It may come as no surprise that being prepared in the event and tradeshow industry is a major component in generating a promising ROI. From making connections with prospective clients to distinguishing your brand, so much depends on how involved you are before ever stepping foot on the show floor.
Some exhibitors are a little more fearless and arrive right before the show opens, with their business cards in hand, and a vague idea of the show hours. However, the expert exhibitor has a plan for everything.
Here are a few key tips that can help YOU become an expert at exhibiting in no time.
All colleagues traveling to the show should be aware of the schedule. This includes the time the show is open for attendees as well as the move in and move out hours. Have accommodations been booked with these dates in mind? Or are you going to have to rush out to make your early flight? Having a knowledgeable team can help avoid unnecessary overtime fees, unplanned labor charges, and costly travel expenses. Also make sure your team is coordinated regarding the time they will be spending in the booth versus time meeting with others or wandering the show floor. It’s critical that you have the right number of qualified people at the booth during show hours.
Submitting required documentation in advance saves you and your team time and energy onsite. If you are shipping materials to the show, submitting your Material Handling Agreement early allows your freight to be handed over to your carrier when they arrive. You have the freedom to finish those last-minute connections and start packing your boxes. Having someone else pack your boxes? Complete the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC) paperwork ahead of time to smooth out the process. Need to order a chair for your colleague or do you want some additional help? Having a credit card on file makes ordering services seamless.
Every event is different. Even experienced exhibitors stumble upon the occasional obstacle. Forming a backup plan with your onsite team helps alleviate any issues that may arise, such as ensuring all your freight has been delivered on time or video files not playing properly on booth monitors. Knowing what to do in these situations is a lot easier to figure out when you’re not in the heat of the moment. Should issues such as these arise, you should move to Plan B or work with the show general service contractor to come to resolutions. Either way, give yourself ample time in your travel schedule to address and fix any issues should they occur.
Keep note of the published dates and deadlines for your event. In most cases, there will be discounted rates on services when ordering early. If you are shipping anything in, you can also plan for your materials to arrive within the shipping window to avoid late surcharges. Lastly, knowing move in/out dates helps you and your team better prepare for the time you need to set up and tear down your booth. Having this information at hand can be cost effective and eliminate needless stress. You’ll find all of the information on the show website.
You don’t have to be a jack of all trades in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry, but it’s crucial to be prepared. When you’re planning for your next event, use these tips and create a successful exhibiting experience.