Exhibitions and conferences are a great way to showcase your company but, each and every one takes planning. As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail.
However, in terms of practical arrangements, it pays to make a tick list of everything that you need. There is nothing worse that travelling for hours to find that you have forgotten the banner stands, the laptop and other vital equipment.
From the smallest item to the biggest, we have a checklist that can help you create your own must-have items for each and every conference or exhibition.
One of the main points of spending time, money and energy on a conference or exhibition stand is to network. It is about getting your name and brand out there in to the public domain, creating the right impression.
Exhibitions can be daunting places, and forgetting things simply adds to this stress. We suggest categorising the items you need to take into four. Starting with the most important…
#1 Marketing material
Clearly, getting your name and your brand out there is about making sure people see you and connect with you. Engaging people is about talking to delegates, not always with a sales pitch but simply making connections.
If people are interested, make sure you have something interesting at hand to give them. You also need to announce your presence with a well-decorated, vibrant booth. Forgetting one half of the display is clearly a no-no and so the suggestion is to lay everything out before you, having a dry run at erecting your booth and packing it away straight into the transport vehicle.
Make a tick list of everything you take, and use this when you collapse you display when the exhibition has finished too. This way, the next time you go to a conference you can see what is in the bag or boxes, what needs to be repaired and so on.
Tool kit essentials:
• Banner stands
• Roller banners
• Business cards
• Flyers or postcards
• Compliment slips/headed paper (just in case…)
• Prompt script for starting and closing conversations etc.
• Details of ‘conference only deals’ etc.
#2 Digital media
Takin the office with you is a good idea, as you will still need access to emails, as well as to your social media platforms as part of your online campaign during the exhibition.
You may also be running a video on a loop, or a looped PowerPoint presentation and so you need to make sure you have all the digital and electronic bits and pieces with you. Again, it is worth going through these with a fine tooth comb as a forgotten dongle can make all the difference.
Tool kit essentials:
• Tablet or iPad
• Power point presentation
• Video clips
• QR codes laden with inform
• Batteries for wireless keyboards, mice and so on
#3 Practical kit
Most exhibition organisers will supply various pieces of kit but you will need to check what is included and what is not. For health and safety, as well as insurance reasons, most organisers insist that you either use their extension cables and other electrical items and so on, unless your equipment comes with an in date PAT test sticker on it.
Also check what they do not allow, such as kettles and so on. But, you also need to make sure you have a box of tricks full of stationery items and do no forget any furniture too. In some cases, when you hire a booth for a conference, it is literally a space with NOTHING in it.
Tool kit essentials:
• PAT checked extension leads
• Chair(s) or stool(s)
• Pens (and spares)
• Sticky tape, blue tac, paperclips and assortment of stationery items
#4 Personal survival kit
Exhibitions are tough but fun. However, it is tough on the feet and on the voice too, so make sure that there is a bag of goodies for each staff member so that they have water and snacks on standby.
• Filled water bottles
• Easy to eat snacks
• Headache tablets
• Plasters (for sore, blistered feet…)
• Spare change for the coffee machine
• Rubbish bag
• Travel and hotel arrangement details per person
Taking on the mantel that is the exhibition hall
It is not for everyone but, exhibitions can provide a welcome boost to any business. A bit like taking a trip away, you will not only enjoy it more but get more out of it if everything is organised well in advance. Don’t underestimate the amount it time it can take to get everything packed and ready for transporting.
Getting the right mix of printed materials at an exhibition if key which is why Colour Graphics offer a range of choices and packages. James Trotter, Marketing Assistant at Colour Graphics realises first-hand the importance of both quality in design and print.