Steps to a successful exhibition project
Know beforehand the exhibitions you want to participate as an exhibitor
- It is important to consider whici exhibitions are worth the investment and which are not. Exhibition stands are large investments, where timing, theme, target group profile (not quantity but quality) and the physical location of the exhibition play significant roles.
Define the products/services that are displayed at the exhibition
- It is not very handy to market company's' entire product or service range at an event. It is wise to select one main product/service and a couple side products/services.
- If multiple products are selected for display, it is recommended to divide the stand structurally or with lighting to product families. This keeps the stand clear.
Agree and negotiate the stand construction details on time
- Conversation with the exhibition partner should be initiated early in order to ensure that stand's visual look, functions and price are agreed to fit everyone's needs and production can be started without rush.
- Favor recyclable materials, which can be used at several exhibitions. Exhibition partners are usually able to store stand structures for a small fee.
Recruit and commit correct persons to the stand from your company
- You are very likely to need experts who know everything there is to know about your product at the stand, but enthusiastic "recruiters" getting people to visit your stand are equally important as well.
- The main task for the recruiter is to raise interest and link the potential customer with the expert.
- When selecting stand personnel it is wise to keep two things in mind:
- Exhibition/event is not a vacation or reward to the staff. It is an excellent place to promote sales, if one knows correct procedures and actions.
- Unsuitable person can have a large negative effect on potential event. Laziness and shyness are contagious.
Plan target groups you want to visit your stand
- It is advised to consider inviting members of press to the stand in addition to current and potential new customers.
- It is also worthwhile considering participating decision makers. It is important to have key influencers i.e. managers and assistants to the stand in addition to upper/ CEO level.
Communicating about the event to customer and interest groups correctly and on time
- Include dates and places of your events and exhibitions to marketing plan by posting them to your Internet pages. Invite current and potential customers and interest groups to the event.
- An underestimated mean of communication during digital times is the traditional invitation letter and phone call. It is very challenging to reach and commit CEOs of large companies with just an e-mail.
- The actual invitation is sent 1-2 months prior to the event. It is smart to include map to the stand and the stand's program and schedule with a teaser about oncoming events at the stand as an appendix. A good rule with the appendix is that limited possibility to participate usually sparks interest. It is important to bear in mind that everyone is busy and that your invitation competes with several similar invitations. State an interesting and important reason for the invited and they will show up.
- After 2-3 days after sending the invitation it is wise to commit the invited persons by calling them and writing down the persons who promised to come.
Remember to keep the press aware about your news
- Remember to inform the new members of press (e.g. bloggers) in addition to the regular press.
- When launching something new, one should definitely keep a press conference and publish a press release.
Be genuinely present and prepared at the event
- A well-rested and enthusiastic staff stands out from the masses!
- Make the visitors participate via competitions, experiments etc. It is an excellent means to add information to marketing databases.
- A good program at the stand ensures that customers and interest groups enjoy themselves at the stand and tell forward about the positive atmosphere.
- Courageous and polite behavior are rewarded with requests for proposal and new contacts.
- Write down all conversations immediately using jointly agreed methods. This enables you to sum the event up afterwards and enables future development.
- Take care that agreed issues with customers and interest groups are realized. "Agree what is to be performed, and perform according to what has been agreed".
- Thank all stand visitors with e.g. a report on the event. Ask people, if they'd like to give feedback on your event.
- Remember to ask, wether the recipient wants to receive marketing or sales communication in the future as well.
A well planned request for proposal
The more details you give to us with your request for proposal, the better the stand design serve your needs and the offer reflects the end result. To assist you in making the request for proposal we have written a list of tips, which are good to know when writing a request for proposal.
Begin the planning of your project and competitive tendering process on time. When considering an exhibition stand, the project timeline in Finland is 3 months and abroad 6 months. This time line ensures that the project is realized within normal schedule and surprise and extra costs are avoided both in terms of overtime hours and expenses from the exhibition organization.
When designing the exhibition stand time required varies from a day to one week. Time used to calculate the offer depends on the size of the stand, degree of customization and the physical location of the exhibition, and calculation may take one day to over a week to complete.
Design and offer calculation are always based on knowing the event, event's time and place, size of the stand, location and the set up and dismantling periods for that particular event.
- Event, place, date of the event
- Stand at the exhibition hall; hall layout, from which one can see the size, shape, location, main isles, technical outlet wells, pillars, etc. information related to the stand.
- Set up and dismantling schedules
- Building regulations; construction heights, neighbor rules, suspension possibilities
- The nature of the event, main competitors and their location at the event
To offer the best solution for Your needs, we would like to know why you are participating the event in question and what are the expectations for the event.
- Company information; field of business, products, competitive field
- Goals for participation
- What the stand is communicating; brand, company, product, theme, main message
- How the exhibition participation supports customer's marketing communication
- Customer's exhibition guidelines, brand guidelines, graphical guidelines
- Schedule and budget frame
Stand furnishing and lighting are defined according to what type activities are planned on the stand.
What are displayed on the stand
- products and/or services
- how the products are displayed; quantity, measures, electricity needs, placement
How potential customers are met
- openly on stand presenting products/services (standing)
- as above, but a possibility to sit down and discuss over a table
- behind closed doors at a negotiation space
- stand info counter, from which all interested persons can ask for information
- giveaways, catering
- are brochures or product samples handed out to customers
- is there catering, what is being catered
- = need for a kitchen- and storage space
- are products and/or services presented with av-equipment; videoscreens, monitors, laptops, tablets etc (own and rented equipment), internet connections
- is there event program at the stand; shows, information speaches etc