Finding the perfect show or event to promote your business services and or products can be a minefield. In my previous blog post 'How to Find the Perfect Show' I shared my top tips using a visitor’s perspective. Here I share the other side of my show checklist, this time from a potential exhibitor’s viewpoint;

  • Social Media This is an ideal place to have a good long look at previous shows. See the photos and comments posted by exhibitors and visitors …what they don’t say is often a great insight! How many people have liked and shared posts? Do the organisers promote the exhibitors or just themselves? Social media gives you a window into the event and is free research.
  • Other Exhibitors Who else is going to be there? This is a critical question to ask the show organiser. Do your homework; have a look at the exhibitor listing for this and past shows. How many are returning exhibitors, always a good indicator of the show’s success? Are your competitors going to be there? Are the other exhibitors like-minded businesses that you are happy to stand next to? Good shows will limit the number of exhibitor category types and offer a range of products or services.
  • Promotion/advertising This is one of the key things that makes or breaks an event. Organisers can rest on their laurels here; I have been to wedding fairs in stunning venues packed with brilliant suppliers but with a low footfall. Why? Because no-one knew it was on! A banner at the entrance or a few social media posts aren’t usually enough. Ask what event promotion is planned and have a look to see what advertising was used at previous events.
  • What else is on? With the best will in the world you can have the most fabulous show on paper that ticks all the boxes but it is poorly attended. This may be down to it clashing with a major sports event (Wimbledon final, FA cup etc), national occasion (royal wedding) or local charity fundraiser (sports relief, half marathon, town carnival etc). Do your research and check out events listings in the area to see if there are any clashes. Beware of rival events, earlier this year the same date was picked by three local hotels to hold their wedding fairs which diluted the attendance at them all.
  • Location Look at this from both a visitor and exhibitors viewpoint. Is the venue easy to find with good road/rail links? What other buildings are around it, you don’t want to be next to a football stadium on match day for example. Is there plenty of good car parking? Is there disabled access? How easy will it be for you to take your stand materials in and out; never underestimate how busy it gets at the end of a show when everyone is breaking down their stand.
  • Cost to exhibit Shows can be expensive in terms of stand cost but beware of hidden costs such as time to attend, making products to sell, childcare etc. Again, it’s all about ROI (return on investment) and that figure will be relative to the size of your business.

The ten top tips I have covered in these two blogs will certainly help you to find the perfect show for your business. Good luck and if you meet me at an event please be sure to let me know how you are getting on.

© Julieann Bird 12.04.16