From the start
Choosing the right stand
Everyone always has their own opinion on where the best locations are at an exhibition. Some like to be near the entrances, café area, conference rooms and even the toilets. It is all about finding the best location for your business and our sales team are on hand to help make sure that you are near a conference room dedicated to your product or service, or near or far away from your competitors depending on preference.
Objectives are there to help focus your time at an event and make sure you can then measure how the event went. It is important to make your objectives achievable and to communicate them with your team. Make sure you write them down and be specific with them i.e.
- Make 5 appointments per day
- Generate 20 new sales qualified leads
- Connect with 15 existing clients
- Find 2 new distributors
Type of stands
- Space only: This is sold by the square meter and just the floor space is included. You will need to then supply the flooring, electricity, walls (if needed) and furniture. You will need to hire a contractor to build your stand.
- Shell Scheme: The rate also includes carpet, walls, fascia and other additional extras like electricity.
- Upper Deck: This is when you take a space only stand and have a 2 storey stand. With some events this will cost extra.
- Open sides: You will usually have a choice of number of open sides, ranging from one to four. Four open sides are also called an island site.
Booking your space
You will need to select your stand space first of all. On the booking form you will need to select location; it is advised to book as early as possible as there will be more space options available. The stand size required; think about how much product you will need on your stand and think about how to make your stand as inviting as possible for visitors to enter it.
Finding a contractor
We have a list of contractors for each event so if you are looking for AV equipment, furniture, stand design, internet, wifi or anything else then you can find a list of approved contractors under the specific show section of the website. If you can’t find what you are looking for then let us know and we can get the contact for you.
Details, details and more details
The Exhibitor Manual
The exhibitor manual is there to help make your planning and participation in our events as simple as possible. It is usually through the exhibitor manual that you will find information on rules and regulations, how to order extras like furniture, logistics, deadlines and health and safety details. The exhibitor manual would usually go live around 6 months before an event and you will be emailed login details.
Your shell scheme does not come with furniture, if you require furniture you will need to order this separately. If you have space only then your stand designer will usually recommend what furniture you will need. Or you can bring your own furniture with you, however this can look shabby and risk getting damaged. Remember that furniture is not just table and chairs but also lockable cupboards, literature racks and other storage options.
Most shell scheme stands will have a limited power supply, usually enough for your laptop, tv, phone, etc. However if you have a Space Only stand, you do not receive any electrics and will need to order the correct amount for the equipment you have on your exhibition stand.
Our contractors will have the latest AV equipment and will be on hand to help advise exactly what you require for your stand. So if you are planning on running mini conference sessions on your stand or just want to play music to attract people to your stand they will be able to help set the volume limits and more. Always make sure you are happy with the set up before the technician leaves.
Internet and WiFi
Unfortunatly not all venues have WiFi. If your stand and staff will be relying on internet access to engage with the visitors then you will need to get a hard wire connect as this is the most reliable. The venues will usually control the wifi and hardwire options so we apologise in advance for some of the rates.
Water & waste
You will need to let us know as early as possible if you will require any of these services to your Stand, Chalet or Pavilion. If you have space only then it will be something your designer will need to also incorporate into the stand design.
Graphics and Accessories
Your message will be relayed through your graphics, so they need to be clear, bold and eye catching to the visitors. Remember to keep it simple as most visitors will not stop to read a big paragraph of text. Your graphics need to say 2 things; who you are and what you do. With space only your graphics will be part of your stand but if you have shell scheme remember to liaise with the contractor about the best way to hang your graphics up on the wall.
Health & Safety
The joy of exhibitions are that anything can happen, however we want to make sure that the things that happen are positive for your business and the event. Exhibitions have run for hundreds of years and over this time most of the potential issues have been highlighted. Make sure you do a risk assessment of your stand with your stand contractor to highlight any areas that might cause issues like trip hazards or low edges. Don’t presume that someone else will do this and be pro-active. Make sure you read the health and safety section of your exhibitor manual and if you have any questions feel free to contact us.
Depending on which event you are participating at and where you are based, you may need to arrange for your products to be shipped overseas. Customs regulations are constantly changing and can be very complicated so we highly recommend you use our logistics contractor to alleviate any possible stress. There is nothing worse than having an empty stand on the opening day! Our contractor has years of experience and the right contacts to make sure your products are on your stand ready for you on build up days.
