This is a guest post from Catherine Sutton at Waterloo Brown.
Having a stand at an exhibition, expo, conference or trade show is a great way to grow your business and build your database. If you are launching a new product or service the instant feedback from potential customers or clients can make this a valuable use of time and money. This blog will look at some of the questions you should ask before you book your space and what you should do next.
Making the decision
Exhibition stands can be expensive, so it is important to make sure that this is a good use of your marketing budget and fits into your marketing plan. In the same way as when you place an advertisement, it is vital that you ask how many people are expected to attend the event and who they are. Who are the other exhibitors? Are you allowed to sell product at the event, or can you only take orders?
Find out the running order for the day. Is there going to be a conference running alongside the event? Will there be seminars and workshops? Will these be in the same room you are exhibiting in? If not, you could be on your own for long periods of time.
If the event you want to exhibit at is a regular occasion, it can be worthwhile to attend as a delegate before taking the plunge and paying for a stand and for the additional expense of marketing materials. It might be worth talking to other business owners with complementary businesses who might also wish to have a stand at the event. That way you could share the cost and also manning the stand.
The first thing to do if you decide to go ahead and book a stand is to plan what you are going to exhibit. What product or marketing materials do you need to take? Do you need a pop-up banner? For larger exhibitions there may be panels that you need to cover. Checking with the organiser is vital, not only for the size of the stand, but whether there will be a table, a cloth to cover it and a chair. Is there electricity for your laptop? What are the security arrangements if the event is over more than one day?
You need to also find out what time you can arrive and the arrangements for breaking down the stand. What arrangements have been made for refreshments for the exhibitors?
One tip is to layout all your materials before the event so that you can see what your exhibit looks like. Your exhibit needs to be a reflection of your business.
A future blog will look at top tips for getting the most out of your exhibition stand.
If I can help with any further advice or help you develop your ideas, please do call me or email. Catherine Sutton – 01753 860106 / 07887 574592 or email email@example.com. Waterloo Brown www.waterloobrown.co.uk
Above photograph with many thanks to Adby Creative.