Have you ever taken on the role of coordinating an exhibition for your company? If you have, you will know it is a daunting task and without a clear idea of what you need to do, you can find yourself in a bit of a pickle!
Well luckily for you I have written a very brief twelve-month plan of the absolute key stages to your exhibition planning and what to do afterwards! Six months before and six months after, follow these steps to ensure success at your next exhibition!
Six Months Prior to the Exhibition
At this stage you may think you have all the time in the world and will leave it another few months before you start your preparations, do not fall in to that trap! 6 months before you want to set out your objectives for the event, ensuring they are smart objectives and achievable. You then want to agree a budget, this needs to be specific not between five and ten thousand pounds. Set a top limit and work to that. Then finally book your floor space.
From the very start of the six months build up you want to be leveraging all forms of contact (social media, email, phone even direct mail if your budget allows). Contact everyone and anyone that you want to attend the exhibition. If you do not ask the right people to come and see you, why would they?
There is not really a thing as too much contact when it comes to advertising your exhibition, but in the last two to three weeks you want to contact people almost daily to ensure you are right at the front of their mind when the big day arrives!
Four Months Prior to the Exhibition
You need to start your stand design preparations. Ensure that throughout the entire stand design process you and your stand design company are aware of your objectives, this way you can make sure you that your stand will help you deliver against your objectives. If you do not pay attention to them, your stand could actually hinder and not help you!
Two Months Prior to the Exhibition
You need to have your stand designs completed and approved ready for production. You then need to confirm your flooring options (carpet etc.), your furniture, TV or multimedia rentals and anything else you will be having on your stand.
Four Weeks Prior to the Exhibition
It is time to ramp up your promotion. This is the perfect stage to schedule on stand meetings with clients and prospects you know will be attending, and continue with your other forms of contact. Start to pay more attention to follow ups with people who have expressed any kind of interest.
Two Weeks Prior to the Exhibition
Make sure everything is in place. Double check with all suppliers that everything is on track, you do not want to turn up on the day and realise you have forgotten to organise the TV you need to do your presentations on! You may be surprised what has slipped through the net or has got lost in an email!
One week Prior to the Exhibition
Run through everything with your staff, train them if necessary. Decide who will be on the stand at what time and give them as much useful information you can to help them on the day. Remember your staff will be representing the company and ultimately the success or failure of the exhibition lies with them!
Time for your show…
Relax and enjoy it. No one wants to talk to the person nervously waiting on the stand wondering if six months of planning is going to be worth it. Speak to people, entertain people, there is nothing worse than the yet another dull boring conversation at an exhibition…as trust me, people will be having a lot of them.
Part two to follow, where I will show you the key stages to your exhibition follow up!
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