Through the Exhibitor Ordering System you will need to upload the staff details for those who are working at the show. The badges will be collected from the registration area at the show entrance and will mean that your staff can get in and out of the exhibition halls for the duration of the show. If you have any contractors helping out you will also need to register them for the build-up and breakdown so they can get access to the halls.
There are many options for this but don’t forget to do one of them. Some people write the details down, type them into a computer, collect business cards or you can hire a data pen that scans the visitors bar code and you get sent a list of all those you scanned at the end of the show. Think about what will work best for you, how many staff you will have on the stand and if all of them will be data collecting or just one of them with the other qualifying beforehand. You might also want to grade your leads into hot, warm and cold for your sales team back in the office.
This is a must and an obvious one but don’t forget to let your potential and existing customers know you will be exhibiting. Send them email invites, have flyers in your office entrance or offer them special rates if they visit you onsite. Make the most of our PR team as this is all part of the service, if you are planning to launch, a product, have exciting news or have any other press releases then send them over for our team to distribute for you. If you are running any competitions or giveaways then remember to let the team know so they can help publicise this for you.
During any exhibition hotels around or near a venue can get very busy so always book your hotels early for you and your staff. We always recommend staying as close to the venue as possible as the further you are away the more chance you have of being delayed. If you need help with accommodation we always list recommended hotels on the show website.
Sponsorship is a great way to enhance your profile at our events. There are usually sponsorship options to suit every budget. Sponsorship can range from floor tiles by the entrance to sponsoring the entire event and having your logo on all marketing and signage on the build up and during the show. Most packages can be bespoke so if you have certain objectives you want to reach then speak to the sales team so they can put the best package together for your requirements.
Cleaning & security
Cleaning will be provided when the show is closed but if you feel that your stand might create a bit more mess then usual then you can also order extra cleaning for during the event. When the show closes if you choose to tape off your stand for security reasons then make sure you get in early to ask for a cleaner to come before the show opens. Security is also provided however if you have any valuable products you want to leave on your stand then please make sure they are locked away, otherwise you can hire your own security personnel for your stand.
At almost all venues you will find that exhibitors are not allowed to bring their own food and drink into the halls and will have to use the venues in-house caterers. In some cases you can arrange a corkage fee for food and drink on your stand if you really need to bring your own. It is always best to check with us if you have any plans that involve food and drink giveaways on your stand.
It is not uncommon to find exhibitors hiring staff to help on their stand. It can be useful for small companies with big ideas or just if you need help doing the menial work like taking details down or handing out brochures. The agencies that provide them have staff that are used to working at exhibitions so know the ropes and can be very useful to help you achieve the targets you have set.
If you want to secure a speaking opportunity within a conference associated to the event speak to the team about how this would be possible. All of our events are different and some of these opportunities are free and some are only included as a paid for option. Speaking at the show can be very successful and some key tips from the experts are; don’t make it a sales pitch, make sure the speaker is engaging with the audience and always do your own promotion of the session to your database.
Facts and Tips
Build up and break down
Each show has a different build up period, this is the time in which only exhibitors can access the hall to build and set up their stand. The exhibitor manual will have details on which days space only and shell scheme have access from and then also the times the halls are open on these days. The breakdown period is from once the show closes and can last from 6-48 hours. It is amazing to see an exhibition being built but it can be even more impressive watching it being taken down!
Onsite staffing tips
Remember, first impressions really do count. So here are some tips to make sure you get off on the right foot with your potential clients.
- Make sure your staff are knowledgeable and trained
- Do they have engaging questions to ask your visitors….”can I help you” does not count
- Leave the mobile phones in the storage cupboard. No one wants to walk onto a stand where all the staff are scrolling through their social media. This is all part of making your staff seem more approachable and talking to colleagues and sat working on laptops falls into the same bag as looking at your mobile.
- Are the staff aware of how body language can make the difference. It is amazing how much it can change a conversation and help make people feel more comfortable on your stand.
- Make sure they know the objectives
The follow up
Now you have all of the captured visitors details, make sure you follow up with them all. According to facetime.org.uk it can take around 7+ separate contacts after the onsite meeting to get a contract back. Remember if you have listed your data captured as hot, warm and cold this will help your sales team hit the ground running.