get a head start on the competition

Get a Head Start On The Competition: Plan For Your Next Exhibition!

Published on 18/08/2017

Booked a space at the perfect trade show?  Fantastic!  Just don’t think you can rest on your laurels until the event begins. 

To make trade events work successfully for your business, you’ll need to plan for each one well in advance.  Here at Guardian Exhibition & Display, we recommend planning at least four months before your event is due to get under way.

Yes, you read that right.  Four months (trust us, it’ll go by in a flash!).   Though this may sound daunting at first, creating an exhibition plan won’t take as much effort as you might think – and will result in everything running smoothly on the day, as you leave your competition straggling far behind!

Looking for even more tips on creating the perfect exhibition plan?  Then look no further, because we’ve got you covered.

Put an event committee together

Get a small team together to help create your plan and work to specific deadlines.  If you don’t want to do it yourself, appoint an exhibition co-ordinator to allocate tasks and take overall responsibility for the plan.

If possible, before confirming your stand booking, check to see if you qualify for an ‘early bird’ discount (many events will offer this – it’s just one of many bonuses that planning in advance brings!).

Check the background to your event

Booked your stand space? Now it’s time to make sure you’re in the best position you can be, and check whom you’ll be meeting on the day.  

You’ll also need to ensure your space is not only large enough, but also incorporates everything you’ll need, such as WiFi, electricity, and prime positioning for those all-important refreshments.

Ask the show organisers for a venue plan and an attendee profile – and don’t be afraid to check the list of other confirmed exhibitors for any competition!

Write out a clear exhibition plan

With your committee, make a detailed list that includes the following:

  • Your budget and show objectives (are you looking for more leads, for example, or to promote a new product?)

  • Time scales for each aspect of your plan

  • How you will promote your attendance at the show

  • Details of your stand and on-brand messaging

  • Who will man your stand on event day (include plenty of cover for breaks!)

  • If necessary, details of pre-event team training

  • Logistics and transportation checking for your stand and your team – will anyone need to stay overnight before or after the event?

  • How you will gather data from interested visitors

  • How you will follow up on leads

  • How you will know if the event has been successful for you

Don’t forget to circulate your plan to everyone who needs to see it!

Set deadlines and accountability

With your plan firmly in place, all you need to do now is make sure you follow it.  Ask your co-ordinator to allocate tasks and assign accountability for each one (not forgetting to chase them up if needed!).

Consider requesting extra help along the way

Ask the show organisers what they’ll be doing to promote the event – how can they help you in the process?  If possible, you could also contact some of the event’s previous exhibitors for any tips.  What could you learn about what went well or badly for them?

And finally…don’t forget to ask us for extra help, too!  After all, what our professional team don’t know about exhibitions isn’t worth knowing. 

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