Exhibiting - checklist

Exhibiting - checklistExhibitions can be a great place to meet potential customers face to face. Here are the key steps to exhibition success.

  • Clarify your objectives, for example, to collect leads, meet existing customers, make direct sales, or network with other businesses.
  • Choose an exhibition that will attract your target audience and take into account the exhibition’s reputation, location, size and publicity plans.
  • Consider whether the timing suits your plans and existing workload.
  • Assess how cost-effective it will be: compare expected benefits with the costs of exhibiting, including staffing your stand.
  • Book early to ensure that you are included in the organisers’ publicity material.
  • Book a space which will suit your proposed display; consider which locations in the venue offer the most cost-effective exposure.
  • Decide whether to use the organisers’ shell scheme or design and use your own stand.
  • Start planning well in advance: organise marketing materials and samples, plan the layout of your stand and find out what facilities are available (eg storage and security, power points, broadband access and refreshments).
  • Before the exhibition, promote your presence to your target audience (for example, with free tickets).
  • Decide in advance how you will respond to different visitors, for example, students, potential customers, VIPs and competitors looking for information.
  • Select personable, knowledgeable employees for the stand, and provide sales training if necessary; take enough people to allow for breaks.
  • During the exhibition, let visitors browse briefly before approaching them to identify who they are and what their interest is.
  • Arrange to follow up; as a minimum, record the name, job title, contact details and area of interest of each potential customer.
  • Consider using the organisers’ list of attendees, as well as your own records, to contact them after the exhibition.