Get The Most Out of Exhibiting

Now that you have chosen the right show to exhibit and highlight your business, there are a few things you will want consider. The following is intended as a guideline or checklist for exhibition organizers. This is a starting point, so you may want to also add a few things you’ve learned along the way.

Budgeting:
– Determine size of booth you can afford
– Do you have a display or will you have to purchase or buy?
– What props will you need; computer, TV, etc?
– Are you graphics up to date or do you need new ones?
– How many people are you going to need to man the space?
– Transportation cost; people and exhibit?
– What are you going to need for marketing materials &
giveaways?
– Do you want to have a contest give-away?

Booking floor space and location:
– Determine size of booth you can afford
– Do you have a display or will you have to purchase or buy?
– Examine traffic patterns and areas of interest at the show.
often the sooner you get your booking in, the sooner you can
lay claim to territory.
– Plan for a required deposit t this stage.
– Double check your location as you may want to move from near a
vulnerable competitor or away from a vulture.

Appoint an exhibition manager:
– Someone has to be in charge to manage your exhibition
– Make a list for of the contingency plan
– Itemize everything that is to happen and timing of delivery and
set up

Dependent Tasks:
– Determine size of booth you can afford
– Do you have a display or will you have to purchase or buy?
– List all the people in your and other organizations who and
their responsibilities and deadlines.

Book Hotel Accommodations:
– book in advance in order to meet, greet and sell or to
entertain your visitors.
– If you are going to be sending materials to the hotel, find out
where and how they manage this task.

Selecting an exhibition contractor:
– determine what style will work best or if you need to update
your exhibit.
– Make updates to your booth as needed or work on the selection
process.
– determine the best transportation and set-up for your needs.
– If needed check into an exhibition contractors for show
services.

Planning your exhibition:
– What new products will be launched?
– Is there a conference to attend with the show?
– Will your company be making sales calls before or after?
– Will your exhibit and graphics be required to be reused for
future shows?
– Will you use them in a reception area or for training?
– Will the exhibits require electric?

Promotion:
– Are you sending a pre-show press release?
– Should you advertise in the trade mags to hint about launch and
participation?
– Is the organizer doing PR, will they let you take part in the
press?
– You will want to mention the attendance of the show on your
website
– You may want to send a mailer to invite attendee’s to your
exhibit or schedule appointments to meet about your product
during the show. Or, let them know that a specific person will – Be at the show to meet in person.

Appointments calendar:
– You need an appointments calendar on the exhibition floor
arrange to meet their contacts or schedule follow-up.
– Check to assure mobile phones will work in the hall if you are
not requesting a landline at your booth.

Complimentary tickets:
– Will you buy or get these as part of your package?
– Decide who will they be offered to, your clients, new business, – primary target list or new targets?

Exhibition Catalogue:
– Assure this deadline into the catalogue or if it is also —
– available on website and or CD.

Hospitality:
– Make a list of invites for a private party if you are to have
one.
– Make arrangement for food and drinks for your private party or
at the hall
– If you are supplying your own, make sure you have the right
facilities or approval.
– Make sure you have arranged transportation for offsite guests
if serving adult beverages

Exhibition attendance lists:
– Check to see if the event organizers will supply you with a
list of attendees after the show
– Have a marketing plan for using this list

Enquiry forms:
– Create a form that assists in the sales process: easy to
complete / clip business card, or use exhibition system.
– Be clear what action is to be taken.

Following up with contacts:
– The recommended period of time is within 3 days, have staff
start the follow up process at the exhibition if at all
possible.
– All contacts should be receiving a letter of some kind within a
week of their visit to maintain top of mind awareness.
– Create various form letters to address an enquiry or explain
who will answer questions and when.
– Inform the sales people responsible for that account or
territory to take responsibility for further contact.

Competition:
– Take this opportunity to check out your competition in detail
– Report findings so everyone in your company can keep up to date

Motivation opportunity:
– You will want to track the outcome of the exhibition, motivate
staff by offering incentives for sales or appointments from the
show
– offer incentives to buy a certain product after the show to
attendees
Security:
– If you are displaying ground breaking new products on which the
patent if not yet out or they are still at a “one of a kind”
stage of their development, you may wish to take security – –
more seriously than usual.

Build up and break down:
– Make sure you have passes for the exhibition contractors or the
exhibitor’s staff, before and after the show.

Attention to details will reduce unplanned events and center attention on your exhibits rather than your competence. Keep in mind that there will be customers’ present, executive staff, the press and relevant media. Don’t give them a chance to notice products poorly displayed, weak translation into other languages, spelling errors or a bad product or graphic presentation. This is your chance to shine and these kinds of things will go unnoticed.

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