Saturday, March 25, 2023

It’s time to plan your next trade show

Top StoriesIt’s time to plan your next trade show

Time to shake off the dust — we’ve been in hibernation long enough. Trade shows are soon to get back underway, but the industry has certainly changed over the course of the pandemic, and you’d best not leave it until the last minute to plan your next event. 

Bargain hunting

Given the precarious position the events industry currently finds itself in, those contractors that have survived the pandemic will be very keen to do business. You may find yourself paying less than you imagined. However, this opportunity for discounts will not last — as soon as the exhibition industry gets back on its feet and into its wooden framing, it will be business as usual and prices should return to normal rates. 

That is not to say that you should make hasty arrangements — given the difficulties experienced by many exhibition contractors, it may be worth evaluating the financial situation of the company you choose. Black Robin Exhibits, for example, will give you a full 12-page credit report proving its financial security — be wary of any company that won’t. It’s best to team up with a stable, well-run business that isn’t veering on the brink of bankruptcy after a year of sitting idle. You don’t want to turn up to the dance with no dance partner and no exhibition stand. 

Location, location, location

In the interest of drawing maximum profit out of your exhibition venture, you’d do well to consider in advance which space in the exhibition hall (or outdoor venue) to reserve. What area of the trade show your business occupies is a central factor determining the success of your exhibition stand. Especially given that post-COVID trade shows are set to introduce social distancing rules, we are unlikely to see a return to the bustling, chaotic flow of movement that characterized past events. What this means is that locating a decisive spot in the exhibition venue is more important than ever for a successful show. 

Generally speaking, the most congested areas are best. A location near restaurants, toilets or busy junctions will put you at the forefront of consumer focus. What’s more, if you do your research and book in advance, you can find out where your competitors will be and arrange yourself accordingly; picking a spot near an industry leader will give you access to some of their runoff. 

Designing your stand

While the actual design of the stand will be handled by the contractor, you should take the time to build up your own personal image of how you want it to look. Ultimately, the best stands are most unique, the most bespoke, tailored to the company they represent. Your contractor will do a large part of the creative work, but they don’t know your business like you do. Think beyond the ordinary for ways to mark yourself out from the competition and draw viewers in. 

The decision to choose your contractor might seem like a daunting one. Who should you place your confidence in, especially during such unstable times? For starters, your best option is likely to be a supplier that will handle every aspect of your exhibition venture for you. There are contractors that take the reins of the whole operation, from design and production to transportation and instalment, taking a huge weight off your back. Contact them and ask for a quote to get the ball rolling. 

The last item for your consideration is repeat offending. Are you planning on exhibiting again? If so, modular stands are your best bet. Easily transportable between events and reconfigurable for multiple uses, these stands offer the ideal solution for companies that are looking to capitalize on the rebirth of the exhibition industry this autumn. 

Exhibiting this year may be the last thing on some business-owners’ minds. Why take any form of risk in our current predicament? True enough, those that exhibit later this year will have to exercise caution and ensure that all measures are taken to maximize yield. But this does not mean that profits are not to be gained at trade shows. If anything, the population has realized over the past year how crucial events are for mental wellbeing. Alan Jenkins of Quadrant2Design writes, ‘The scuppering of the events industry has reminded people that despite our increasingly housebound lives, we are social creatures, and we need to congregate in a live, real setting.’ We may see scores of individuals signing up for events just to get out of their all-too familiar surroundings. Your competitors may have already realized this, and sent an email to an exhibition contractor. You may be well-advised to follow suit. 

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