Exhibitions aren’t an easy process to navigate. From choosing your exhibition space and organising your exhibition stand design, to training your staff and booking any required travel arrangements, your ‘to do’ list can get out of hand.
Planning ahead can help you avoid losing track of what needs to be achieved and stay organised. This article will help you understand the process of planning an exhibition stand which will allow you to schedule your time more effectively.
12 – 6 months before
1. Determine your goals
Before deciding on where or what to exhibit, you need to define the purpose of your exhibition stand. Your goals will dictate which expo you exhibit at, what your stand will look like and how much you are willing to spend. Your goals may be to generate sales, build brand awareness, build relationships with qualified leads, or undertake market research. If you need guidance on defining your goals, check out our blog post on setting your expo goals for 2019.
2. Calculate your budget
Deciding on a budget early will help you make clearer decisions in the planning process. Your budget will either limit everything from stand design and location, to staffing and any marketing you choose to use. Your budget needs to be communicated to your exhibition stand supplier for them to create a suitable design for your needs, so the earlier you can define these figures the better. If you are unsure about what your budget should be to allow for a great stand you can contact us on email@example.com and we can help.
3. Choose your show
Choosing the right expo to attend can have a significant impact on the success of your exhibition. Consider your goals, your target audience and different types of expo’s in your research before deciding on an expo. Check out our blog post on choosing an expo to hear tips on what you need to look for when deciding on an expo to exhibit at. Once you’ve chosen it’s vital that you register your place early to secure your ideal space. Exhibition organisers will often release spaces up to a year before the show so get in early.
4. Book a space
Choose a space that helps you reach a large audience and suits your budget. If possible, choose a space between booths that have smaller displays. This will help your display stand out. Ask the organisers about the exhibitors that have space near you and undertake research to anticipate whether your stand will achieve its goals in that spot.
4-6 months before
5. Brainstorm stand design
Once you have your goals outlined and your exhibition space booked, you should start gathering ideas for your design. Undertake research to find inspiration and tips on what you exhibition stand should include. You can read our blog posts about the top design trends for 2019 and 5 stand must haves for some creative ideas. While the designer you choose will create the final design, you will need to provide them with some information before they can get started, such as whether you require shelving for product display, how many walls you want graphics on, do you require raised flooring and any other ideas you have.
6. Select a supplier
Now it’s time to decide on an exhibition supplier to design and build your stand. Choose a supplier who creates a design that reflects your brand, listens to your needs, is well organised and can take care of every detail. It will save you time and money if you select a supplier that not only builds and designs the stand but also stores, transports, installs, dismantles and styles the stand for you. Remember, your supplier needs time to plan too so make sure you contact them early.
Set into action your pre-show marketing tactics to attract an audience to your exhibition stand. Using marketing before the trade show can help you secure a high level of visitor engagement on the day. Decide which marketing tactics you will be using, such as e-newsletters or social media, and begin to implement these.
3 months before
8. Select the design
An exhibition stand design can take time to finalise, especially if you receive proposals from multiple companies and changes are required. Evaluate your options first. By now you should have narrowed down your options to select an organisation to design and build your exhibition stand, so at the three month mark it’s time to say yes to a design and get building.
6-8 weeks before
9. Check on production of stand
If you’ve chosen a great supplier, then they will keep you up to date with the building process of your exhibition stand. At Events 720, we send through images and videos of the production to keep our clients at ease and aware of what stage the project is at.
10. Book and train staff
Consider whether you require any extra staff for product demonstrations or guest speakers and lock in these times with them now. Speak to the staff who will be operating at the stand and ensure they are well trained and knowledgeable of your business. Exhibiting is a great opportunity to generate sales for your business and build a positive brand image, so make sure you put your best people forward to represent your brand in the best way possible.
11. Organise products
If you are exhibiting with products on display, ensure you order any sample products you may require for product demonstrations. Order any giveaway products you will have at your stand, such as branded USB’s or mugs.
3-4 weeks before
12. Prepare materials and complete induction
Make sure you have everything you need for your display, including products, uniforms, laptops, portable chargers, etc. Contact the venue of the exhibition to find out if there are any inductions required and complete these.
1-2 weeks before
13. Clarify transport
Speak to your supplier about the transportation, installation and dismantling process to make sure everything has been organised and booked.
As the date of your exhibition gets closer, follow these guidelines to ensure you are organised and well-prepared for this exciting opportunity. If you have any questions about how you can best plan for your exhibition, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org