How To Run A Successful Exhibition Without Any Stress
Five questions you need to answer to ensure your next exhibition is profitable ...
If you want to be seen as a go-to authority, running an exhibition can be an effective way to raise your profile, speak with the key players in your industry and create an additional revenue stream ...
That's because exhibitions are an effective way to get suppliers and customers talking together. And these conversations can be extremely beneficial:
Face-to-face conversations between exhibitors and visitors can kick-start profitable relationships.
There's the possibility of a buying frenzy - if the product/service and the marketing are right.
Customers can discover why a product/service is a good fit for their needs.
Exhibitors can get some raw, direct feedback and gauge their audience's reaction to their offer.
And as the exhibition organiser, you benefit too. For example:
You get to forge connections with the exhibitors.
You can build a database of exhibitors and visitors.
You can be seen as a leading figure in your industry especially if your exhibition is niche.
You have the opportunity for sponsorship deals and other profitable relationships.
You will create high-level networking opportunities with leaders in your industry.
You can even transform your positioning within the industry - especially if your exhibition takes off and becomes the 'one' to attend.
But it's not enough to mull over the benefits. Once you've made the decision to run an exhibition, you need to make it happen.
Here are five of the key questions that you need to ask and address:
What's your plan?
The challenge with creating an exhibition is there's so much at stake. Attention to detail is key, because your reputation is at risk - and that's why you need a rock solid plan.
In short, list everything necessary to make your exhibition a success. From choosing an appropriate venue, to organising the marketing, to booking the exhibitors, to attracting visitors - start by making a comprehensive list of all your to-dos. That way, you reduce the likelihood of forgetting something critical.
What's your objective?
To run a successful exhibition, you need to have an objective. Be clear - what's your reason for creating this event?
What's in it for your exhibitors?
What's in it for your visitors?
What's in it for your sponsors?
What's in it for you?
It pays to have a good think about the reason for your exhibition. If you have a compelling reason, you'll be able to craft a much stronger message to ensure you attract the right people.
Where's your venue?
The location of your exhibition will have an impact on its success. You'll need to balance costs with accessibility and also factor in how far your visitors will be prepared to travel.
Do you need a venue in a specific geographical location? Or are you looking for a national centre? And remember. good venues get booked up well in advance - so don't leave your decision too long.
If one of your motivations for running your exhibition is education and professional discussion on the topics that matter to your industry, you'll need to think carefully about your speaker schedule. Who can you invite to speak with visitors? What names will have a pull and encourage more visitors to attend the event?
How will you monetise the event?
It's not cheap to run a successful event. As you can see, there are a lot of costs. The venue alone will likely take a sizeable chunk and then you need to factor in marketing and your speaker schedule too. Therefore, you need to be clear on how you will make your next exhibition pay.
And don't underestimate the time factor too. There's a lot to do to make your exhibition a success, but with careful planning, management and the right administrative support, you and your business could benefit enormously.
Until next time ...
If you love the idea of running an exhibition, but don't have the time to make it a success, we can help. My team of Genies can support you (or your event management company) with all aspects of event administration. For example, we can find the perfect venue, source speakers, send invites and collate a list of attendees, etc.
To chat further, simply give us a call on 01604 529170.
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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