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So you and your business are taking a step into the wonderful world of exhibitions and trade shows. You will have done some preliminary research, formulated a basic idea of how you want to approach the event and given some serious thought as to how you would like to appear to its attendees. What you need to do now is organise all of your ideas and follow the necessary steps to ensure your exhibition stand is the very best it can be. Whilst the approach and ambitions of each business, event and stand differs, it is a good idea to follow tried and tested practices of exhibiting which have produced great results time and time again. Below is a list of seven P’s that can help you to achieve exhibition success.

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Plan your Budget

  • Spend within your means and take sensible measures to meet realistic goals
  • Budget for all the costs and pre-empt the need for a rain-day-fund should anything crop up. Make sure your budget covers the cost of the space, the design (displays, banners, marketing literature), utilities, staffing, equipment purchase or hire, transport costs and any free merchandise or samples you plan to offer

Prime Location

  • Do your location research in advance whether that means approaching the venue, talking to previous exhibitors or conducting web based research
  • Try and get a spot by the event’s biggest attractions so you can benefit from that area’s heavy traffic

Peruse the Fine Print

  • Read through the terms and conditions thoroughly to see if there are any restrictions, responsibilities or legal liabilities you need to be aware of
  • See if there are any contingency plans in place in the event of any weather interruptions, fire or other hiccup
  • Double check the stance on insurance – will the venue cover it or do you need to sort out your own cover?

Personality Shines Through

  • Make sure your exhibition stand exudes the personality and ethos of the brand in every area, from basic design to the tiniest of details
  • Choose your team wisely; make sure the people staffing the stand have personality too as they will need to attract and engage with passers-by in a room full of stiff competition

Pretty in Print

  • Display stands are just the beginning; you need to pay attention to your graphics, promotional material and anything that can/should help make your display stand more appealing
  • Make the most of banner stands and other graphic materials; use bold colours, eye-catching designs, images and easy to read in-your-face fonts
  • Have a consistent theme that is carried on throughout the whole stand (that means those staffing it too) by coordinating colours, tone and the level of professionalism versus level of approachability

Proactive Approach

  • Before the event, spend some time spreading the word and letting people know you will be at the event – invite existing customers, encourage new customers to attend and market your presence well in advance to ensure traffic because a busy stand surrounded by lots of people will attract more people
  • Research what kind of people are likely to attend the exhibition and try to tailor your approach so it will appeal to them
  • Once you are at the event, don’t wait for people to approach you, instead make eye contact with them, say hello with a big smile and draw them in

Pursue Leads Post-event

  • If you gather contact details for things like newsletters, add the details to a directory and get those newsletters sent out
  • Similarly, if you get any bites or potential sales leads, follow them up soon after the event
  • Make an effort to learn from the event and be better next time; contact people and ask for feedback, conduct market research and make sure you stay visible to and fresh in the minds of those you met at the exhibition

 

There are so many things to consider and each exhibition plan is unique to the prospective exhibitor but by making sure you consider the 7 P’s to exhibition success you will ensure you cover the all-important fundamentals.