How to organize an exhibition

How to organize an exhibition

You are planning to organize an exhibition yourself. A huge step, because organizing a fair yourself requires a lot of time and energy. But how much time and energy? Is short, what exactly is involved in organizing an exhibition yourself? A question that we amply answer in this article. This is how you can read about the following points below.

  • The preparation
  • A few weeks before the start of the exhibition
  • A week before the start of the exhibition
  • During the exhibition
  • After the exhibition

The preparation

Objectives + target group

Such as when organizing every event, also applies to the organization of an exhibition that you start by setting clear, achievable targets. What is the reason for organizing the exhibition? What and who do you want to reach? Questions where you need clear answers during the start of the organization. Based on clear objectives and the target group you want to reach / address, then you can shape the rest of the organization.

Organization team

When organizing an exhibition you always work with the objectives in mind. There are leading for the entire organization and implementation of the project. In order to steer the project in the right direction, it is necessary to put together a perfect organization team. A team with different qualities is an absolute must. Ensure a clear and transparent division of tasks.

Budget

To determinate the budget for your exhibition is a continuous  process. You start by making a rough estimate and then, when requesting the tenders, check whether the estimate is somewhat real. Don’t forget to also include costs for sponsors etc. The budget can always be adjusted over time. Read our article about determinate the budget for your event here.

Date and location

Choose a date and a location for your exhibition. The most important thing when choosing a date is that you announce it well in advance. Invitees or people who are interested in visiting the exhibition can plan this in their agenda well in advance. Take any holidays into account when choosing a date.

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Choosing the right location for your exhibition in an important and at the same time difficult task. You have to take into account many factors. Always tune the location to your target group, your objectives, the size of the exhibition and what you want to convey with your exhibition. Make a list of possible locations and visit them all to eventually make a good, informed choice. Don’t forget to also take into account the more practical aspects such as sanitation, electricity supply, number of rooms, possibility for catering etc.

Advertisement and marketing

Promoting your event is a part that requires a lot of attention. After all you want your exhibition to be well attended and that you attract the audience to be actually be your target group. To realize this you need to think about a good advertising and marketing strategy. Social media has a major role in this. It is the ultimate place to generate fame for your exhibition. Think of platforms as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. In Addition, inquire about various media channels such as the local newspaper, websites etc. make sure that all websites around the event are up to date. For the promotion, also think of making brochures, flyers and posters. Give people the opportunity to register online!

A few weeks before the start of the exhibition

The weeks prior to the event are the weeks of the final check. Hold a meeting where all those involved in the event are present, both internal employees and suppliers. Check whether everything is well organized with regard to the date, location, staff, suppliers, accommodation, parking, catering etc. Check whether the agreements made so far have been fulfilled and make follow-up appointments for the coming weeks towards the event and the event itself.

A week before the start of the exhibition

Check the invitations / registrations

Check the invitations and the reactions to them. Then make a list of everyone who has registered to get a clear overview of the visitors.

Check the location

To make sure that everything on site is in great order, you pay a last visit to the location one week before the start of the exhibition. Check whether the room is in perfect order, all the equipment is present and working and also check this for all other facilities. Go through everything with the team, so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. Don’t forget to also go through the last points with the manager of the location so that everything is clear between you.

Prepare a script and send it to everyone involved

A good and detailed script is important to have a good organization and course of the event. Set it up a few weeks before the start of the exhibition. In a script you have to include the following points: a telephone list, information about the event and a checklist. A script needs to be detailed, but most of all clear! The script should be understandable for everyone and also easy to handle. Read more about how to prepare a perfect script!

Telephone list

Make sure that the script contains a telephone list with data from all parties (both internal employees as suppliers). State the name, address, phone number, email-address and job description of everyone here.

Information about the event

The script is actually a reference book of everything that happens on the day itself. WHO, WHAT and WHEN are the key words of the content of the script. Who carries out a certain task? What is the content of that task? When and where does this task take place? All of this is in the script. This way you will eventually get an overview, in chronological order of time, what happens in a day and who’s responsible for it. Continuously update the script so that it is always up to date.

Checklist

Make a checklist of all materials etc. necessary. Try not to overlook any detail in this. Make sure everything on the checklist is complete and present. This way you will not be faced with unexpected surprises.

Final check

Make sure that everyone involved is in possession of the script. Send this to everyone a week before the start of the exhibition. This way everyone can read through the script and indicate any missing things, so that they can be adjusted. Everyone has had the time to go through his or her tasks one last time to then shine at the moment supreme.

During the exhibition

The day itself has arrived. In the composition of the team, a person with ultimate responsibility had been appointed and someone on the day itself acts as a point of contact for visitors and suppliers. Both must ensure that they are accessible to everyone at all times and are prepared to make decisions. These people are crucial for keeping the event running.

After the exhibition

The period after the event is the time where evaluation takes place. Try to schedule this as soon as possible after the day of the event. Everything is still fresh in the memory. This will benefit the quality of the evaluation. Everything that went well and possible improvements can be taken to a next event.

Send a thank you letter and a souvenir to all speakers, suppliers etc. Also place a press release on the used (social) media channels and make a report of the exhibition and send it to the parties involved.

Resume

As is clear from this article, there is a lot to look at when organizing an exhibition yourself. The most important thing is that your targets are always leading during the entire organization of the exhibition and the day itself. Always try to take this with you when making the choices. Nevertheless, you have to take into account all of the above factors to make the exhibition succeed. Don’t underestimate the entire organization and start on time!

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