Tips for holding your own exhibition

There are over 1.4 million events held annually in the UK. If you are the organiser of an exhibition, you have to work extra hard to ensure you please your audience. To help you organise an exhibition successfully, we have prepared some top tips on how to organise an exhibition and ensure it is a hit:

Book an ideal venue

The venue is always the first thing you have to consider before making any other plans. Choose your venue wisely and ensure you pick the one that will best suit your type of audience. Large, open spaces, neutral colours and architectural designs will showcase your clients' products well. Also, while booking your venue, consider its location and accessibility. It should be well served by both public transport and road.

A key consideration is the layout of the space. Although many venues will be similar (i.e. a large, open space) sometimes organisers looking for something quirky can prove to be a logistical nightmare for exhibitors. Keep both aesthetic and practicality in mind when you’re choosing a venue. Those larger venues are more popular for a reason, usually including visitor-friendly facilities such as:

  • On-site parking

  • Catering

  • AV equipment

  • Extra space if needed

  • Security facilities

  • Licensing for alchohol

By taking care of most of the requirements an event organiser could need, it makes your job a whole lot easier.

Calculate how much you will charge your exhibitors

Exhibitors will be expecting you to charge a fixed price that will be reasonable enough to help them promote their business at your event: it's a win-win scenario for you and your exhibitors. Do your calculations carefully and charge a fixed amount that will cover all your expenses.

Now, there’s an interesting dynamic at play here.

You want the most authoritative businesses at your event, to make it the highest quality possible. Which usually results in a compromise on the amount of money you can charge them to exhibit. The alternative is to consider charging visitors, or making sponsorship opportunities more lucrative. 

Charging people to attend will, in theory, make the people that attend more relevant and cut out the time-wasters. However the amount of people attending could be cut dramatically.

Therefore, exhibition organisers usually only turn to this as a last resort, where sponsorship opportunities won’t provide the return they’re looking for. Which makes the choice of venue all the more important, as that can provide opportunity to sponsor catering areas, or specific areas dedicated to certain aspects of the industry.

One approach that we often see, is event organisers partnering with exhibition stand design & build companies, such as ourselves, to offer services to many exhibitors at the event. This makes logistics and other processes much more streamlined, with potentially reduced costs passed onto the exhibitors which makes the entire budget more approachable for the client.

Whether clients are looking for a bespoke exhibition stand, a modular stand design, or a portable exhibition display, we’ll deliver a creative design that works with their brand and catches the attention of visitors.

Our fully trained and certified exhibition stand builders are able to prepare, stage, load and transport all materials before completing builds both nationally and internationally and once the show is over we organise the de-rig and post-event stand storage.

Generate awareness

It does not make sense to plan an event that people will not attend, but getting people through the door can be a daunting task. If you utilise methods such as social media advertising and SEO to let your desired audience know about your event, you can receive some positive results. There’s a great checklist from Billetto on how to promote your event:

  1. Use your event hashtag every chance you get
    Creating a hashtag will provide a platform for your visitors to refer to in the run up to the show, but also provide a space that will help exhibitors get their products & services in front of customers.

  2. Get smart about SEO
    Think about it logically. Whatever the subject of your event, it’s likely people will be searching for a tonne of related topics. By finding out all of the possible things people care about in your industry, you can create webpages and content that helps you get in front of them. This is a long-term plan, but the benefit is that when it works…these enquiries will come for free (no ad spend!).

  3. Sell special tickets
    Consider selling early bird tickets to get an influx of cash into the event before you need to book the venue (and everything else that requires up front payment!). Group tickets, bundles and VIP tickets offer great up-selling opportunities.

  4. Up your email marketing game
    It’s easy to start building a list of engaged potential visitors. Start sharing content your potential visitors would like and find valuable. Once they’ve signed up, offer them discounts, incentives to invite colleagues or friends, and more.

  5. Run competitions and giveaways
    It could be that your email list grows thanks to a competition that requires a sign up, in exchange for being entered into a draw for a free ticket. 

 See the full list here :

Also, while marketing, share and promote materials such as template posts of your exhibitors, visual merchandising displays, and stand designs, as these will help in spreading your message far and wide.