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Organising a successful exhibition

A successful exhibition can have numerous benefits, including an increased interest in your business, respect within your industry, and an opportunity to network with other business leaders as a force to be reckoned with. That being said, your exhibition needs to run smoothly and tick all the boxes for you to reap the benefits.

As with any event, it can pay to have a handy checklist that covers everything you need to organise your exhibition, from the bigger plans to the smaller details.

First steps

  1. Define your exhibition goal: what do you want to achieve?
  2. Establish a generated leads goal.
  3. Establish a sales goal.
  4. Ensure you have an event team, clearly establishing their roles for the exhibition.
  5. Establish the budget for your exhibition.
  6. Decide on location of space needed.
  7. Understand how Covid-19 may impact your event – will you need to invite less people, or book a larger space to ensure social distancing?
  8. Draw up a list of businesses or organisations you’d like to invite to exhibit at your event.
  9. Work out how many stands you want to host.
  10. Decide on the size of location needed for your exhibition.
  11. Choose and book your venue.

Logistics

  1. Select an exhibition manager to oversee the day and manage the space.
  2. Draw up a list of suppliers required for the event: stall hire, catering, lighting, technology, audio, and so on.
  3. Research the relevant local suppliers, enquire for information such as timings and length of hire, and request quotes.
  4. Book your preferred suppliers.
  5. Create a timetable for the organisation of the event, from set up to pack down, with supplier timings included.
  6. Write up a rota which details shift patterns for those involved in the running of the exhibition.
  7. Allocate responsibilities to exhibition staff for setting up stalls and taking them back down at the end of the day.
  8. Collate information on onsite parking or parking available nearby, how to get there, and appropriate travel routes.
  9. Research the necessary event insurance – Covid-19 may impact the supply chain and it will be necessary to arrange financial cover if this happens.
  10. Ensure a good data capture system for on the day registration of attendance.
  11. Create a central document for exhibitors to review, including expected attendance numbers, sale projections, and venue details.
  12. Once this is done, begin booking your exhibitors.
  13. After you have booked your exhibitors, create a floor plan for where each stall will be.

Marketing

  1. Create branding for your exhibition: a logo, colour scheme, and font family are great places to start when establishing the brand that will be used across your marketing materials.
  2. Create a landing page on your website specifically for information around the exhibition.
  3. Promote the exhibition on your website – for example, creating a sitewide banner and integrating signposts into published blogs.
  4. Promote the exhibition on social media. Your social media pages should have assets promoting your event, such as a redesigned profile picture and cover image.
  5. Create a press release to distribute to local and trade media.
  6. Create a media pack for exhibitors: this should include a press release, digital assets for exhibitors to use on social media, in emails, and for email signatures.
  7. Create two different designs for your passes: exhibitor and attendee.
  8. Design and produce name tags.
  9. Decide on printed collateral: will you have leaflets, flyers, posters, business cards? If so, time to design and order them now.
  10. Design and produce any physical marketing collateral such as roll up banners, branded t-shirts, corporate brochures, etc.
  11. Research corporate gifts and create a design for them.

On the day – before the exhibition begins

  1. Ensure registration points are set up and at appropriate distances.
  2. Brief your team on the run down of the day – they should already know this inside out, but it’s good to cover bases.
  3. Let staff know where they can find First Aid kits, emergency exits, fire escape routes, and the fire assembly point.
  4. Check that suppliers have everything they need and are aware of the run down.
  5. Make sure a pre-scheduled post goes live on social channels to express excitement for the event.
  6. Make sure that stands, technology, and marketing collateral have been laid out as planned.

On the day – during the exhibition

  1. Make sure to welcome your guests and check that they have everything they need. If you have marketing collateral such as a guide for the event, this is a good time to offer it.
  2. Take laps around the event so that people can grab you if needed. Use this as an opportunity to check in with exhibitors and ask how things are going.
  3. Network throughout – this is an opportunity for you to make new connections, share expertise, and generate sales and leads.
  4. Check in with staff to make sure everything is running smoothly behind the scenes.

After the exhibition

  1. Ensure any outstanding payments for suppliers have been paid.
  2. Using your data capture system, thank attendees of the exhibition for coming, and invite those who didn’t to keep in contact.
  3. Follow up any sales leads, and touch base with remaining attendees for lead generation.
  4. Input data reaped from the event: have you met your sales and lead generation goals?
  5. Create a report to relay within your organisation, thank your staff.

The Grubstreet Author with its stylish spaces, high end facilities, industrial heritage and central location is the perfect venue for a event that is looking to leave a lasting impression. Get in contact today to find out how you can create the perfect exhibition at our Central London location.

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