Five Steps to Great Exhibition Planning

If you’re new to exhibition planning – or just want a confidence boost so you know you’ve got everything covered – we’re here to help.
So let’s kick off with a quick introduction.

How can you make sure that you get the most out of your next event? Read our quick five step guide to get you started…

1. Be clear why you’re attending

OK, it sounds like Mrs State-the-Obvious has just come to town.

What do you really want to get out of it?

You’d be surprised how many people exhibit just because someone else does it. Not everyone is clear about their objectives – and unless you know exactly what you want, you’re pretty certain not to get it!

So the first thing you need to do is think – ideally armed with a pen, pencil, cup of tea and slice of cake – and log everything you know about the event.

  • How often is it held?
  • Do your competitors go?
  • How much does it cost to exhibit?
  • How is the show promoted?
  • What sort of footfall does it normally get?
  • Is there a regional, national or international bias that is good for your business?
  • Who are you targeting… speaking of which, read on…

2. Know who you are targeting

Having covered what you know, it’s time to look at who you know – or who you need to get to know.

Think about who typically goes to this event – are the visitors from a particular industry or is it a generic show?

Do you need to target chief executives, finance directors, marketing managers, trade buyers or consumers?

Often, trade shows will have pre-written packages that will tell you this sort of information, so don’t worry – you don’t have to be a detective to find it.

Thinking about your hottest prospects and matching them to the audience of the show, what does that ‘buying Brad’ or ‘accounts Angelina’ look for when making purchasing decisions?

You’ll need to focus on what they want for the next point…

3. Understand what products and services best fit the bill

If your buyers only care about the bottom line, then you’ll need to be sharp on costs and make sure your prices are highly visible on the stand.

If you’re in a market where quality comes first, then you’ll want to give your premium products an airing and make sure they are presented to perfection; everything is in the detail.

Whatever you’re selling – have your team memorise all the key features and benefits well in advance. That information can be the difference between a sale and a smile, or a fail and a frown.

4. Check where you’ll be situated

Take a look at the exhibition plan. What choice of stand space do you have, if any?

Are there any obvious ‘hover’ points where you can catch people walking by, such as near food spots, entrance points or workshop areas?

Have you been to the event before, or do you know past delegates who can give you insider tips (for example, if a particular hall gets crowded or the temperature on the north side of the building goes haywire in summer)?

Factors like this are really helpful in working out what sort of display you’ll need for the occasion – from plain and simple pop up banners, through to shell scheme graphics or custom-built showstoppers.

5. Clarify how you’ll measure your success

Don’t go mad with the metrics, but do think about how your objectives can be translated into tangible results.

This could be the number of leads generated, volume of units sold, reviews of your product in social media, value of press coverage… whatever feels right for you, make sure it’s measurable, achievable and related back to your objectives.

Good luck with your exhibition planning – remember to sign up to our emails below to make sure you don’t miss out on our latest hints and tips as well as news about our latest products and services.

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