Exhibition Planning Timeline: Organise Your Exhibition To Success (Part Two)

As discussed in part one of our two part timeline special, we highlighted the importance of thorough planning and what organisation can really mean to the overall success of your exhibition experience.

Clever brands will often start planning for an event up to 12 months in advance, and as the saying goes, in this case – the early bird really does catch the worm!

So, as promised – here’s the final part of our exhibition planning timeline, adaptable to all industries and business types.

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3 – 6 months before the event

  • Determine staffing requirements – including an exhibition schedule, and staff training sessions.
  • Provide basic show information to any transportation companies.
  • Carefully read your exhibitor manual and understand all requirements – including payment deadlines, site service arrangements, discount offers and rules and regulations etc.
  • Explore travel and accommodation opportunities. Tip: Aim to find accommodation in close proximity to exhibition venue, preferably walking distance to avoid traffic issues.
  • Begin to plan any on-stand live demonstrations or presentations.
  • Evaluate and schedule your pre-trade show promotion strategy – including direct mail, email and other media form campaign types.
  • Place final orders for giveaways and promotional brochures and leaflets.


1 – 3 months before the event

  • Continue with pre-show marketing activities.
  • Finalise your exhibition stand design. Tip: A good stand contractor will make sure that everything meets the specification and your stand complies with all venue regulations.
  • Develop an exhibition staff briefing kit – including staff training seminar sessions, plan your first pre-show meeting and distribute the exhibition plan to staff.
  • Finalise shipping arrangements if required.
  • Schedule meetings for the show with distributors, clients and other businesses.
  • Complete a lead fulfilment plan – including follow-up emails or packages that are to be sent out immediately after the show, develop customer lead forms and plan lead processing procedures for the show.


1-2 weeks before the event

  • Complete a final session of staff training, and rehearse sales messages.
  • Preview your exhibition stand if possible. Tip: Exhibition stand contractors pre-build most exhibition stands 2 weeks before the show to inspect and check the structure and graphics. Ask your contractor if you can visit on a pre-build day to see your stand or ask for pre-build photos to be sent via email. This way you can check the stand and request any changes if required.
  • Confirm shipping arrival dates for your exhibition and related goods.
  • Test product demonstrations and all audio and visual equipment thoroughly.
  • Assemble a trade show survival kit that includes:
    • Office supplies: business cards, pens, staplers, binder clips and notepads
    • Tools: Screw drivers, measuring tape, any tools specific to your stand, including AV cables and connectors (if required or if you have a self-build stand)
    • Contact information, emergency phone numbers and travel logistics for exhibition staff.
    • Cleaning supplies: paper towels, cleaning spray
    • Small first aid kit


Once you are sure you have completed everything on the checklist, there is nothing left to do but sit back and take a deep breath! Making sure that your brand is a success at any event or exhibition is easy, as long as you follow our thorough and well-prepared timeline plan.

Good luck!

Here at Skyline Whitespace, we are passionate about quality and creative design, and are proud to be one of the leading providers of modular and custom exhibition stands. We offer a unique range of exhibition and display stand options to suit your needs, and enhance your trade show success!