Exhibition season comes around every year, and if you’re in charge of getting your team ready and on the road you’ll know what a headache it can be getting everyone and everything in the right place and at the right time.
If you’ve left yourself plenty of time then you should manage to get it all under control; but just in case you are beginning to panic, we bring you our exhibition checklist to make sure you have all those moving parts in the right places.
If you’re using the same screens and media walls that you’ve always done, chances are they may have become a bit tatty. Now is the time to roll them out and see what the damage is. For a little bit of inspiration and to reinvigorate your brand why not consider a refresh and think about ordering in some new stand walls with printing that truly reflects who you are and what you have to offer.
Get your design team on the case and your print order in, with plenty of time to spare should you need to send it back for any corrections.
Your media is ready to go so now’s the time to take a quick look at the venue and where your exhibition stand is going. You’ve probably already got the dimensions, but there’s no harm in taking a look at your access and delivery points if your venue isn’t too far away. If you’re travelling to a new city or overseas, then now is the time to be asking those same questions to make sure the set-up day goes as smoothly as it can.
If you don’t feel happy with where the organisers have placed you then try and negotiate a better position in plenty of time. It might be that you’re too close to a rival company or placed too far towards the back of the exhibition, either way explain your case and see what can be done.
For set-up day itself you’ll need your team on site as early as you can to meet any deliveries that are bringing your exhibition goods to the venue. Have everyone in your team assigned a role so the process is made easier with no overlapping jobs.
Set Team Goals
There’s nothing worse than staffing an exhibition stand and not having any real idea why you’re there. Of course, you’re there to promote your business but just that alone is a wasted opportunity.
With luck, you’ve chosen an exhibition that puts you in direct contact with your customer base. With this in mind, you should think about setting objectives for your team that allows you some serious follow-up and connection with those customers who visited your stand.
Set your team tangible goals, such as handing out 500 media packs, talking to 500 people and capturing 300 email addresses, for example. Encourage people to your stand with competitions, fantastic merchandise and giveaways, and the promise of a discount if they sign up to your product or service right away.
And speaking of merchandise, make sure that yours hits the mark. You know your customers best, and whether they’ll be interested in a novelty pen or prefer something of a little more value such as bluetooth speakers, for example. The whisper about good merchandise can spread around a hall like wildfire so get your great, branded giveaways out on display and only for visitors to your stand whom you engage with one-to-one.
After the dust has settled, the stands are packed away and normal office life has recommenced. Now is the time for feedback; evaluate and form some action points based on the data you have collected.
Every time you do an exhibition you should learn something new that will refine and hone your stand, making it the one that everyone wants to visit. Get feedback on other stands and see if you can incorporate any new ideas for next time.
Following that, it’s time for your marketing team to spring into action with their follow-up campaign. With all those email addresses you’ve collected, you’ll be looking at a direct email campaign that hopefully translates that initial interest into real sales.
Exhibitions can be exhausting and fun but most of all, if done properly and with the right follow-up, they can be profitable. Give yourself plenty of time to get it all right and get your team fully briefed for an exhibition that pushes your business forward.