When you think of an exhibition, you probably imagine excited people, the buzzy exhibition hall, the breathtaking stand designs and other beautiful exhibition aspects. But all of that is not possible if you don’t take the boring steps of thorough planning. There are things that are not connected to your exhibition performance directly but that can affect it strongly if not thought through.
Some crucial things like stand design and choosing a contractor deserve a separate instruction (or even the whole separate blog like ours), but there are also uninspiring things that have to be taken care of. The list could differ from venue to venue, but the fact that it was taken care of by the organizer last time doesn’t mean that this time it’ll be the same. It’s always better to double-check.
Electricity and Internet connection
Some will say that this is something to think after you’ve signed the contract with the exhibition organizer, but it’s not always the case.
Check the standard technical parameters of the stands – will that be enough for you? If all your appliances include a couple of screens, a few laptops and a coffee maker – then there’s nothing to bother about. But if you’re going to demonstrate some powerful equipment with specific technical requirements – make sure to find the way of getting an adequate socket on your stand weeks before the exhibition starts.
Or, maybe, you will also need water supply? For example, if the centerpiece of your stand design is a sparkling fountain, you’ll need a whole lot of buckets to fill it up, so settle this question before the papers are signed. Also, check if the Internet connection is included in the offer – in the IoT world, you can’t do without it. You will also need to find a Contractor that is licensed by the venue to perform the engineering works on your stand.
Lighting is a very mighty tool for making your stand pop out.
The professional stand designers know how much the correct lighting determines in the final stand look.It’s nice to have the general idea of the stand from the very beginning – talk to your trusted designers and ask for their advice. Does your stand need additional UFO-like lighting construction hanging above it, will it require any unique professionals to build? Or maybe you’ll be fine with neat backlights and LEDs?
POS materials, literature and giveaways
It takes time to print the brochures, and it takes even more time to make the layouts. It won’t hurt if you add 3 days for every stage you plan – the printing equipment could break, the graphic designer could get sick, the whole edition could go wrong and need to be redone. Consider printing all the POS materials in a typography that is located not far from the exhibition venue. Also, ask them about the deliveries – what if they could bring all the brochures to the exhibition hall a day or two before the exhibition starts so that you won’t have to bring these papers, bags, and ball pens all the way with you.
Logistics and accommodation
How will your equipment get to the exhibition if you plan on bringing any with you? How will your colleagues get there – it’s ok if you can drive to the venue, but what if you need to take a plane? All these tickets have to be booked in advance. The same goes for the accommodation – the hotels that are the nearest to the venue are often fully booked, so don’t delay that too.
Something that you definitely need to consider. Sometimes the exhibition organizers offer the insurance among other options. This depends a lot on the country you’re going to and the equipment that you’re taking with you.
The scale of the problem here varies. If your company plans to arrange a seminar within the exhibition, then you’ll need to foresee the snacks for your visitors. Even if no events like this are scheduled, you’ll still need some drinking water for your cooler and some prepared water for your coffee machine. Learn the possibilities around the venue and make the necessary arrangements.
So, our short 2do list would be as follows
- send a calendar invites to all the colleagues engaged in the exhibition participation and preparation
- contact your stand designers or contractors for specific technical stand requirements
- check the electricity, lighting, water and Internet conditions
- contact your insurance company (if there’s no insurance on the exhibition package)
- find catering companies and drinking water suppliers around the exhibition venue
- define the kinds and the quantity of the POS materials and giveaways to take to the exhibition, plan the workflow to make them in time
- plan the logistics for all the elements that have to be transported to the exhibition hall
- book the tickets for all the participants, plan connecting flights and transfers
- book the hotel for all the participants
Any amendments? Please, share your experience in the comments below.