Online Information About Exhibition
- Get all information about exhibiting online
- Website provides cost of exhibiting and space-rental procedures
- Get complete information about facts and figures of the previous year's show
- Read news releases published online and submit your information
- Get information about visitors and exhibitors
- Get information about conferences/seminars running alongside exhibitions
- FAQs for general enquiry
- Get general information about the venue online
- Look for advertisement opportunities online
Decide Stand Objectives
New product launch? PR purpose? Make new contacts? Stand objectives will clearly influence, if a new product launch is planned, a good-sized demonstration area is needed, with facilities for the swift taking and following up of leads. There should also be plenty of both technical and sales staff on hand for queries.
Set The Budget
- Space cost, design, construction
- Preparation and transport of exhibits
- Graphics for displays
- Onsite entertaining
- Personnel, transport, hotels
- Promotional plans for the show
Draw Up A Comprehensive Written Design Brief
Before commissioning a designer and contractor, include stand objectives, outline budget, overall dimensions, requirements for stand services such as water; weights and sizes of any product and machinery to be displayed, details of company schemes to be followed and special product features(s).
A Written Brief
- Gives all parties involved the chance to comment before any money is spent
- Reduces the 'subjective' factors
- Provides a benchmark against which the design can be evaluated
- Change the brief without telling the designer/contractor
- Judge his word against anything other than the brief - which all concerned parties should agree to in writing
- Devote time to briefing your designer and contractor - it generally saves a lot of telephone calls later!
- Make sure they agree to the brief, are happy with it and think it is feasible
- Encourage them to make suggestions: apart from the value of the ideas, they will identify more with the end-design
Appoint A Reputable Contractor And Designer
- Many contractors operate their own in-house design service.
- Equally, they will generally be happy to work with an outside designer of your choice.
- Particularly ensure that your contract is approved by DWTC
Set A High Priority On Good Communications
- Ensure that all personnel involved with the exhibition - both internal and external - are clear on relevant developments as they occur and know their responsibilities
- Write short but informative reports after major meetings
- Hold briefing sessions, particularly on stand staffing and rotas and who does what on the stand. Are all those overseas representatives aware of the latest product modifications?
- Do the works manager and foremen appreciate that those samples have to be in show condition four weeks before the exhibition to allow for plinths to be made?
Appoint A Stand Manager from The Word Go
- If it is not yourself, make sure that a stand manager is appointed and the appointment is known early on. Ensure there is a deputy.
- It is essential that pre-show co-ordination and decisions about on-stand operations have one arbitrator whose authority is unchallenged - before as well as during the show.
Pay Attention To Detail At All Times
- A grand design concept can be spoilt by something as mundane as overfull ashtrays or uncomfortably small type on your display panels.
- Constant vigilance will avoid these small but significant pitfalls. It is not pernickety. It is professional.
- Make arrangements to measure the effectiveness of your exhibition presence and the success of your stand objectives.
- Keep accurate records of all enquiries and follow them through.
- Establish, if possible, whether you would have got the order if you had not been at the show
- Keep the analysis going. Sometimes contacts begun at an exhibition take time to flourish. But with careful nourishing they often do
- Carry out a post-exhibition survey: either through a research house or via your own staff, with a simple postal or telephone questionnaire. It is worth establishing how widely you were seen; if your sales message was noted, what customers liked or disliked, did or did not understand. Do it within a few days of the exhibition - you'll be surprised how useful it can be.
Treat Exhibitions Seriously
- Regard your show programme as on integral and important part of your sales and marketing plan.
- Consider exactly what you want to get out of the exhibition and what you need to put in to get it.
Stand Staff Should Not
- Smoke on duty, sit and read or look bored
- Congregate into company groups which a potential visitor feels embarrassed about breaking into
- Hover or pounce on people. "Can I help you?" is the easiest way to get rid of visitors - it evokes the almost automatic response: "No thank you".
- Either cultivate the art of unobtrusive observation so you can tell by the way your visitor begins to look around for a stand staff member that they are ready to talk, or ascertain exactly what he or she is studying and in a relaxed manner offer them information about it: "I see you're looking at our model X1. That's the one with independent suspension, but of course it's just one in the range. The others are over here if you'd like to see them."
- Let the situation develop naturally - don't force the pace.
Stand Staff Should
- Be presentable and alert at all times (not just on the first day)
- Treat every visitor like a VIP whether he/she looks like a customer or not
- Take regular breaks. But if stand staff want to sit down and drink coffee, they should do it away from the stand
- Keep two pairs of shoes on the stand Manning an exhibition can be very wearing on the feet - and it's amazing what a lift a change of footwear can give!