You have booked your stand – what next?

Think about what it is you want to achieve from your time and investment – be prepared and don’t leave it until the last minute.

How large is your stand – how many members of staff do you need (do you have enough people in your team/do you need agency staff)?   How close is the exhibition to your office/homes of the staff – do you need to organise transport/hotels?

Find out what the exhibition organisers are including  is it a shell scheme, are table/chairs included or will you have to take/hire your own?   Do you need electricity – is it included or do you need to book it?

What do you want the stand itself to say about you?   Do you want bare walls with perhaps a floor standing banner stand or 2 or do you want printed graphics for the walls?   Are you taking a table – if sure make sure it is the right size for your stand and think about a table covering – do you want it plain or branded with your logo?

Think about what you and your staff will wear and communicate this to them – if you expect them to wear a business suit tell them, if you want them all wearing the corporate colour tell them in advance so that they can have the items ready.   If you want everyone in a uniform make sure you know their sizes.

Think about what you will be taking to exhibit and how you will transport it to the venue whether it be your product, merchandise to sell or give away or just leaflets/flyers – make sure you have enough.

How will you attract people to your stand so you can talk to them – will you be an event sponsor so that you can include your leaflet in a goody bag they get given at the door.    Do you just want to gather data/names/emails – think about a competition where you can offer a prize at the end of the day for everyone that submits their business card – they will often just put their card in your box as they pass your stand and you have their email to add to your list.   Similarly band together with other exhibitors for a larger prize (think iPad – small investment spread over say 4 exhibitors)  that you know – print a postcard and ask for them to have it signed at all 4 stands – submit the card at any of the stands with your contact details – a larger prize with a high perceived value tempts people and also allows you to take to social media in advance of the event , tagging the event, tagging each other and drawing more people in.    Are you doing give-aways – so that people that do stop and talk to you have something (other than a card or brochure) useful to take away with them – so they remember YOU and not someone else when they do need you.

PREPARE so that your investment pays and achieves your goals.