Budgeting for an Exhibition
The budget will determine a lot of your decisions: the venue, vendors, and even the exhibition layout. Start by creating a list of expenditures and getting quotes next to each one.
There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many days before your event. Managing time well during the planning stages will be crucial to the success of your event. Key priorities here are making sure the venue, vendors, staff and exhibitors all have enough notice to adequately prepare. Leave any of these too late and you may be scrambling at the last minute. Create an Exhibition Organising Timeline.
Choose a venue that is large enough for the number of exhibitors you plan to host, and the number of attendees. If you’re also running a conference alongside your exhibition, you’ll need conference rooms, lecture halls and smaller, private rooms for break-out sessions. You can use temporary walling to create additional spaces if needed. Compare conference centres, arenas and exhibition centres for capacity, audio-visual provisions, amenities, accessibility and, of course, price. Choosing an Exhibition Venue
Communication is key. It’s good to keep communications in emails so that everyone can refer back to the details easily. If you have a lot of exhibitors, using email marketing tools can help manage the mailing list. Respond to questions promptly, and share information about the venue and what exhibitors can expect as soon as you can. How to Manage Exhibitors at a Trade Show
Staffing and Training
Exhibitors are responsible for staffing their stands, but you will need to hire and train staff for your event. Receptionists and door staff, stewards to offer directions, security and cloakroom staff are all important considerations. You can talk with your venue about recruitment as they will likely have a preferred agency to work with. How to Staff a Trade Show or Exhibition
Designing Exhibition Layout and Traffic Flows
Consider how attendees will flow through the building and exhibition. It can help to draw out a map of the space on graph paper and mark entrances and exits clearly, so you can make sure there are no bottlenecks or pinch points. Plan the areas exhibition stands will take up to maximise the number of stands while leaving comfortable space for walking in between.
- Keep fire exits clear
- Ensure accessibility for those using mobility aids e.g. wheelchairs
- Consider additional features such as:
Meeting Exhibitor Needs
As an event planner, ensuring exhibitors and brands can run their stands well is a big part of the job. You will need to ensure the exhibition is accessible and in line with fire safety regulations. Some exhibition services providers offer support with practical aspects such as exhibitors’ graphics, stand set-up and electronics. LION also offer support with planning the layout to make sure regulations are met while making the most of the space. Finally, make sure you get feedback from exhibitors and improve your planning year after year.