Preparing your Business for Exhibitions
In the foodservice industry, catering exhibitions take place all year round and provide a great platform for you and your business to raise awareness of your company and to meet new contacts.
There are many exhibition events that take place, and it is important to plan your exhibition events carefully once you have decided where you are going to exhibit.
It is essential to prepare yourself both before and during the exhibition, and to help you with this, Alset Partners have put together a checklist for you to follow both before and during the exhibition to make sure you get the most out of your event.
Before the exhibition
- Pick out your objectives – Think about your objectives for exhibiting at the event; maybe you want to sell a new product or product range, promote your services or increase distribution?
- Book your stand space – With stand space, it is vital that you book your space as early as possible to ensure your stand is in a good position and not near a competitor, e.g situated on a main aisle, near an entrance or near a stairway or escalator. Once you have booked your stand space, you may want to think about things such as displays and pop-ups and ensure you make use of the space you have.
- Plan the costs and book what you need – Once you have a clear idea of your objectives, you may want to think about the costs of things you may need, such as stand space, the cost of hiring items for the stand such as fridges, ovens, tables and chairs etc, the cost of hiring staff, lighting and plumbing and insurance. Once you know exactly what you need for the event, book everything you need well in advance so that you are covered and can spare time for any other issues that may arise. It is recommended that you book any essentials at least 8-12 months before the exhibition.
- Research minor events and promotional opportunities – It is important to think about what will be happening at the event once it is in full swing. With this in mind, you may want to think about any small events that might be taking place at the exhibition such as new product showcases, awards or the opportunity to sponsor a section of the show. If it is relevant enough for your business to take part in anything related to this, then put your company name forward. It will definitely get you noticed and create a positive impact to visitors.
- Complete any marketing and PR content – It is important to create publicity in build-up to the show, such as writing and sending out a press release to the media, providing information and company descriptions for the show guide and also creating content for social media.
- Ensure you have all the right resources and promotional material – Do you have a visitor badge scanner to track how many people have visited your stand? Business cards to hand out to guests? Food for samples? Make sure you take note of everything you may need and check this off in preparation for the event.
During the exhibition
Once the exhibition is taking place, the preparation doesn’t stop there. Make sure that you are constantly thinking about how to attract visitors to your stand, and make sure that you approach them in a friendly manner by smiling and saying hello.
Consider the following points to entice visitors to your stand:
- Offer samples of food
- Ask them if they are familiar with any of your products or services
- Organise a competition or raffle
- Hand out an information leaflet or brochure
Preparing for a foodservice exhibition may seem quite daunting, especially if you are preparing for your first exhibition. However, following a check list of everything you may need and all of the things you need to do will help you immensely in ensuring your experience at the exhibition is a success.