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Before the Big Event: Getting Ready for an Exhibit

Preparing for an exhibit isn't the easiest task – but the hard work can more than pay off with some of the best opportunities you are going to get by introducing customers to your brand. Experts say that around 70% of people who attend trade shows have a pretty good idea of what brands they plan to visit before they even open the doors, making it vital that you do as much planning ahead as your potential customers beginning with outreach long before the show.

Find Your Customers

So how do you make people make your exhibit a part of their to-do list? Getting in touch with existing and potential customers before an event should be a priority. You can do this through notices on your websites, emails, and mail-outs emphasizing anything new you have to offer and reasons why your stand should be a must-see. Event organizers should be able to provide a list of attendees to help you reach out to new people as well as your existing clients and suppliers – and if you want to target people by their title or job function, having a list of attendees at past events are also very useful. And also make sure not to skimp on the social media back-up. Keep people informed with regular tweets and Facebook updates.

Do Your Research and Set Your Goals

Who is going to be at the event and what can you offer them? To make your exhibit a success, you will have to decide what you consider as a success and set goals so you can prepare effectively. Keep in mind what you want to achieve, what particular products or service you most want to promote, and how many sales or leads you are going to aim for. It is also essential to do your homework and make sure you're not a complete stranger to the event city and venue. Also, don't forget to check out the competition!

Get Your Team Together

From project managers to designers to exhibition stand builders to whoever is handing out coffee and snacks, there is no point in having your B-team for an event as important to your business as an exhibition. Anybody working your stand is an ambassador for your brand, and will need to know what questions to expect and what answers to give. Make sure they can engage with visitors properly instead of just reading bullet points from a checklist.

Prepare and Place Your Design

You'll need to get your design right – think eye-catching but also approachable. You will need to make an impression, think about freebies and snacks to hand out, and make sure your contact details are easy to see and easy to obtain. But marketing experts say that where you are can be as important as how you look. Having a prime spot is ideal and often worth the extra cash. If one of these make it out of the question, more work needs to be put into making sure customers not only notice your stall, but are going to find it in the first place.

Practice Makes Perfect

Think you're ready? Better run through everything just one more time. This includes making sure electronics – especially ones that will be used in displays – are functioning perfectly. Knowing how to set up and take down displays expertly, checking that staff are properly trained, and, as some seemingly jinxed exhibitors will be able to testify, getting simple details right like being absolutely sure that you can get to the show in time and know your way around the venue.