Are you organising an event in 2019 and wondering how you can start the new year on the right foot? We have some tips to ensure that your exhibition runs smoothly. Executing a successful event is always top priority, so completing the following will make your event a huge success.
Ideally before you do anything you want to select your expo builder. You want to include them in your planning and goals and take them to site visits of every potential venue you are considering. We can’t speak on behalf of every stand builder, but with Events 720 there is no extra charge for this. If we are going to work with you and build the stands at your exhibition, then we want to make it as great as it can possibly be. This has many benefits. One of the biggest benefits is that your exhibitors will be kept at the forefront of the expo builders’ minds. This ensures exhibitors are satisfied with the way your event is being ran and what is being provided.
You may have already secured a venue, but if you are still putting together your plans, selecting a venue should be top priority. An exhibition venue must be practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. You will no doubt have a vision on how you want the exhibition to look, but if you choose a venue that is not practical for the exhibition builders to actually build your expo, then your event will suffer. So, what should you look for in a venue? Great ceiling height and excellent power amenities. Your exhibitors will want to run power to their stands and they might want to have rigging or lighting effects. None of those things are possible unless your chosen venue has a reasonable ceiling height and excellent power options. If possible, always take your exhibition supplier to your venue site visit, they will identify things that you may not have considered.
There are two ways that you could sell stands at your exhibition; working off a floor plan or working ad-hoc. Working off a floor plan allows you to set a systematic target that you want to achieve, and you will need to work with your expo builder to design the floor plan to best suit your venue and the number of exhibitors you anticipate on having. With this strategy, the pressure will be on you and your team to sell out the whole floor plan, as your expo builder will charge you to supply the number of stands on the floor plan regardless of whether there will be an exhibitor on the stand space.
If you choose to sell exhibitor space on an ad-hoc basis, then you sell floor space and your expo builder will reconfigure the floor plan as you go. There is less pressure on you in this method of selling, however many expo builders will still work to minimum numbers when you first contract them. You will still have a set number of stands that you need to sell, or pay for regardless of whether you sell them, it is just lower than the number prescribed by the floor plan method. A common trap that can occur in ad-hoc strategies is that because of the reduced pressure organisers don’t sell as many stands. This leaves your exhibition looking empty, and no one wants that. Work with your expo builder to decide which is the best stand sale methodology for your event and venue.
Now is the time to consider how to help your exhibitors get the most out of your event. You may prefer to remain in close contact with your exhibitors and ensure that they organise their furniture and graphics, or you may have an expo builder who will do this for you. Check with your expo builder to see if they have a solid sales process in place for contacting exhibitors to ensure that the exhibitors get the most out of exhibiting. If the expo builder can’t provide you with a procedure of how they will contact your exhibitors and the services that they offer you need to find a new expo builder or be prepared to take the task over yourself.
Be prepared that some exhibitors will require 10 touch points before they will organise furniture and graphics for their stand, others will require much less. If you have a dedicated expo builder that will work with your exhibitors then you won’t have to worry, your exhibitors will be taken care of and will have all necessary items delivered to their stand. If you are choosing to contact the exhibitors directly about their stand needs, you need to ensure that you pass on all relevant information to your expo builder. It will be a disaster if you don’t pass on the necessary information and your exhibitors have items missing, they will be incredibly disappointed in your event, and with you as an organiser.
Presence during the show
Now that you show has begun you must be present during the show! Your exhibitors will have questions, issues or feedback that they will want to express during the show and you need to be easily contactable to assist them. If your exhibitors can’t reach you during your show you can guarantee that they will not be exhibiting with you again.
It is also important for attendees who may want to network with you to easily find you at the show. It is often advisable that you invest in a registration area or a booth for yourself where you can be easily found by exhibitors or attendees. If there are any issues that do arise during your event deal with them promptly and professionally. This will ensure that exhibitors and attendees have confidence in your event and will want to return.
Follow up with feedback
This is one of the most important aspects of running a smooth exhibition, and one that is often overlooked! Sometimes you will receive horrible feedback from exhibitors and attendees. Don’t be disheartened, see this as an opportunity to learn and grow. The biggest killer of any trade show or exhibition is the attitude of the organiser. If you can’t accept feedback, then you probably shouldn’t host an event.
Your expo builder should also reach out to you and your exhibitors for feedback on their services. Feedback, both positive and negative, is the only way we can foster growth in the exhibition industry. If you don’t already have a procedure in place for how you gather feedback on your event, organise one quickly! It doesn’t have to be fancy, and you certainly don’t have to spend money engaging third parties to gather feedback (although they do make life easier if you are busy and can justify the cost). You should contact every exhibitor following from your event, as a courtesy, and also to see how they rate your event. Take on the negative feedback and ensure you critically evaluate your event, try to see things from your exhibitor’s perspective.
All of the above gives you a brief overview of how to run a smooth exhibition or trade show in 2019. To find out how Events 720 can help with your event in 2019 send us an email with your event details – firstname.lastname@example.org