The participation in a fair always means to spend a lot of money, time and human resources for preparation, realisation and follow-up processing. A fair need to be considered as a global strategical process and not only as a punctual event so that the benefit beats the investments you’ve done.
This process consists in three main stages.: preparation, realisation and follow-up work. The time you need for every stage can vary according to the branch of business. Above all, preparation and follow-up work are important stages that decide wether the relation between costs and gain will be sane. From experiences it is known that during these two stages 60% of the potential for success is given away.
You find a short overview about the most important aspects of each stage below:
First, you must choose the appropriate fair. A company must decide whether participating in a consumer or a specialist fair. Afterwards, you have to choose the concrete exhibition. Often, companies take their decision according to the quantity and not to the quality of a fair. Especially for specialist fairs, companies should exactly analyse the group of visitors and exhibitors. Often, a small group of decision-makers is better than a high quantity of less interesting people. If you are not sure which fair to choose, an analysis of your competitors could be helpful.
You should start the exact exhibition planning 12 months before the fair opening.
An essential aspect, also for the choice of the appropriate fair, is the definition of the objectives you want to achieve. It is important to decide which group of people you want to address and how exactly to do this.
At best, you already decide before the opening how to process the collected information afterwards: who is responsible for the follow-up work and in which way. Furthermore, you should decide how to record the contact data during the fair.
The elaboration of a detailed and solid budget plan, according to the defined objectives, is essential for the success of your participation. Only after this, further steps should be taken.
Afterwards, you must choose the exhibits, plan the logistics, choose and school the staff for the booth, define the stand concept and book the stand location at the fair. In preparation of the fair, the exhibitor must organise several marketing and communication activities and send the invitations.
A good invitation management before opening is an important factor for the successful process of the fair. The company can address its customers, prospective customers and business partners directly. For sending the invitations a company should use all possible options: e-mail, social media and post. For all important customers, partners and interested parties appointments should be fixed previously.
For the preparation, an exhibitor should also use the services that the fair organiser offers. The organiser normally see itself as partner of its exhibitors and provides helpful information and advice.
Among other services a fair organiser offers:
An exhibitor could add the official fair-leaflet to the invitation of the company. Posters or other advertising printing items from the fair organiser could be shown in the company building or at other public places to draw peoples’ attention and spread the information of the fair participation.
For the first stage, a company should elaborate a detailed check-list containing all important activities and steps in chronological order.
Thanks to a good invitation management and team briefing beforehand, at the fair, a company can distinguish important from less important visitors regarding its objectives related to the fair and address them directly without wasting time.
The stand team should always signal customer readiness and address interested visitors directly. Eye-contact before and during a conversation is important. At the end of each conversation, there should always be a clear arrangement e.g. sending more information material, an offer or samples. Concise and well recorded conversations help to process the collected information and data after the fair and to transform the investments for the fair into benefits for the company.
A well-done follow-up work is essential to make the fair participation a success because most deals are done after a fair. The agreements between stand visitors and the company should be realised quickly to consolidate the new contacts. Furthermore, a company should reflect all activities and processes regarding the fair participation to elaborate improvements for further fairs. During the fair, a short note at the right moment is sufficient to record all important ideas and information for the follow-up stage.
We are happy to advise you – your exhibition construction team from Leipzig.