Exhibition Planning Timeline: Organise Your Exhibition to Success (Part One)

When it comes to exhibiting at any trade show, exhibition or corporate event, smart companies will start to plan an exhibition timeline long before the event.

By planning ahead, you can ensure a successful outcome, and of course, optimise your trade show budget and objectives.

Here’s part one of our two-part blog series – providing you with a simple trade show timeline that’ll have you planning to success, with plenty of time to spare! (Just in case of any unforeseen disasters, of course!)

12 months before the event

STRATEGY IS KEY
  • Research and identify which exhibitions are worthwhile to attend, and which best suit your brand and customer.
  • Determine how trade shows will complement your overall marketing and sales strategy.
  • Request show statistics from event organisers, including past attendee numbers and profiles.
  • Develop your trade show budget and projected return on investment.

9 – 12 months before the event

BE OBJECTIVE
  • Establish show objectives – including communication objectives: awareness, perception, positioning; quantifiable objectives: number of sales, generated leads, new partners etc. and logistical objectives including publicity.
  • Set exhibition stand requirements – including stand type and space. Depending on your show objectives, consider what you will need on your stand, for example an enquiry desk, product demonstration stations, tv screens.
  • Identify a space that best suits your exhibiting needs and budget – This will determine the success of your exhibition and have a huge impact on your ROI.
  • Register and reserve your stand space. Tip: Being in the middle of an exhibition hall isn’t always the best. These areas can become regularly congested and detract attention. Study floor plans and anticipated traffic flow patterns before committing to a particular space. It’s all about location, location, location. Plan in advance to get that perfect spot.
  • Mark your calendar with deadlines for stand space deposit and balance payments.
  • Begin creating a trade show marketing plan – including pre-show, at-show and post-show marketing activities.

6 – 9 months before the event

GET CREATIVE
  • Specify and develop your marketing activities – including advertising, direct mail, email campaign, promotional items and giveaways.
  • Select and exhibition designer/builder and begin design work – including layout, graphics, interactive technology and on-stand engagement. Tip: Choose exhibition stand contractors who will be able to make exactly the exhibition stand you have in mind. Good stand contractors will take care of all aspects of the creative process and production from start to finish, making your exhibition experience effortless and stress-free.
  • Begin to design and print marketing material for show distribution.
  • Develop an engaging sales message for your exhibition staff to communicate at the show.

…To be continued!

As one of the UK’s leading providers of creative and innovative modular exhibition stands, we understand that exhibition success requires careful planning – and aim to reduce a little of the exhibition planning stress by helping you with the artistic side of things.