Planning an exhibition successfully takes extensive preparation and coordination between various stakeholders. As the exhibitor, working closely with your exhibition booth builder is essential for a seamless experience. Here are the key aspects to focus on when developing an effective plan:
Set Clear Goals and Objectives:
The foundation of any plan starts with defining goals such as:
- Why is your company participating in the event?
- What key messages do you want to convey?
- What types of leads or conversions are you targeting?
Having concrete objectives ensures every subsequent decision supports your overarching strategy. Discuss these thoroughly with your booth builder to develop consistent KPIs.
Pick the Right Show:
Choosing an exhibition aligned with your target industry or audience is important. Study past attendee demographics, sectors represented, concurrent seminars, and more.
Your booth builder can advise on the most suitable options based on your profile and budget. Scouting multiple shortlists allows data-backed selection for maximum reach and effectiveness.
Develop a Content and Activity Plan:
With goals set, ideate all the elements required to achieve them. This could span demo themes and types of:
Create a spreadsheet dividing content by each show day/time for sequencing. To sustain interest accommodate periodic activity changes. Your booth design must support the smooth delivery of the plan.
The cost of your display for trade show includes the stand itself, graphics, furniture, lead retrieval tools, shipping, and more. Get accurate estimates and floor plans from multiple trade show builders before finalizing the budget.
Understand additional charges clearly. For unforeseen expenses, it’s wise to keep a 20% buffer. Consider value additions like builder-manned booths if affordable. Stick to the budget strictly during implementation.
Design Stand Structure and Layout:
Collaborate closely with your booth builder on preliminary design sketches based on the show floorplan provided. Refine dimensions as per the space allotted.
Important factors are flow patterns, visibility from aisles, modularity if downsizing is needed, and equipment placement. Iterate a few rounds of factoring advisory until you have a blueprint approved by all.
Choose Exhibit Elements:
Now supply specifics for the custom exhibit booth structure, what materials, colors, finishes, textures, etc. To incorporate as per design and plan, select interactive elements such as AV equipment, furniture, and graphics.
Builders offer options within budget. Standardize sizes for inventory ease. Confirm lead retrieval tools procurement too. To avoid wastage plan storage of elements.
Develop Visual Identity:
Unified branding across all booth collateral helps create recall and recognition. Provide your logo, fonts, and color schemes to designers for cohesive graphics.
This includes banner hangings, backdrops, floor/table graphics, promo gift branding, and more. Consistency across all touchpoints enhances your presence.
Approve Designs and Floorplan:
Once initial schematics and element selections are ready, have your contractor send formal 3D CAD visualizations/renderings from all angles for approval.
When approving the floorplan for permit applications check minutiae like accurate measurements and dimensions. This avoids change orders later on during construction.
Get Quotes, Timelines, and Agreements:
Request detailed quotes itemizing all costs involved from the booth design stage to dismantling. Check timelines including construction deadlines for inspections.
Thoroughly review contracts for the scope of work, payment schedules, change order terms, insurance/liability clauses, etc. before signing. To avoid scope creep later, negotiate on mutually agreeable terms upfront.
Test and Approve Stand Prototype:
Rigorous quality checks are essential before event time. Request your builder to assemble a full-scale prototype for inspection and sign-off.
Verify joinery strength, graphics fitment, and functionality of interactive elements and equipment. Note any issues for amendments. Two rounds of testing ensure flawlessness when shipped to the show venue.
These tests are a must if you are opting for the trade show exhibit booths.
As per the contract, your booth contractor takes care of shipping, customs clearance, on-site installation/dismantling, and storage. But you must also provide timely dispatch approvals, contact details, and required on-site support through coordinators if any.
Sometimes many unforeseen transport/weather or other issues could happen. To avoid construction delays due to these issues have contingency plans.
Conduct Trail Runs:
The final step before launch is simulated exhibition trials at the actual stand. Under the guidance of your builder’s project manager have your booth staff practice on:
- Demo Scripts.
- Contest Operations.
- Lead-capturing Workflows.
Identify gaps to train further and make process refinements. All stakeholders must be fully prepped for kick-off.
With diligent planning coordinated efficiently between your company and trade show contractor, you can look forward to a smooth, impactful, and profitable exhibition. Regular status updates ensure everything stays on track.
Most importantly, have Plan B options evaluated to proactively address unanticipated challenges on the ground. Effective collaboration with exhibition booth builders and other players forms the cornerstone of an exhibition done right.