How to prepare for an upcoming exhibition or trade show

Having a presence at an exhibition or a trade show is much more than just booking a stand and turning up with a few sample products and some literature.  Get it wrong and you could actually put potential customers off. It takes a lot of planning to make it worth your while, and first impressions count.

Here, we take a look at a few key points that will help you have a successful exhibition. The earlier you start planning, the better prepared you will be. Don’t leave everything until the last minute, as your suppliers might not be able to get everything to you before the big day…

  • Publicity – make sure your current and potential customers know you will be at the event. Use direct mail, social media and website advertising.  Most event organisers will have a website where exhibitors will be able to have a free entry into their exhibitors’ guide – take advantage of this facility to get the maximum amount of coverage allowable.
  • Display material and sales literature – It is extremely important that you get this right.  For this, you will need to work with design and print professionals to provide you with great visual aids that will draw potential customers to your stand.  You need bold, enticing printed collateral and display material that reflects your brand.  It also helps to have a print partner you know you can rely on, that will go above-and-beyond to make the process as simple as possible.  Can they meet your deadline? Can they deliver to the venue? These are important questions to ask.
  • Have an attraction to draw people to your stand – a prize draw where people leave their business cards is an easy and successful way for you to data capture potential sales leads.
  • Making those who visit your stand feel at home and welcome
    • Create a relaxing environment for guests by having an informal seating area.
    • Don’t forget refreshments! Offering your guests tea or coffee will encourage them to stay longer and gives you the chance to promote your business and sell.
    • Make sure that you don’t ‘over-stuff’ your area with too much sales literature, furniture etc. You need to create a welcoming appearance where people don’t feel cramped.
  • Book hotel rooms for overnight stays – don’t leave it too long as you may find all of the event-rate rooms have been sold, or there is no available hotel room anywhere near the venue. You certainly don’t want to be staying miles away from where the exhibition is being held.
  • How are you getting your stock to the venue? Think about logistics.  Do you hire a company to deliver the stock to the venue for you, or do you want to hire a van and do it all yourself?
  • Don’t forget to organise your staff for the event. Who is setting up? Who is manning the stand?
  • Prepare an essentials kit to include pens, paper, first aid kit, water, electrical extension leads, screwdrivers, hammers etc.
  • Lastly, once you have packed everything up and got back to your normal working life, don’t forget to follow up with customers who visited your stand. Create a database of those who visited and send them information about your company.  Streamline Press are able to provide low-cost, high-quality digital print, fulfilment and mailing services to follow up on all those useful contacts.  The quicker and more professional follow-up, the more business you will generate.

Streamline Press specialises in event support – from printing your stands and sales literature, to delivery and assisting with the follow up.  Streamline is home to a large mailing and fulfilment house, which is ideal for any follow up activities you may require.  You’ll have a dedicated account manage that will manage your account from start to finish, ensuring every part of the preparation cog works in tandem with your aims for the exhibition.

If you have any questions, or would like to speak to one of our print experts about your upcoming event / trade show, click here.