Exhibition Planning – 6 steps that can’t be missed

When your company decides to exhibit at an exhibition, you must ensure your target audience will be there and that you plan, market and follow up.

We are going to cover all of these aspects over the next few posts, so that you are fully equipped to make the correct decisions to get the marketing success you want from your business.

Marketing goals

What are your overall marketing objectives? What do you need to do to achieve your goals? Look at what you want to achieve from exhibiting and how you will achieve it. Your marketing goals could be:

  • You have a new product to launch and want to showcase this to your customers.

  • You want to drive more sales for your business and meet you customers.

  • You may have a new brand design and want to make people aware of it.

Pick the perfect exhibition

Looking into which show to exhibit at can be a minefield – there are so many to choose from.

  • Subscribe to the exhibition bulletin to get a list of all the shows at all the venues across the UK. For more information see here:

  • Look at this website to get a comprehensive list of shows.

  • Follow Exhibition News; they always give up to date information on all shows, some of which you may want to attend.

  • Think about your target market and which shows will they be attending this year. You could even ask your customers and suppliers which shows they visit, to give you inspiration.

  • Which shows are your competitors at? This could be a good place to start. You could even find a similar show and make sure you book your stand first.

Holdsworth Designs tip: When your company decides to exhibit at a show, go along first and get a feel for it. Meet the organisers, talk about who attends the show and how well it has done in previous years, then book for the following year.

Choosing your site

Once you have picked a show, you will want to pick a stand position. You will, of course, need to think about your budget. Speaking to your stand designer will help, as they will be able to tell you how much your stand may cost.

  • Large stand – Go for an entrance position.

  • Medium stand – Position yourselves in row 2 or 3.

  • Corner plots – These are always good as the stand is always visible and you can see potential visitors.

  • Close to a café /organisers stand – This is often where people congregate and you can use this opportunity to draw people to your stand.

  • Near your competitors – This might sound crazy, but if you have a new product to launch, this could be a successful move.

Holdsworth Designs tip: Think about how many staff you will put on the stand. One open side with four staff could be too much and two staff on a stand with four open sides would not be enough.

Choosing your exhibition designer

It is really important to work with a company that you feel comfortable with, who want you to achieve marketing success, and who will communicate with you throughout the whole process. When making your decision, you will want to research potential designers to work with. Once you have narrowed it down:

  • Ask to see their previous projects.

  • Look at their testimonials or recommendations on LinkedIn.

  • Meet with the company so that you get a feel for how they work.

Staffing – The face of your brand

The staff on your stand should be enthusiastic about your brand and products and they should be 100% motivated to achieve the exhibition goals. Here are a few areas to think about in the planning phase:

Think about who are your most client-facing members of staff and who is most personable and attentive to your customers’ needs. These could be the best people for the job.

Communicate the goals for the exhibition and break them down so that they are achievable.

Clearly define roles for the staff on the day (who is doing what and when) as this will allow everything to run smoothly.

You could provide training for your staff so they excel at the show. Take a look at FaceTime who provide masterclasses in maximising your potential at exhibitions.

Tell your customers

You should understand the principles of exhibition marketing, using the months leading up to the show to invite your customers and inform prospective customers of your intent to exhibit.

Blog about the show – don’t forget to add links of how they can obtain tickets.

Send an announcement in your newsletter about your intentions to exhibit.

Use your LinkedIn company page to keep people updated about the show.

Use other forms of social media to communicate to your audience – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google +.

Add the details of the show in your email signature.

Tell people – the one thing that is always forgotten! When seeing your clients, ask them if they would like to attend.

Holdsworth Designs tips: Are you planning a product launch, or a development that all existing clients should see? Use this to create interest and a buzz about your stand and to entice people to come and visit.

What is the one thing you always do when you book an exhibition? I would welcome your comments below.

Holdsworth Designs are specialists in exhibition design, exhibition manufacture, exhibition installation and graphics printing. Please find out more on our LinkedIn profile

Are you looking to book stand space at an exhibition? Do get in touch to see how we can help you get the marketing success you want; email or call us on 07834 525624.