Exhibitions are an ideal opportunity to engage with loyal customers and attract the attention of those who are yet to be aware of your brand. Planning an exhibition efficiently is crucial for achieving your goals and gaining maximum exposure during and following an event.
Exhibitions have a lot of moving parts, and if you decide to wing it without much in the way of planning, it’s safe to say that you will run into a few problems. An exhibition can be an enjoyable and engaging experience, but poor planning will ensure that it’s a memorable occasion for reasons you would rather forget.
In this post, we’ll provide a checklist for planning an exhibition that’s sure to cover the basics as well as giving you a few ideas you may have neglected.
1. The Basics of Planning an Exhibition
Before you get carried away with ordering giveaway items and printing t-shirts, let’s cover the fundamentals of planning an exhibition.
- Firstly, it’s essential to find an event that suits your needs and is relevant to your brand.
- From here, you will have to establish the budget you have to work with. Doing so ensures that you have a realistic idea of what you can afford, and it prevents you from overspending.
- Decide what type of exhibition stand you want to use — shell scheme or space only?
- Familiarise yourself with the location and do some research into your competitor’s exhibits from previous years.
2. Define Your Goals
This is crucial, as you should always have a goal in mind before any exhibition. This gives both you and your team something to strive for and the motivation to achieve it. The type of goal you set will depend on the nature of the exhibition. For some companies, it could be to meet a specific sales quote, whereas if the purpose of the event is purely marketing, then it could be to gain a certain amount of customer leads for post-event business.
3. Exhibition Stand Design & Requirements
At Plus Exhibition, we have designed and manufactured custom exhibition stands for a vast range of clients. So if there’s one thing we know, it’s the importance of a stand that looks great and gives your customers what they need. The latter is especially important, as it’s all very well if the design is impressive, but if your exhibition stand fails to deliver your message or the layout makes it off-putting for anyone who visits, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. If you’re planning an exhibition and are a bit lost when it comes to the exhibition stand, our experts are available and can provide a FREE consultation.
It’s always a good idea to put together a design brief for your designer, as this will give them a clearer idea of what you require with regards to aesthetics, lighting, displays, layout and any other features that are essential to achieve your vision.
4. Put a Sales Team Together
Exhibitions are a fantastic way to connect directly to both potential and current customers, so it’s vital to make a good impression. Not everyone has the confidence and interpersonal prowess to deliver a smooth sales pitch or engage passersby. So it’s essential to put together a team who firstly are willing to take part, but also those who feel confident enough to interact with customers throughout the day. Your sales team will often be the best candidates as pitching your products and services is their bread and butter. But if you’re looking to provide people with a more in-depth overview of your brand, taking a member of each department is a fantastic way to achieve this.
5. Pre-Event Marketing
When you’re planning an exhibition, the importance of pre-event marketing cannot be stressed enough. Failing to do efficiently, or at all, instantly improves your competitors’ chances of success and means that fewer people will even know that you will be attending the event. Fortunately, the internet can prove to be a highly effective way of spreading the word. Consistent updates across your social media channels will ensure that attendees know that you’ll be there, where to find you and any promotions or offers you’ll have running.
6. Exhibition Stand Marketing
For you to engage and connect with your audience, it’s vital for your marketing to resonate with your target consumer and offer something unique. Again, this is another reason why your exhibition stand design choices are an essential aspect of planning an exhibition. Promotional gifts are a useful way to engage attendees, but you don’t want to opt for a boring, throwaway item that will end up in the bin. Other marketing tools you need to consider are printouts and business cards. If you’re a sustainable brand, you could use QR codes as a way to deliver information — unless you provide giveaways and promotional materials made from recyclable materials.
7. Post-Event Marketing & Evaluation
Although it may seem a bit hasty, post-event marketing should always be on your mind when it comes to planning an exhibition. This stage is crucial for following up on leads, posting updates to thank everyone who came to see your exhibit and circulating online marketing content for anyone who didn’t attend the event. Another great idea is to publish a blog post on your site that talks about your experience at the event, as it will be fresh in people’s minds and relevant.
Are you planning an exhibition and need the assistance of bespoke exhibition stand experts? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your exhibition stand requirements with our team of specialists.