The success of an event can rely on several factors. It comes down to the planning, execution, follow up and everything in between.
It is important to research an event, to ensure the one you plan to attend is the right choice for your business. Exhibitions can be a huge expense to a business, so maximising the return on your investment is a must.
Without carefully researching, and selecting the right event you could end up making a costly mistake.
It’s no use just booking any exhibition just so your event calendar is full. If you have the budget to exhibit multiple times throughout a year then think of the return you could get if you select the best exhibitions – the ones that best suit your business, objectives and goals.
There are many things to consider when planning your event calendar, here are just a few things to think about.
Be SMART with Your Objectives!
Before you start searching for the perfect exhibition there are a few things you need to set first. You need to think about the strategy and reasons for exhibiting in the first place, in other words, your exhibition objectives.
Setting exhibition objectives is how you will measure the overall success of the event.
You must decide what it is you want to gain from exhibiting, for example:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase sales
- Generate new sales leads
- Employment opportunities
- Maintain existing customer relationships
- Launch a new product or service
It may be that you want to focus on one objective or you want to set a few. As long as they are realistic then your success will be easy to measure and see. Click here for tips on setting SMART objectives for your event.
Is it The Right Choice?
Once you know why you’re going, you then need to decide on the destination. Things you need to consider when researching an event:
- How long has it been running?
- What was last year’s football?
- What’s this year’s expected footfall?
- Who is exhibiting?
- How much will it cost?
- What is the target audience?
You must gather as much information about the event as possible. See if the event organisers have any statistics or demo graphs that may help you. Research last year’s events to see if past exhibitors have found the show to be successful or not.
It’s a good idea to check the exhibitor's list, if none of your competitors is going it might be worth asking the question – why?
Find out the history of the event – how long has it been running, does it have a track record of success, what is the reputation of the event. All these factors will help towards making the right decision about the event.
Find out what the target audience of the exhibition is, and if this fits with the target market of your business. For example, if one of your show objectives is to sell products then you need to be sure the buyers and decision makers in your industry segment are likely to be there.
Watch Your Budget!
Your budget allowance will have a huge impact and can ultimately be the deciding factor when booking your exhibitions. The exhibition space whether it be shell scheme or space only can be expensive and may take up most of the show's budget. It’s important to factor this cost in before making your decision as you don’t want to be left with a big space and nothing to fill it.
Be sure to think about the ‘other’ expenses, for example, travel, accommodation and meals. If it is a long way from your offices, then is it practical to attend in terms of travel time and cost for you and staff attending? Whilst staying away employees will need a food allowance.
The ‘other’ expenses if forgotten about will eat into any profit you get from the exhibition.
Making the Decision!
Once you’ve completed the research and you are sure you’ve exhausted every avenue and thought about every outcome, it’s then time to compare it alongside your exhibition objectives.
- Does it look like the type of event which will help you reach your exhibition objectives?
- Do you think you will meet the right people?
- Can your business afford it?
- Does it coincide with a particularly busy time of year for your business?
- Is the event too big for your business?
- Is the event too small for your business?
If you are confident that the event is right for your business, then it is time to book your space and begin promoting. Read our guide for tips on getting your Pre-Event Marketing started.
Once you have booked your stand space you need to decide how you are going to fill it. What kind of display stand are you going to have? Do you have an existing kit you can use or will you need something new?
At XL Displays provides high quality and excellent value portable exhibition displays such as pop up stands, pull up banners and printed tablecloths.
We also offer a custom exhibition stands, graphic design service and can create an exhibition stand unique to your needs and budget. For more information, please contact us or call on 01733 511030.