As a new or start-up business, working on your first exhibition stand can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Make it easy on yourself by following our top survival tips to ensure that you’re still smiling by the end of the show!
Don’t do it alone
If at all possible, try never run an exhibition stand by yourself. This isn’t always practical with new and start-up businesses, but it is well worth roping someone else in to help you. Make sure that you spend time with them before the exhibition so they know what your business is all about, the type of questions people might ask and some standard answers, and of course what to do if they don’t know the answer. Having at least two people means that if you are tied up with talking to a visitor there’s someone else to meet and greet, restock leaflets, may-be even get you a cup of coffee!
Be prepared but be realistic
Obviously make sure that you have everything you’re likely to need on stand. However if storage is limited or non-existent be realistic about the quantities bulky items such as marketing materials or merchandise. If only 2,000 delegates are expected perhaps you won’t need to bring all 5,000 brochures and leaflets. This will not only stop your stand looking untidy it will save you the time and effort packing and transporting heavy boxes.
Comfort first, fashion second
While you naturally want to make a good impression, having to take your shoes off after the first hour because your toes are turning black is not the way to do it! Choose a pair of flat shoes that you wear regularly – you may want to get some cushioned insoles, but make sure you try them out beforehand in case they cause blisters!
Perch if possible!
Standing all day is exhausting, and if you have any kind of ailment or injury it can be impossible.If you have high stools on your stand you can perch while talking, giving the impression you are in fact standing. However try to schedule a few off stand breaks so that you can rest your feet and have a well-earned breather.
Eat when you can
It is vital that you eat and drink regularly throughout the event, this means that you will stay alert and be able to get through the day. Most venues will offer food and drink, however they are often overpriced – and you may not have the chance to go and get them, so being prepared is a sensible option. Pack some healthy snacks such as nuts and dried fruit in a re-sealable tub that you can grab and eat if you have a spare few minutes. And remember to keep yourself hydrated. You’ll find storing a few small bottles of water somewhere on stand, behind a popup or even in your bag, a real lifesaver if you are talking all day long.
Schedule your social media in advance
If you think you can run an exhibition stand and be sharing on social media throughout the event, trust me you will struggle. Schedule messages to go out during the day across your social networks telling people what you are offering at the exhibition, how to find you, what you can offer, and anything else that might be relevant. Complement this by having ‘live from’ messages. Follow any hashtags for the event and see if you can help anybody or communicate with them directly to invite them to your stand.