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The essential event checklist.

28th November 2023

Exhibitions and tradeshows offer an exciting opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, connect with potential customers and stay ahead in their industries. But, navigating your way to success can be complicated as there is usually more than one plate spinning at a time. Businesses who successfully use exhibitions and tradeshows have one thing in common, they have a clear checklist of activities to complete, and they consider each step throughout their planning and execution of the event. 

What are these steps? Let’s get into them!

Step one: Generate a buzz

Effective marketing promotion helps you create an atmosphere of anticipation for your stand, which draws in attendees. Marketing is your megaphone and it should be shouting about your attendance at the event long before you actually set foot in the venue. 

Some pre-show strategies to consider could be; 

  • Social media campaigns: share teasers, behind-the-scenes glimpses into your preparation and any potential benefits of meeting with you on the day. Get the audience excited about attending and enthused about visiting your stand. 
  • Email marketing: Send out messaging to inform your contacts that you will be at the exhibition, and offer the opportunity to schedule a meeting well ahead of time. Keep it concise, engaging and exciting. 
  • Don’t just tell, show! Create engaging teaser content that provides a preview of what attendees can expect at your stand. Make it visually appealing, informative and creative. 

But marketing isn’t just for before the event. Your presence at an exhibition, both during the event and after should be shouted about. 

Your exhibition stand design should be optimised to create an inviting and immersive environment that reflects your brand’s personality (and if you’re looking for help with this, drop us a note!). Your promotional materials need to be informative, engaging and easy to grab and make attendees want to take a piece of your brand home with them. If you have the capability, live demonstrations on the stand are excellent for showing off your creativity and skill. Encourage visitors to participate, engage with your products or service and spread the word. 

Post-show, you want to focus on turning those initial connections into long-lasting relationships through a period of lead nurturing where you keep your brand top of mind through personalised emails, exclusive post-show promotions and valuable content. 


Step two: Train your staff

For any business taking part in an exhibition, well-trained staff is essential. Stephan Murtagh, Director of The Exhibition Guy says that you have four seconds to make an impression as an exhibitor, so it’s key that you get that impression right. Ensuring your team is ready to represent your brand or business doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to be a priority. 

Your staff serve as the face of your business during the event. Ensuring they are prepared and knowledgeable will help present you in a great light with attendees. Make sure that all your staff know your products or services inside out and back to front, this will mean they are confident enough to answer questions with authority and also address concerns and influence decisions.

Teach your team the art of effective engagement. Knowing the answers to questions is one thing, but getting them to greet visitors in the right way, listening to them attentively without predicting any questions they may have and communicating persuasively will ensure a memorable and positive interaction. 

Knowledgeable, friendly and engaging staff can attract potential customers through valuable information and by creating meaningful connections. 


Step three: Execute effectively

Effective logistical planning is essential for a smooth event but is often overlooked. Make it a priority. 

Confirm the stand setup and layout in advance and ensure that all necessary equipment, displays and promotional materials are in place ahead of time. Make arrangements for shipment and secure storage of your stand materials and products with enough buffer should anything go wrong! Book your travel and accommodation for the team and make sure everyone knows how to get to and from the venue. 

And, potentially most importantly, make sure that all your equipment is in working order! There’s nothing worse than arriving with a laptop that won’t connect to your screens, or having a vital cable missing! Alternatively, you could work with us at Imagine, and we’ll make sure you’re covered whatever the eventuality. All you have to do is turn up!


Step four: Learn and grow

Once the excitement, hustle and bustle of the exhibition itself is over, your team should come together for a post-show debriefing. Take time to reflect on your wins, both big and small and acknowledge your successes. Address challenges head-on so you can identify areas that need improvement for the next big event and gather feedback from your team, they are your best critics and most supportive fans. 

By talking about the show, you can fine-tune your performance, elevate your trade show strategy to new heights, and take these learnings into your next exhibition show.


Step five: If in doubt, talk to the experts!

Using a design and production agency like Imagine Events to help you pull your exhibition appearance off without a hitch can mean you’re freed up to work on the other elements of your attendance, enjoy networking with prospects and get the most from being there. 

We wear multiple hats – acting as your set designer, lighting technician, and stage manager all in one. With over 25 years of experience, our expertise extends to transforming your stand design concepts into a visually stunning and efficiently functioning reality. From construction to setup, transportation, and storage coordination, we handle it all.

Exhibition success relies on a methodical approach rather than flashy tactics. By following these practical steps you can really elevate your presence and achieve your event goals. 

Whether you’re an experienced exhibitor, or new to the scene, get in touch to discuss how we can help you with all things exhibitions!