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If your business requires you to exhibit at trade fairs and exhibitions in order to promote your service or products careful planning and co-ordination is required. You can use the services of exhibition organisers or a member of your staff can be given the responsibility of organisation.
Below are our tips on what we think needs to covered when preparing for and exhibition or trade fair.
- Booking Exhibition Space: If the attendance of the business show, exhibition or trade fair is paramount for you to attend for your business you need to ensure that you book well in advance. This will give you more choice to be able to picture a great location for your stand. It could also be possible to negotiate with the show organisers for discounts if this is a new show for you, if you will help market the show out or book more than one show at a time. It does help to talk to the organisers as you never know what offers can be obtained. Confirm you booking as soon as the charges and terms and conditions have been sent to you.
- Stand Design: Are you using the organisers designers or using your own designers to customise your stand? Be sure to book artwork creation, design and construction work requirements in advance. Advise the organisers if you are using your own people too so they are aware. It is usual that if you do use the organisers designers they will keep the organisers informed.
- More Space: Do you need to additional space booked that you could use for demonstrations or meeting due the exhibition. Speak with the organisers to arrange.
- IT Equipment: Sometimes it is more cost effective to hire IT equipment such plasma screens. Check the rules and regulations for electricity supply to the stand is ok to be used for your own equipment like laptops and charging mobile phones.
- Storage: Check with the organisers that there is adequate storage on the stand for personal belongings, literature, refreshments and anything that might be needed during the exhibition. Consider having some lockable storage space to keep valuable items secure.
- Accommodation: Depending on the number of days your exhibition is for and the location of the venue look to booking hotel accommodation in bulk if required and as earlier as possible to obtain a great price. Many exhibition organisers negotiate special rates with local hotels for the duration of the exhibition.
- Transport: Have you got the right kind of transport to get all of your equipment to the venue?
- Insurance: Your Public Liability Insurance will need to be checked to make sure it covers your business at exhibitions. Some venues will specify the level of public liability needed and insurance companies will offer a blot on to your current insurance policy.
- Risk Assessment: As an exhibitors you will have a legal responsibility for the health and safety of your staff at the exhibition, and for minimising any risks to the public when they visit your stand. Any potential risks must be identified in advance and a risk assessment must be carried out on the stand when first arriving at the venue. Any potential hazards for example, trip hazards should be identified and note made of any actions taken to prevent them. Prepare some simple forms to record the risk assessment on the day. Take a look at the Health & Safety Executive guidance or speak to one of our advisors about our Forum Health & Safety guide.
- Marketing & PR: Put out invitations to prospective and current customers and suppliers, the media, corporate guests and any other relevant contacts to promote your business at the exhibition. Promote the exhibition online, in newsletters, e-mails, social media and promotional literature to say you are inattendance, are there any # that need to be used with you the social media marketing? Check to see who else is exhibiting as they may be potential partners or customers and contact them beforehand to arrange meetings at the exhibition.
- Literature: This is the most important item you can have on your stand so you do need to check that all the necessary stationery, brochures, business cards, order forms, leaflets, corporate gifts and giveaways needed for the event have been ordered well in advance and are up to date. Remember to take tablets or notebooks for staff to record details of potential leads and new customers on the day.
- Dress Code: How you come across to prospective customers and supplier will determine you dress code for the event. Should staff be wearing business attire or are you having corporate clothing which will be needed to be ordered and designed in good time to arrive.
- Badges & Park Permits. Remember to book all your staff for badges and parking permits if required. Gaining entry as an exhibitor you will need the paper work. Check that each member of staff that is on the stand has a personal badge that clearly shows their full name, job title and the name of your business.
Today most organisers of events will provide online processes to complete so you are aware what you have to organise. Exhibitor packs can also be emailed to you so again you can organise yourself to be ready in time. Remember time everything right, produce marketing materials and stand decorations well in advance so you know you are ready.