Exhibitions and trade shows are excellent tools for increasing brand popularity and gaining new leads. It can be challenging to design and organize an exhibition stand. To make a favorable lasting impression in the eyes of your guests, you must follow through with a well-managed stand. This is no simple feat, and after pouring time, money, and resources into the show, you must ensure that every detail is of the highest quality possible. We have compiled an instruction to help you prepare for your first trade show and make your booth a success. Follow these 12 steps and become an exhibition expert!
What is the first step in preparing for an exhibition?
- Do your research
First and foremost, you must select the appropriate exhibition. Hundreds of trade shows take place all around the world every year, so choose the perfect one for your company.
Begin by investigating shows categorized by industries that are relevant to your company. Learn everything you can about the show. Picking a show that your potential client will visit is the key to satisfactory performance. A critical step in preparing for the expo is to study your target audience.
Do not neglect to analyze your competitors. Every exhibition has a free exhibitor list available on its website. Look up the businesses and companies that will be at the event, as well as their previous trade shows. This may help you understand your competitor and come up with innovative ideas for your design.
- Set goals
Before booking floor space and planning, you should set clear goals for the event and think about what you want to accomplish. Think about business objectives and aims. Are you interested in networking with other businesses, gaining new leads, developing brand recognition, or launching a new product? Take time to set one or two key goals that will benefit you best and get to planning!
- Budget properly
It is important to plan your budget properly. Take into account that your budget should include the size and location of your booth space, transportation, lodging, gifts, staff salary, etc. Do not forget to keep a little margin for unexpected charges in case of emergencies.
You should make sure you have enough budget. It is very hard to achieve good results from an exhibition by spending the absolute minimum. We recommend contacting a reliable exhibition stand builder and discussing your exhibition with an expert. They may give you some advice on how to fit in your budget and make the best profit from your first trade show.
- Planning and stand design
The next step is to choose your floor space location and create an appealing design. Select a space wisely — do not ignore the hall floor plan. Pick a good location with the highest expected foot traffic. This will increase the number of potential customers who visit your stand. The floor plan will also show you who your potential stand neighbors are. You can start thinking about the design only after you have approved your exhibition venue. It is preferable to book the spot as early as possible.
Creating an eye-catching design is a serious undertaking. To make your booth memorable, it must include a brand logo and company colors. Make certain that your design effectively communicates the message and is appropriate for your target audience. If you have a small budget for the exhibition, we advise you to consider buying a modular exhibition stand.
Make visitors spend as much time as possible at the booth. Create a relaxing lounge sitting area and take care of beverages and snacks. Another way to engage visitors is to provide free Wi-Fi access. Create an engaging environment and interact with your visitors to make them feel admirable.
- Think about power connection
Power is a critical necessity for exhibition booths. Once you’ve established how much electricity you’ll need, contact the exhibition supplier and arrange for power to be supplied to your stand. Many exhibitions allow you to book electricity on their website.
Such services must be paid for in advance because they are not automatically available at the exhibition. Furthermore, the deadline for booking electricity is frequently many months before the exhibition date. If you do not pay on time, you will be fined heavily. The same requirements apply to water connection.
- Prepare your staff
Motivated and prepared staff is a very significant part of your preparation for the event. Make sure everyone understands their roles on the exhibition and knows the goals for the big day. Train your team to be highly knowledgeable professionals on your brand, goods, and services, as well as what you are selling on the day so that they can talk confidently and answer any questions visitors may have.
On the stand, nice and friendly employees is always a plus. Visitors can sense positive energy and are drawn to stands with a smiling and helpful team more than others. Make yourself a motivator for your staff and keep them enthusiastic throughout the day. Remember to treat them after a long day of hard work to make them feel appreciated.
When your floor space is confirmed and the design is in progress, you can start promoting yourself. Tell your current and prospective clients the location and date of the exhibition you will be present at. Use multiple marketing and communication channels to ensure you reached your target audience. Post on social media, write an announcement for your website and organize an email newsletter for all the clients. Let them know about what they will find at the booth, including products, offers, and demos.
Keep advertising your stand on social media during the event by using photographs from the display and hashtags to engage in an online conversation about the event. Hire an experienced videographer to film a summary of the event and post it on your website and social media.
- Interactive elements
Another thing that can attract people and increase interested is interactive or immersive components in your booth. Touch screens, quizzes, product demos or giveaways can be not only entertaining but informative and let guest know about your product or service. Try offering something of value and be creative. There are several methods to appeal to all senses and truly immerse visitors in your brand in order to make you more memorable.
Even though it is not very common amongst exhibitors, gifts can become an amazing reminder of your company. Maybe it sounds easy, but offering a complementary drink to people will not improve your brand awareness after the trade show. You need to be creative. Make gifts more personalized to make visitors feel valuable. For instance, cookies with predictions, anti-stress toys, branded mirrors, etc.
If you plan on giving away more expensive gifts, give than to your leads rather than random people who are not very interested in your business. It will save you time and money.
- Early arrival
Arrive early at the event to keep track of what’s going on. We urge you to be present during the booth assembly process to control the work and be aware of any problems that may arise. Take your time getting to meet your teammates and neighbors, and make sure all the technology is up and running.
- Professional behavior
The performance of you and your team has a significant influence on your booth’s success. Try being nice and friendly rather than starting a conversation with a straightforward sales pitch. You should begin a conversation with potential clients by asking questions instead. This marketing method will definitively make them very curious about your product or service.
First impressions are key, so prepare a stylish uniform for your staff and teach them how to use their body language effectively. Additionally, you need to form a connection with your guest, so make eye contact and don’t use your phone during the discussions. If you want to have a bite, use a separate staff room rather than the stand reception area.
- Follow up
Getting back to your leads after the show ends is one of the most crucial marketing aspects of an expo. Contact the clients you got to know at the show as soon as possible, so they remember you. Work on turning your visitors into sales and valuable leads, especially if it is your first exhibition.
By following these steps, you will definitely make your stand a big success at your first trade show. To summarize, the most important thing to do when preparing for an exhibition is planning ahead of time. In this case, time is your best friend. If you are new to this sphere, we recommend you to contact experienced stand builders to make the process easier and more organized.