Once you have set your objectives, decided on which trade fair to participate in, decided to participate, and have prepared a budget, your next important step is to actually book the stand. You need to do this quite early on to ensure that you get the best space possible and perhaps to benefit from any discounts the organisers may be offering. The longer you take, the more risk there may be in either not getting space at all, or getting such badly located space, that it would not be worth participating in the first place.
Booking the stand also represents further commitment on your part and adds emphasis to the steps that follow.
Selecting and booking a good location is the key to the success of your participation. Like with any retail operation, it is all about location, location, location! The earlier you book your stand, the better chance you have to get a good spot. Be firm in your negotiations with the organisers and demand to get a good position. They may want to hold you at bay because they hope to get a key client to take the best spot. Pressure them as much as possible for the sport you want and do not allow them to change your mind at later stage even if they offer you a discount.
Make sure that the location you have chosen is:
- In a busy area – traffic is essential to success at trade fairs
- In an area that most visitors will need to pass by to get to other key parts of the fair
- Visible from various areas in the fair – allowing visitors to home in from different parts of the hall
- Spacious enough for visitors to move by freely – a congested spot may cause visitors to choose another route or to be so focused on getting through that they miss your stand
- Not overpowered by a major participant – this may result in visitors rushing part your stand to get to the main exhibitor
In terms of your stand and its design, the following factors should also be borne in mind:
- A professional look will greatly enhance your status at an exhibition where your clients may not know you. Creating a professional look need not cost the earth. You may want to approach exhibition designers for help, or you may want to study some of the tips and hints we provide you.
- Your stand need to be big – a smaller stand is cheaper and if professionally designed will have just as much impact as a bigger stand
- A corner stand is one of the better locations to get
- A location near a key focus point such as a lounge or meeting spot is also very beneficial