Top Five Tips For Planning A Successful Exhibition
Attending an exhibition is an expensive business, so how do you make sure that the money is well spent? A good exhibition experience starts long before you pitch up to showcase your product or services. Below, we reveal the secrets of making your attendance at an event the most successful it can be. Whether you have a small budget or a blank cheque, the rules remain the same.
1. Choose your exhibition carefully.
Most types of business now have their own dedicated events, but, in the last few years, these events have been divided into specialist areas. For instance, in the IT field there are now exhibitions for hardware, software, security, peripherals, internet, CRM – the list goes on. Make sure you have pinpointed exactly where your target audience will be present. What shows were your competitors at? Most exhibitions are now audited and these figures are freely available from organisers.
2. Booking your space.
Choosing the right stand space can be very important to the success of your show. The earlier that you book your space, the better chance you have of reserving a premium space.
Even if you have a small stand space to book, check where the major players are and book opposite or as close as you can to them. This way you will enjoy the traffic from these stands and be guaranteed a good footfall.
A lot of exhibitions feature ‘lounge’ areas within the hall. If you have a special product or demonstration, perhaps a theatre presentation, booking opposite these areas can be beneficial as you have a captive audience, that are stationary!
3. Pre-show activity.
Once the stand space is booked it is imperative to get as many people to visit your stand as possible. This can be achieved by invites (free VIP tickets are a good way to get major customers to attend), mail shots, or even an incentive of a free trial or similar if the customer brings the invite to the stand.
Another good way of promoting your presence at the show is through your website, the organiser’s website and trade magazines.
4. Choosing a designer.
Once you have the space booked you will need to appoint a designer to create a stand that will appeal to your target audience, both in its look and feel but also in its content. It must also reflect the way you wish your company to be perceived and should encompass your company’s brand values.
When you brief an agency be sure to have a realistic budget figure in mind – stands can cost as little or as much as you want them to. When considering agencies for your pitch, find out what they can give you that other agencies can’t or won’t. Are they established? What references do they have? What experience do they have (particularly if your stand is abroad)?
5. Choosing a design
It is easy to be swept away with the funkiest, coolest design that passes in front of you but ask yourself if it will really work. Function and form are always at odds in the exhibition environment, but function needs to take priority or your show could be a disaster.