Planning Your Exhibition


Plan Your Expo


When planning your exhibition, you need to think through your strategy and aims and plan carefully how you will deliver a fantastic experience!


Pre-planning your expo.


1. Who do you want to attract?

E.g. Adults, Children, Families, Socialites, Sportsmen, Students, Men in tweed jackets?

2. What will you tell them?

Make sure people know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

3. How will you stand out among your competitors?

E.g. Projections, moving images, light shows, dancers whatever you use try to have it tie in with your project.

4. What image do you want to create?

E.g. Crafty & Creative, Fun & Messy, Serious, Science.  Your image relates to who you are wanting to attract so make sure what you are selling and who you want to attract are linked to your image.

5. What promotional materials will you use?

E.g. screens, boards, display stands, posters, leaflets, brochures, samples and merchandise.




BUDGET – Set a budget and draw up a list of actions and deadlines from the outset, including technology requirements, display materials, promotional literature, stand furniture, advertising and so on.  There are lots of hidden costs in exhibiting like transport, the size, weight and shape of your project will determine the costs, accommodation – you may need somewhere to sleep if the exhibition is not local.


VENUE – Thankfully there are lots of places that you can exhibit your work, like small galleries, social centres, charities, independent studios as well as large exhibition centres with hundreds of exhibitors.  The venue you choose is important, exhibitions are hard work and you don’t want to waste your time with a venue that your target customer doesn’t attend.  The venue you choose should make it easier for your customers to find you for example someone may promote a new book in a book shop or coffee shop.  When exhibiting you have to be sure about why you’re exhibiting and who you’re exhibiting to. Ask the venue (exhibition centre) organisers for information on attendance statistics, delegate profiles and which other companies are exhibiting (if any) before you commit.


MARKETING – Do some publicity, ask the organisers which media will cover the fair, and send advance information for inclusion in any event programmes.  Using social networking to spread the word.  Make sure that all visitors leave with promotional materials and business cards, record interested customer/parties details so you can generate a mailing list.  Get product samples out there so that people can get the feel of what your project is about, let them engage with it.  While at an exhibition with other exhibitors make sure to nosey around – see what other people are doing.


TRANSPORT – Transport is very important, you may have a fantastic expo however if you have no way of transporting or the costs of transporting are out of your budget you are going to be stuck! Design your exhibition to be transported, the design brief should include, weight, storage, transport methods – cars, planes and trains, setup and takedown, electrical equipment.  The transportation of your stand is dictated by your stands design and your project.


ACCOMMODATION – Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses and booking early can save you money.


STAFFING – You’re going to need the toilet! At some point during the exhibition you will need the toilet and while you are gone someone will need to man the stand to make sure customers stay informed of your awesome project!  Getting friends or family that maybe of help particularly with technical knowhow would definitely be useful.  Make sure that all staff on the stand are well briefed. Ask visitors pre-qualifying questions to determine whether they are genuine prospects. When a good prospect turns up, know exactly what key strengths you wanted to emphasise, and whether you should focus on innovation and quality rather than price.


STAND – the stand is important as it displays your project, find out the dimensions and location of your stand as this will hugely effect your stand design.  If you are tucked away in a dark corner you are going to need lights, maybe some music, maybe a mascot and some other creative ways at drawing people into your exhibition.  Whether you are right at the front or the back, stand design is crucial and you must design the stand so that your project is viewed in the best possible light.  Your likely to require some form of electrical equipment and you may need to bring extension cords if you are not located close to outputs.


HEALTH AND SAFTEY – health and Safety is of particular importance to medium-large venues, smaller venues will be much more accommodating with regards to Health and Safety.  Typically all electrical equipment will be checked to make sure that it is safe, depending on the project itself it maybe liable for restrictions e.g. safe distance from object etc.  Health and safety is best discussed with the venue.



Practical Bullets. 

  • Choose venue carefully, e.g. is it right for your project.
  • Find out what equipment the venue provides, eg screens, tables, chairs, platforms.
  • Transport – Source the equipment you are providing yourself and organise getting it there.
  • Book your space as early as possible to get the site you want.
  • Book you accommodation as early as possible.
  • Make sure your display materials fit the space and work with existing equipment.
  • Check fittings – such as power or internet connections – for the electrical equipment you are using.
  • Make sure you have enough stock of products and promotional materials.
  • Bring a laptop.


Budget Bullets.

  • Venue costs.
  • Transport costs.
  • Accommodation costs.
  • Marketing and promotional material costs.
  • Stand design and build costs.
  • Technology costs.
  • Renting equipment costs.
  • Food costs – Cakes, Tea, Pizza, Beer, Peaches.
  • Bribes for friends costs – Cakes, Tea, Pizza, Beer, Peaches.
  • When shit goes wrong costs.


The one constant in preparing and doing exhibitions is TIME, it is going to take a lot of time and effort to make a fantastic expo!


We hope this helps with your exhibition planning!


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