional media, using invitations, sales initiatives, website, social media, advertising, signage, PR, and sponsorship. At the start of the planning process for exhibiting the theme of the company exhibition needs to be decided. All marketing and promotional material and communications about the exhibition should be of the same look and feel so that there is consistency in the show’s marketing and the branding of products
  • Select stand location: consult floor plans, traffic patterns and audience make up
  • Consider the design of the exhibition stand. Have you booked a shell scheme or space only? Are you using a previous stand or designing a new one? This needs to be incorporated into the timeline. You may need to allow additional time for briefing design companies to quote and present concepts for a new or bespoke stand
  • Plan the logistics. You may need to consider:
    • Reserved hotel accommodation for staff
    • Selecting and briefing speakers if a speaking slot is confirmed at the show
    • Shipping of goods to show, as well as transportation of staff
    • Selecting suppliers for food and beverage, hospitality, stand furniture
    • Ordering literature and give-aways for use on the stand
    • Reviewing technology to be used on the stand
    • Ordering utility services required for the stand
    • Creation of signage and graphics for stand
    • Products to be displayed
    • The process of lead collection and follow up
    • Press Packs
    • Creating an exhibition handbook for staff attending
  • Review internal communication and staff training. Having the right staff who are properly briefed and trained for the show is vital to make sure all the pre planning is a success and they know their roles on-site
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Tips on getting the best exhibition stand location

Stand Location

Securing an opportunistic tradeshow or exhibition display location is like finding a prime piece of real estate for your business. The location is one of the most important factors that will determine whether or not you are successful.

The location of your stand is linked to the amount of traffic that you can attract to your display area, which correlates to the potential number of leads and sales you can ultimately achieve.

Deciding what position to take on the trade floor is important to the flow of traffic and visitor footfall. If possible book your stand position as early as possible when there are usually more options.

Some exhibitors will book the stand space for the next year directly after the trade show has finished if their attendance had been successful, sometimes the organisers offer an early bird discount.

Points to consider when booking your next tradeshow space whether shell scheme or space only.

  • While high traffic areas are sought after by exhibitors, there are some high traffic areas that are important to stay away from such as entrances or exits. The entrances and exits of exhibition halls are often so crowded and chaotic that visitors may not notice the tradeshow display booths that are re located right next to the door.
  • The best location for a tradeshow display stand? Look for an area where there is less congestion within expected traffic patterns.
  • Select a location where your stand may be able to stand out from others, based on size and graphics, which will allow the greatest visibility and successful sales.
  • If the show is large it’s usually better to be with companies that offer similar products. For example if you’re at an IT Show then you would want to be in the same hall as those in a similar market e.g. specialized software. Often the organiser will recommend which hall is appropriate for your class of services or products.
  • Beware of positioning yourself too close to your principal competition if they have a higher visibility or larger stand than your own.
  • A stand that is at the junction of two aisles is more preferable to one that only has one open side as you can catch the traffic from two directions, or even four.

Exhibitions offer a unique sales platform where you can actually meet potential clients face to face.  Most of these visitors would have paid to attend so in effect they are actively in a buying mode.  It’s a well-known fact that exhibitions offer the greatest return on investment providing you follow some very basic rules.