Trade Shows and Exhibitions 2
Following on from my earlier article on how to choose which show to attend, this article will help you get the best value for money before you commit to that spend.
So how do I choose which stand to have or where to be? Does it matter?
Yes, it definitely does!
A ‘Space only’ stand means just that – just the space on the floor, so you’ll be completely responsible for providing everything to go on it. A better option for many small businesses on a limited budget is a ‘shell scheme’, this often includes stand ‘walls’ to closed sides of the stand, carpeting, a name banner and occasionally some lighting. Sometimes a basic table and chairs are included, other times not, so do check. If you need to hire stand furniture it can be a very expensive exercise, especially as for larger shows you often have to use the approved supplier.
Think about where is best to be located in the exhibition layout. Avoid dead ends, or around the edge of the show as traffic here is often slow. If the show has a seminar venue or networking area, close by is good as traffic volumes will be higher, but right next door you can get "blocked" by the queues. Try to go with a shallow, wide stand, it’s your shop window width that counts, a deep stand can be expensive and difficult to lay out properly. A stand with more than one open side also works - more opportunity for engagement as people walk past.
Before you finally agree to buy, do haggle on the deal you’re getting. Try for a shell scheme for the ‘space only’ price, a slightly larger stand for the price of a smaller; or if there are speaking opportunities at seminars, see if you can persuade the organisers to let you have one of those included in the price, or an additional sponsorship of a break-out area. Don’t take anything at face value; there is always room for negotiation and if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Your decision to attend is now made, you’ve chosen your stand location, know what you’re getting and have got a good deal… How to plan and prepare in the lead up to the show will be the subject of my next article.