An Exhibition Countdown – What You Need to do Before the Big Day
An exhibition is an event that takes a lot of planning. From your stand and your graphics, to organising your team and promotional materials, there’s definitely a large amount of prep involved that you just can’t skip.
Missing something vital on the day would be a disaster and could hinder your whole pitch and render the point of even attending the exhibition meaningless.
Organising yourself in advance (and we mean way in advance) is the only way to guarantee complete preparation on exhibition day. To make sure you’re as organised as you possibly can be, here’s a countdown of the key things you need to prepare before the exhibition.
• 1 year before – this is the time to look at any upcoming exhibitions and decide which would be the best fit for your business. You’ll want to make sure it is of relevant industry, and of size appropriate to the size and location of your business.
• 6 months before – book your space at the exhibition. The earlier you are, the best choice in stand placement you’ll have. Try and book a stand in an area with a lot of footfall – you’ll really see the benefit. You’ll also want to make sure you source or organise your display elements (such as posters, banners, lighting, stand, audio equipment, furniture). You may even want to organise a test run for these, so you know exactly how long they’ll take to set up and take down, allowing adequate time for this on the day of the exhibition. Also ensure you plan what engagement tactics you’ll be using and order anything necessary for this – whether it be print accessories or an AR headset.
• 3 months before – get your printing in place. You’ll want to make sure that as far in advance as possible you’ve ordered any materials to be printed. Whether this be company shirts, graphics for your stand, business cards or any other promotional material, you’ll need this to be sorted to save less worry as time ticks on.
• 2 months before – announce your attendee status on social media. It’s crucial that you let prospects and other attendees know you’ll be there – tell them your stand number and introduce the staff you’re taking with you. Speaking of staff, ensure if you’re bringing other employees you brief them on the rundown of the day, and if there’s any information they need to study make this available for them. Also decide your uniform for the day at this point so there are no confusion over appearances.
• 1 month before – if you’re holding a competition, decide on and purchase and/or purchase a prize. Make sure you also download the exhibition manual and study this to know exactly what to expect on the day. Prepare any electronic elements like slideshows, and make sure to test these. Top tip: never forget your extension lead!
• 2 weeks before – create and print any forms you want visitors to fill out – whether this be a contact form, competition entry or contract if they decide to purchase from you on the day.
• 1 week before – make sure you have all necessary stationary items – pens, stapler, tape. You don’t want to be caught short on the day.
• 1 day before – pack everything and load your car or van up. Double check your list to make sure you’ve included everything you need.
• On the day – now everything is sorted, pick up some last-minute essentials – food and drink to keep you going through the day (after all, your stand might get busy and you may not be able to take that long a break!) It may also be a wise idea to pick up a first aid kit – even if you don’t need it, someone might, and being safe is always better than being sorry!
That should be everything you need for your exhibition. It never hurts to write a proper checklist to really get organised.
If you need help through any stage of the exhibition planning process, or if there’s anything we can supply for you, feel free to get in touch with us at Custom Creative today!