This guide is a three-series to best practice on exhibiting. This week, we will cover what happens on the day, what you need to consider and how to get the most out of exhibiting!
If you’re happy to record the event with a few snaps on your mobile, then help yourself. If however, you wish to make use of the images at a later date or as part of an extended marketing campaign it makes sense to connect with the official photographer.
They are used to the ambient lighting conditions and will produce better shots than average.
If you have any specific requests or if you need particular people captured on your stand you can brief them in advance. Much of this information will be in the exhibitor manual.
Please be mindful of GDPR regulations around photography. If in doubt, contact your organiser.
The days immediately before a Show are referred to as Build U. Your organiser will have detailed how long you have to build your stand. This is when all the services you have ordered (take a look at part two to refresh your memory!), and the designs you have approved come together.
You will also be given time slots when you may enter the halls to stock up your stand and when you must vacate by. For some simple Shows, it is one or two days in the lead up to the actual event. For some of the larger Shows build up can last for weeks.
Similarly, when it is all over and the contractors come in to dismantle it all (Break Down) you will be informed of how long you have to do it and when you need to vacate the halls.
Organisers are very strict on these times as they are in turn under contract with the venue with quite possibly the next show waiting to build up theirs.
On site stand manning tips (probably THE most useful part of the blog!!)
Your stand staff make the difference
Visitors will judge you by how they see you and your team interact.
- Are your staff trained properly?
- Do they ask open and engaging questions?
- Do they look approachable?
- Are they aware of how their body language makes them look and are they smiling and using posture?
- Can they answer all possible questions they are likely to be asked and do they understand your objectives?
A small investment to train your people on how to man the stand will yield results many times over.
After the event
A survey by the AEO revealed that the majority of exhibitors do not follow up on their leads effectively. Research suggests that it can take up to twelve separate contacts to convert prospects, so contact them, re-contact them and contact them again.
Post event analysis
Now that the event is over, ask yourself some questions:
- How close did we get to our objectives?
- What worked and what didn’t?
- What were our competitors doing that we liked?
- Were there any better locations?
- Was the size adequate?
- Involve the staff who manned the stand with you, what did they think
- What did they see that you could adapt and use yourselves next time?
The more constructive you are on reflection, the easier it will be to improve the next time. Book early and start planning the next one from a stronger base.