There’s a lot that goes into planning an exhibition, regardless of how large or small it is or whether you’re attending for one or more days.
Trust us, we know. In true ShowOff peacock fashion, we’ve helped countless businesses in and around the UK strut their stuff and stand out from the crowd with eye-catching displays.
But here’s the thing, making sure you’re a huge hit at your next exhibition doesn’t just revolve around building your stand and smiling at people. While your stand might be the main thing that people focus on (aside from your team and marketing collateral), on the day, it’s actually just one of the many elements that contribute to your overall success. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes during the run up to any exhibition or show.
As leading exhibition specialists with over 30 years’ experience, we know exactly what goes into making sure exhibitions go well
We also know that, for many businesses, having to focus on more than just their stand design and build can be a real mission. It involves juggling multiple tasks you probably don’t have the time to consider or the internal resources to deliver.
It’s precisely why we’ve launched our exhibition consultancy and project management service – to help businesses of all sizes get the very best results without getting bogged down with a new set of actions and tasks on top of their existing workload. Exhibitions are your chance to shine and we know exactly what goes into making it happen.
Planning + preparation = exhibition success
You see, whether you’re an SME or a large corporate, organising your company exhibition can be a real drain on your time, no matter how much you might try to scale things back. However, the more planning and preparation you do, the more successful you’re likely to be on the day.
In fact, in our experience, one of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re getting ready to go to an exhibition is failing to plan. Booking your space and then digging out your unbranded podium stand and last year’s batch of brochures a week before the event, isn’t going to guarantee the best results, if any at all.
No, the most successful exhibitors are those who plan and really think about the objectives that they want to achieve and understand what their marketing needs to deliver and how it’s going to attract customers and prospects. Key questions you might want to ask yourself include:
- What does success look like? What do you want to get out of the event?
- How do you know you’re going to get the best value for your money?
- Who do you want to target? And how are you going to target them?
- What image do you want to convey?
- What are you going to do with the visitors who arrive at your stand?
- Do your stand staff need training? If so, who’s going to train them?
- Which contractors do you need to bring in, and how are you going to manage them?
- Who is going to be on-site to manage the contractors?
- What happens if things go wrong during the build? Who will help put things right?
If you’ve asked yourself the types of questions above and are clear about what you want to achieve, then you’re going to be in a much stronger position when it comes to knowing how to get the most from the exhibition.
This is all great if you’re outsourcing to an exhibition company who can help you take care of most of this, and we do offer this service at ShowOff of course. But you might want that little extra support at the outset, where an expert can come into your business and spend one or several days taking the pressure off you completely.
We can also be on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly with your stand build and dealing with contractors and suppliers. And it’s why we’ve now decided to offer a consultancy service, which will give you the additional support you need when you need it most. Even if you choose to work with another exhibition specialist for the design and build side of things, we’re still happy to train you or your staff on everything you need to plan and run your exhibition, from start to finish. This service is also available on an ad-hoc, one-off basis too.
What happens at the pre-planning stage?
For exhibitions, especially the larger ones, you do need to know about the ins and outs of stand building and the associated logistics.
While it might be an area that may seem relatively straightforward, there are all sorts of different considerations you need to take into account, such as the dimensions, getting the best position and sourcing and organising all of the different contractors and services, such as electrics, that you’ll need. They’re all crucial factors that you can’t afford to overlook or avoid that take considerable time, energy and money, if you want to get things right, that is.
From decision-making to personnel and marketing strategies, exhibition project management is no easy feat and there are a lot of jigsaw pieces that need to be slotted together months, weeks, days, hours and even minutes before the big day. (For more details about all of the different elements involved in planning a successful exhibition, check out our 49-point checklist).
All of this needs to be ironed out months before an exhibition and this is probably where we can add the most value and, in the long-term, save you time, a great deal of hassle and headaches and ultimately save you money. Getting an exhibition stand wrong in the planning stages is very costly.
Over to Benjamin Franklin…
In the words of leading author, Benjamin Franklin, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ and the same applies to exhibitions. Planning them may seem like somewhat of a daunting experience and a major hassle you can do without, but it needn’t be that way, not if you enlist the help of professionals, like us, who know the exhibition trade like the back of our hand. We instinctively know what works, what doesn’t work and what’s going to make you stand out from your competitors. And we can then go away and make it all happen for you.
We can project manage your exhibition as little or as much as you’d like us to and if you’d like us to advise you on the best way to get the wow factor or need a hand with the design or build of your stand, we can even help you with that too. The end result: guaranteed exhibition success with minimum hassle.