Having an exhibition stand at a trade show or event can be an expensive outlay for your business so choosing the right exhibition is crucial in making a big difference to your success and is a key contributor in achieving your exhibition goals and maximising return on investment.
If you do not put the work in to find the right exhibition to best suit your business then attending the wrong type of show can be very costly in terms of both time and money.
At XL Displays we are experts in bespoke exhibition stands and portable display equipment and we have some top tips on how to choose the right exhibition:
Before you start looking at which exhibition to attend, you need to think about why you want to attend – what are the specific reasons why you want to exhibit and what are your exhibition objectives? It might be that you want to launch or test a new product, make new contacts, sell products, generate sales leads or build brand awareness. An exhibition is a good way to achieve all of these things but you need to decide what your specific objectives are so you can find the right exhibition to achieve them.
It is important to ensure your objectives are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive. For help in setting your exhibition objectives have a look at our article: SMART Objectives for an Exhibition.
Collect as much information as possible about the exhibition from the organisers, including show statistics, demographics, previous attendees and exhibitors. Try calling a few previous exhibitors to speak to them about their experiences of the event. Also get a list of current exhibitors to get an idea of the other businesses attending and if any of your competitors are attending.
It’s also useful to find out the history of the event – how long it’s been running, does it have a track record of success, what is the reputation of the event. If an event is not highly regarded by your customers and peers then it could negatively impact your business reputation if you attend.
Once you have done your research, compare it to your objectives for the event to see how much they match up. If you think that most of your objectives would be met at the exhibition then it is probably one to go for.
If you are still not sure, go as an attendee first to check out the event and get a feel for it, see the crowd and talk to other exhibitors. This will give you an idea of whether the event is suitable for your business before committing to booking a stand at the next show.
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.
Budget is always an important factor when deciding on an exhibition and not just in terms of the cost of the exhibition space itself. When getting quotes for exhibition stand space find out what is included and if there are any extra costs, such as WiFi, power points etc. Remember to factor other costs into your budget including exhibition stand and equipment, installation, marketing materials, staff, travel and accommodation, subsistence, advertising and competitions.
It is important to consider the size of the exhibition in relation to the status of your business. If you are a small business exhibiting for the first time then a large scale exhibition with all the major competitors and industry leaders might not be right for a first time. As a small business with a small stand you might get a bit lost and be better off starting out at a smaller exhibition where you can build brand awareness and reputation before moving to a larger event.
Size not only relates to the size of the exhibition but also the size of your potential stand. When choosing your stand position and size make sure you have the capacity and budget to fill it. There is no point having a large stand space but not having enough display equipment to justify the size or staff to man the stand.
Look objectively at the geographical location of the exhibition. If it is a long way from your base then is it practical to attend in terms of travel time and cost for you and any staff attending? You will need to factor in costs for transport and possibly accommodation, as well as how to transport your stand and equipment to the venue. Also, if you offer a local service or product then there is no point exhibiting at a location that is too far out of your delivery area as exhibition attendees will be unable to access your product or service.
When is the exhibition? Does it clash with any other events which could impact attendance? Is it a good or bad time of year for you to attend in terms of your business needs? For example, if it is held at a busy time of year for you can you afford the time away from the business to attend?
Find out how the organisers are marketing and advertising the show and to whom. This will have a big effect on the numbers and type of people who turn up.
We hope you have found some of these tips useful on choosing the right exhibition to benefit your business. When you decide on which exhibition to attend, don’t forget that XL Displays provides high quality and excellent value portable exhibition displays such as pop up stands, pull up bannersand printed tablecloths. We also offer a custom exhibition stand design service. For more information please contact us or call on 01733 511030.