How to Organize a Successful Trade Show?

Choosing the type of trade show, planning and communication... Discover in this article all the tips to organize a successful trade show.

Organizing a trade show cannot be improvised! Whether you are planning a trade show, a medical conference, a job fair or an exhibition, the key to the success of your event relies on the time and care you put into its preparation. Our article outlines the steps you need to take to exceed the objectives of your professional event.

  • You don't know where to start organizing your trade show?

  • You have finally decided to start organizing the show that will bring your community together?

  • In a few months, your project will finally be a reality, but you want to make sure you haven't forgotten anything in your event planning?

Whatever your situation, you need to make sure that the action plan to organize your show is as relevant and complete as possible.

Our article reviews the essential steps to successfully organize your virtual or in-person trade show.

Organize and plan your trade show in project mode

A trade show is often a deadline-driven project. It is a race against time, with many steps to complete, before finally being able to receive your exhibitors and their attendees. To achieve this, it is essential to establish as soon as possible, the retroplanning of your event and to find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the keys to the success of my exhibition to attract attendees ? (animations, quality of conferences, well-known speakers, successful products...) 

  • What are the keys to the success of my exhibition to attract exhibitors ? (potential in terms of image, visibility, generating leads...)

  • What are the objectives of my trade show? (number of attendees, number of exhibitors, number of conferences, trade show turnover...)

  • What action plan do I need to implement to reach my trade show objectives?

  • What indicators/KPI will allow me to measure the results obtained, from the beginning of the organization of my event to the end of my trade show?

  • What budget should I mobilize to reach the objectives of my show? Calculation of the necessary cash flow, working capital requirements, break-even point?

  • What are the other resources necessary for the organization and the success of my show? (venue, equipment, general installation, communication agency, virtual event platform, signage, reception, security, sound and light providers, human resources, energy, telecommunication and many others...)

Even if the project is clear in your mind, the drafting of specifications including all these elements is an essential step, which will not only allow you to mature your exhibition project, to reinforce its credibility, but also to communicate with all the actors who will take part in your project (financiers, trade show location, service providers, speakers or exhibitors...)

Choose the best type of trade show based on the nature of your event

There are three types of trade shows. The in-person trade show, the virtual trade show, and the one that combines both solutions to benefit from the advantages of each, the hybrid trade show.

Organize an in-person exhibition 

  • Define the city, the location (downtown, out of town, countryside) according to the type of visitors expected;

  • Choose a place that is economically dynamic or adapted to the theme of your show;

  • Think about the accessibility of the location (parking for visitors/exhibitors/staff, access for disabled people);

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the venue's infrastructure? Do they need to be complemented by additional facilities?

  • Are the space, service providers and equipment planned sufficient to handle the anticipated number of exhibitors?

Organize a virtual exhibition 

  • No physical location, but on a virtual event platform.

  • The offers are very different according to the platforms. Before making your choice, you must absolutely have the answers to the following questions :

    • How fast is the show set up? Instant (rare but very efficient) or with a manual production time of the virtual show from 1 to 3 months, like most platforms?

    • Is it possible to register new exhibitors up to the start of the show or is the end of registration one to two months before the opening?

    • What is the cost per booth? 

    • What is the cost of the desired options?

    • How long will the show be open to attendees?

    • What type of support is offered ? (communication, exhibitor guides, visitor guide, etc.)

    • Which graphic style to adopt ? (3D real time? 360° visit? 2D web?)

Organize a hybrid event 

The hybrid exhibition is the best solution to reinforce the notoriety of your trade show by reaching physical attendees as well as online attendees. Backing up a virtual show with an in-person show reassures and secures exhibitors, by allowing the show organizer to guarantee that the show will be held in any circumstance, at least in virtual mode. In most cases, the hybrid trade show remains the most appreciated solution by both the attendees and the exhibitors because of the excellent visibility and flexibility it provides compared to a traditional trade show.

The communication of your trade show 

Whether your event is virtual, in-person or hybrid, communication remains one of the keys to success. Before you even start with expensive campaigns, consider registering your trade show on Ultiplace by clicking HERE to easily gain visibility on the web. It only takes two minutes and it is free...

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