Having decided on the trade show you want to exhibit at, there are a couple of things that you need to do as quickly as possible.
Agree a budget
This needs to include the amount of money to be allowed for the stand itself, this may be the initial purchase cost of your pop up stands, roller banner stands or other pop up displays or, if you already have these, it may be the purchase of replacement graphic panels to update your offering. It wil also include methods of attracting visitors (give-aways etc.), methods of capturing information (light pens/scanners, etc.), trade show expenses (i.e. staff meals, hotel bills etc. and transport to and from the show). You must also include the cost of the hire of electricity/fittings, telephone if required, other special needs such as plumbing, cold storage, hire of furniture, photographs etc.
2. Obtain an Trade show plan.
You will need to request an Trade show plan with details of those stand spaces still available. This is best done by email or fax (to get the most up to date position) and then the matter can be dealt with on the telephone with the plan available for discussion. One interesting fact that I have noted over the years is that 90% of all Trade show attendees turn left upon arrival. By definition this means that they will be visiting those stands to the right hand side of the Trade show last, when they are most tired. The choice of stand position is, I believe, the most important aspect for the would-be exhibitor to decide upon.
When you get your plan you need to check which stand spaces are still available and choose which is the best position for your pop up displays and roller banner stands. Consider areas which are likely to be most busy (main thoroughfares, routes to toilets, restaurants etc.). Consider that most people turn to their left when entering an trade show but also bear in mind that most people need a few moments to ‘acclimatise’ when they enter the hall, they often walk straight past stands just inside the entrance whilst they are clipping on their badges, checking out the catalogue, etc. Take advice from the organisers – it is in their interest to find you a good location for your stand. If the position you want to be in is currently shown as a vacant 6m x 3m stand but you only want a 3m x 3m, don’t be afraid to ask – organisers may split the area into two stand spaces to accommodate you.