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Checklist for exhibition planning

Monday, 6. February 2017 | by: Alesja Alewelt | Exhibition Planning

How to prepare for a perfect exhibition appearance

Are you planning to exhibit at a trade fair in the near future? That’s great! This is where you can introduce yourself and your organization to your target audience. You will have quite a lot to think about! This overview will show you what issues to consider and exactly when to deal with each issue.    

Six to twelve months beforehand

Preparations for your big appearance should start about one year before the date of the exhibition. Define your target audience and set your goals now. What do you hope to achieve? More importantly, who are you trying to reach? Set out your budget and make generous estimates of the costs you will incur. You should plan for some extra expenditure in order to avoid a financial disaster when unforeseen costs arise.    

At this point the following issues are also important: Which of your competitors will also be attending the exhibition? Which goals will each one be pursuing? Make sure you book early to secure an excellent position in the hall! Select a booth construction firm early, because there will only be a limited choice available.    

Four to five months beforehand

Decide on your exhibition concept. This should cover the booth and its layout, marketing and advertising, and the relevant personnel. At this point, the financial plan should be reviewed and then confirmed.  

The following points are also vital: Issue the contract to your chosen booth construction firm and remember to include a detailed briefing. Agree on the fee for the booth construction firm. Decide which items are going to be exhibited and, if necessary, make sure these are going to be ready in time.    

Two to three months beforehand

From this time onward you can start making final arrangements. Determine how many staff members are going to be required and decide who will staff the booth. Allocate roles to individuals. Consider how the staff will travel to the location. Book hotels and travel tickets, and make sure visas and passports are in order. Also consider the following:

• Plan your advertising activities, and let your customers know you will be exhibiting.

• Decide what advertising methods you will be using.

Work closely with the press, or ask someone else to prepare and circulate press briefings    

Two to four weeks beforehand

Now it’s time to send invitations out to your customers, the press, and special guests. If you have already sent out an advance notification, then all you have to do now is forward the invitation itself. Make sure that you brief your booth personnel very thoroughly, perhaps even with a special training session. Plan how you will transport the exhibition materials and all samples, prototypes, and brochures to the venue. Logistics is one of the most important points!    

Two weeks to one day beforehand

Make sure that the administration office at the exhibition has all necessary documents, passes, nametags, etc. Build the stand, or supervise its construction. Make the finishing touches to the booth in collaboration with the booth construction firm. Test any equipment, and give the staff final instructions. Clarify the order of events, and schedule any necessary meetings with people. Remember to agree on a rotation for staffing the stand with the relevant individuals! Nominate one colleague to monitor the competition.    

During the exhibition

Each day find out whether anything unusual has happened, or if any important contacts have been in the vicinity. Review what has happened at the end of each day, and try to fix any problems in time for the next day. Always ensure that your colleagues are happy, as well as the visitors to your stand.    

After the exhibition

Invest sufficient time in debriefing and follow-up. You should determine what went well for you and your organization and what could have been better. Remember to keep any promises to contact customers, and compare your actual expenditure with the budget that you had planned. Analyze the competition once more, and work out what went well or not so well for them.    

 

provided by FAIRworldwide GmbH

Marketing Exhibition planning Fair concept Organisation Financial planning Follow Up Advertising
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About Alesja Alewelt

Alesja Alewelt, M.A., has been an event manager for over 15 years. In 2008, she founded the Bremen based event management agency, FAIRworldwide, successfully specializing in stands that are shared between multiple exhibitors. Her previous, extensive experience includes working as an event organizer in Munich, Germany, and Melbourne, Australia. Alesja Alewelt is currently involved in creating new concepts to optimize business processes for the sector, with a focus on the use of new technologies.

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