Exhibitions, tradeshows and events have been organised and attended for many years now, but do we all have an idea of what to expect and what the reality of an event is from start to finish? I have a sneaky suspicion this is not the case.
From a visitor’s perspective, they walk around, admire the stand and make the most of the freebies. Which they can’t be blamed for, I have been that person before too. I hadn’t even thought about the work needed and what an exhibition entailed, until I joined the industry and my eyes were opened.
With a range of different stand options, space options, not to mention the number of events that are put on every year. The exhibition industry is massive and creates a complex journey for the organisers, which requires time and dedication.
Now, keep on reading for some Exhibition Expectations VS reality explained…
Expectations: – You can plan an event in 7 days
Reality: – You need a good 3-4 weeks
Okay, being honest, yes you could organise something in 7 days, but it will be rushed and will by no means be your best work. Even 3-4 weeks isn’t a great deal of time when you have a mammoth task of arranging your stand, design, attendee’s and all the final details.
Some exhibitors will start their planning a whole year before, sounds excessive but this will allow for as many amendments are needed until they have the perfect stand. The longer you have the more time you gain in order to get things right and really understand your stand requirements.
Expectations: – You show up and man the stand
Reality: – Be approachable
Being an exhibitor doesn’t allow you to just show up. Whether you participated at the planning stage or not, being the face of the company is now your time to shine.
It goes without saying that when you are greeted with a smiley, friendly face you are more likely to approach them. Being approachable at a tradeshow or event is key, you need to remember the room is full of competitors, so what makes you different?
Making sure you have the knowledge, the personality and approachability for your stand do well, and most of all be memorable.
Expectations: – Exhibitions are always expensive
Reality: – Not all the time
I must admit, this is a tough one. The answer to this is, it’s a mix of both. If you attend a larger exhibition that has shell schemes, booths and stand space, you will find that to buy that space can be expensive. That’s not including the stand, accessories, lighting and power etc.
But if you are a first time exhibitor and trying to find your feet, or have a local event coming up, it’s worth your while to attend. The local smaller events are either free or have a very small charge. Either way this is the best time to get some exhibition experience as well as meeting potential customers without needing a large budget.
Additionally, the stand or printed marketing tool you choose can be cost effective. Using a roller banner or standard pop up display will work a treat and be an accessory to use time and time again.
Hopefully, this has given you a small insight and understanding of what goes on behind the scenes when an event is involved. It takes time, a bit of stress and strong organisational skills to pull off an amazing show to sell you, your products and business.