Tips for exhibitions

Exhibitors are always looking for ways to improve their show - with us often being asked if we have any tips for exhibitions, and how to make the most out of a stand.

Contrary to what you might find on Google, there are no secrets to making your exhibition a success. Preparing for a trade show well in advance is the key, as then you’ll have time to respond to the inevitable last minute change of plans.

Below we’ve put together 12 tips for exhibitions that provide the perfect planning checklist, especially if you’re looking at this a few months before you’re due to exhibit!

Commercial Objectives

Your business will have goals for at least the next 12 months, including which markets they’d like to focus on, or which products should be pushed out. These will set the foundation of your marketing strategy and will allow you to focus on what channels will be the most effective in achieving your objective.

Choose the right exhibition

This sounds obvious, however one of our top tips for exhibitions is that sometimes it’s worth thinking outside of the box. An exhibition that has been created to serve the industry you’re in may be equally as successful as a show that has been designed for your customers. Being surrounded by competitors at an industry show puts a lot of pressure on your team, whereas if you’re surrounded by potential customers, you could generate more leads.

Marketing plan

You’ve decided you’re exhibiting. Now it’s time to let people know! Any trade show checklist wouldn’t be complete without making the most of the exposure the event organiser will provide, along with the coverage that related press will bring. One of our most effective tips for exhibitions is to engage on social media via the event hashtag and profile. 

Stand Design

It’s easy to sway into one of two categories - a custom exhibition stand, or a cheap pop-up banner system. Often the perfect solution lies in the middle. With a modular stand, you’re not compromised on design features, plus your stand can grow/shrink according to your space. If you plan on attending more than one exhibition, this is the ideal choice for you. Plus there are tonnes of examples out there to get the creative juices flowing - check out our inspiration page. 

Train your staff - products & rota

Staff training can sometimes be overlooked at conferences and exhibitions, but it makes sense to include this as part of your expo planning checklist. It’s likely you’ll have new products or services to talk about, so you want your sales team primed and ready to answer any awkward questions that might come in! Also, let your staff know beforehand about a stand rota. This helps keep everyone fresh after a quick half hour change around. 

Stand Build

You know your objectives, have decided on an exhibition stand design, and your staff are ready. Next you need to build it! This is one of the most stressful parts of an exhibition for many exhibitors, which leads us to one of our most important tips for exhibitions: get someone else to do it. There are many professional stand builders with experience working in high pressure environments, that are perfectly equipped to get your stand looking incredible without you lifting a finger. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to focus on generating more leads!

Get in front of people

On average, 75% of visitors to an exhibition are there to buy or plan to buy in the future (Marketing Donut). People go to an exhibition to learn more about the latest innovations and services in their industry. Don’t be shy about wanting to show them what they came for! If your stand is in a particularly quiet spot, get your sales team to close in on high footfall areas - we find that wherever there’s coffee is a great spot!

Make yourself memorable

Giveaways usually err on the tacky side, but if you can think of something useful that’s also relevant, then you’re onto a winner. Good quality tote bags are one of our top tips for exhibitions, as visitors are inundated with leaflets and brochures, quickly filling their small plastic bags or backpacks.

Measure everything

By measuring everything, we mean try to make a record of every interaction you have on the stand. Whether that’s with an existing customer or a new lead, make a note of what you spoke about so you can follow up after the show. Using a scanner to categorise leads in terms of their product interest is also useful if there’s a larger team waiting to pick up the phones back at the office.

Break down

Don’t just rip your exhibition stand down as quickly as you can. Preparing for a trade show involves what you’re going to to do with your stand following the show. Again, one of our top tips for exhibition stand break down is - get someone else to do it. You’ll have enough to worry about following the show, so if you know your stand is being taken care of and stored for the next time you need it, that’s one less thing to consider.

Follow up leads

Follow up, follow up, follow up. On average, more sales are made after getting in touch with a prospect more than 7 times. How many sales people would have given up by this point? Don’t be one of them! If they showed an interest in your product and it would be a good fit for their business, keep trying.

If it was a success, book early

We’ve seen many exhibitors book again for next year before the current one has ended. Deals are there to be made by booking that far in advance, and it could save you thousands! Think about how that budget could be reallocated into marketing for your next show - it’s a win win. 


Our tips for exhibitions have been put together following 20 years of experience in trade shows & events. If you would like to get in  touch regarding exhibition stand design & build services, we’d love to hear from you! Email us on tom.sebastiano@themarketingworks.eu, or phone 01932 854 140.