Guide To Planning A Successful Exhibition

Attending an exhibition is a fantastic way to really bolster your marketing mix, providing opportunities to achieve massive brand exposure to large numbers of clearly targeted potential customers. With nearly 40 years of experience providing exhibition experiences that exceed our customer’s live event objectives, we understand how stressful planning an exhibition can be.

With that in mind, we’ve put together the ultimate exhibition plan for what you should be doing before, during and after your exhibition to achieve your marketing goals!

Before you book:

  • What’s your objective? Be clear about why you’re going to the show, what’s your objective and what’s your message. “We always go” or “we can’t not be there” aren’t valid reasons!
  • Check your budget. Don’t use all your budget on the space. Make sure you have enough budget for the stand, plus the expenses of the event. As a rule of thumb, you should spend at least as much on the stand as you do on the space.
  • Engage with a stand company. If you need a hand with your stand, get in touch with an exhibition design & build company (like Clip) first, before you commit to your space. Talk them about what you want to achieve and they’ll guide you, so you get the best value from your space and stand.
  • Book the space. Now it’s time to book the space. Take time to choose the best space available based on likely visitor flow through the show.
  • Order your stand. At this point, now you have the space secure and you know what you want, it’s time to book the stand.

6 weeks to go:

  • Write an event brief: Make sure this document covers objectives, plan for the day(s), who’s attending
  • Confirm who’s attending Who will be manning the show and on what day? Draw up a stand schedule so everyone knows their roles.
  • Book travel and accommodation.
  • Giveaways: Any literature or goodies will need to be designed, printed and ordered with 6 weeks to go. If you have them in stock, make sure they’re ring-fenced so you don’t have a shock to find them emptied, the week before the event!

4 weeks to go:

  • How’s your stand doing? Check in with your exhibition design & build company. Ensure everything’s on track. All paperwork should have been submitted by your stand company.
  • Write your communication plan.
  • Remind all staff attending of the date

3 weeks to go:

  • Start to tell your customers you’re going! It isn’t too early to let your customers know you’ll be there… and give them an opportunity to book their slot.
  • Email signatures: Ensure your colleagues all have the event advertised at the bottom of their email.
  • Check your stand. If it’s a custom-built, then check in with the company. If you have your own stand, it’s time to give it a dress-rehearsal (just in case!).

2 weeks to go:

  • Social media. Start posting on all of your brand’s relevant social channels.
  • Write your follow-up comms. Get the communications written and ready. “Dear customer, it was great to see you at the event”.

7 days and less:

  • Team briefing. Without fail, make sure the whole team who is attending is briefed. Face to face, or conference call, don’t underestimate the power of this. Everyone should be clear of the objective and messaging. Everyone should be engaged.
  • Lead capture. If you’re not having interactive lead capture through your stand company, you’ll need to produce something manually. A simple form with tick boxes to confirm what visitors are interested in does the job. Staple business cards to each form and make sure you categorise leads based on follow up urgency. Gain verbal consent to receive further communication – so you’re covered with GDPR.

After the event:

  • Write to your guests “It was a pleasure to see you”.
  • Follow up with a phone call based on the urgency categorisation you used.
  • Keep in touch! Send regular communication, like newsletters, product updates and valuable content.

Need some help?

Our exhibition services team make it their mission to deliver this vision on every level and every step of the live marketing journey. From an initial consultation, exhibition stand design and lead capture, we can provide a complete experience that will help you achieve your face to face marketing objectives.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you deliver an event that is successful for your brand.