Trade Show Exhibition Practical Hints
Life will become a whirlwind unless you properly control and manage your trade show activities, so when all around you are losing their heads, here are some practical hints to help you keep yours!
Check Trade Show management Rules and Guidelines
Practically every event has its own rules and regulations, so make sure you are familiar with them and avoid any last minute hiccups. This applies especially if you are coming up with non-standard or innovative promotional effects or strategies. For instance, if you are seeking to have entertainers or booth people canvassing attendees at the exit/entrance areas or other traffic choke points, then clear this with event management beforehand. Getting the clearance is a good idea because you can easily run afoul of event security, but even better, if you have a great idea you are likely to find event management will help you implement it.
Go Equipped: Have Back-Up Tools
Many modern booths are capable of being fitted with only the most basic of tools and equipment but, always ensure that you have a basic toolkit plus spares. Sure you can always borrow or plead poverty with neighboring exhibitors, however you should be setting your physical booth up and using this process to set yourself and booth staff up for success from a mental perspective too.
You never know when you need a screwdriver, a pair of snips to deal with an intransigent piece of panel wire or a wrench to tighten a bolt. Don’t waste time and effort – just be prepared.
Ensure You Have Power & Extension Cables
The first time you see the event space allocation may be on the day of the trade show event, but your map allocating the space may not show the power outlets you can rely on, or how far your extension cables need to run to fetch power, nor how many sockets you’ll have available. Make sure you have more than sufficient electrical extension cables and multiplier sockets to light the booth and run your appliances.
Backup the Booth
Booth display cases can be bulky and easily damaged, and while FedEx, UPS and friends tend to be pretty good at getting your kit from A-to-B, you cannot always rely on them to get it to you in one piece or on time. When that happens, you need a back-up plan or the whole event is for nothing. You can minimize the risk by carrying replacement parts and marketing collateral separately, and any constituent parts which don’t arrive on time or in good shape can be replaced or an alternative arrangement can be effected.
Just remember to think of the worst that can happen and to plan accordingly – it is a rare trade show event which is carried off without any glitches and the affair should be considered to be a practical exercise in flexible, contingency planning. One gold rule to follow is that if you have a question about the event, do not be afraid to ask – there are no stupid questions except for those which you didn’t bother to ask because you took things for granted.