Participating in an exhibition can be a stressful and daunting task to say the least, especially if you are new to how things work in the exhibitor’s world. Luckily, by following the five tips below, you should be able to help yourself navigate to success – both for the first time at bat and for every other exhibition still to come.

1. Think about your next 10 exhibition events – plan ahead and take a long view

Perhaps the most common mistake made by exhibitors is to pour all of their focus into planning for a single event and then having no ideas or funds left to pull off subsequent exhibitions. If you are going to truly realize the lead generation potential offered by the exhibition circuit, you are going to have to think big and participate in one event after another. Planning ahead and thinking about the next five or 10 exhibition events you have in the pipeline can help you to keep perspective on your goals, your expenses, and the specific requirements of each individual exhibition.

2. Budget

We can’t stress enough how important budgeting is when it comes to ensuring exhibition success. Establish early on how much money you or your company has to spend on exhibition costs, and then get to work breaking that budget down into different categories. You will have a number of different expenses to pay for, from storage space and transportation for your exhibition stand to travel costs for yourself and your exhibition staff. Break down the budget for each event – as well as budgeting for the five or 10 events on the horizon – will help you to recognize what you can and cannot afford and will keep you from pushing your business into the red.

3. Create your artwork

An exhibition stand is really only as good as the artwork you use, so make sure you have some strong aesthetic flourishes and visual aids before you head off to your first exhibition.

From banners displaying your brand logo to posters showing off your products, exhibit artwork can take a range of different forms. Have a vision in your head of what you want your stand to look like, but also ask yourself what materials you want for your artwork, how much your artwork will cost, what the transportation, storage, and maintenance costs of that artwork will be, and any other questions you can think of.

Covering all of this information will help you with budgeting while still making sure you get the eye-catching exhibit you want.

4. Set goals

There’s no easier way to fail in the exhibition circuit than losing sight of why you are doing exhibitions in the first place. Establish goals for your brand, your staff, and yourself, and make sure that everyone knows what you are hoping to get out of these exhibitions. Doing this will help you to design an exhibit that truly gets down to business in helping your business grow, and will also engender passion, excitement, and engagement among your staff.

5. Lay down strategies for lead generation and follow-up

If you are like most exhibitors, your main goals at any given exhibition is to speak with prospective clients or customers, increase recognition for your brand, and generate leads. Since leads can lead to sales, revenues, and overall business growth, be sure to establish how you are going to get them and how you are going to turn them into practical business opportunities. Too often, exhibitors will generate a list of leads, and then wait weeks or months to follow up. Have a routine after each exhibit where you pinpoint your most promising leads and follow up with them immediately. Doing so will give you a much better chance of scoring sales and making money.

Author Bio: Looking to display something unique at your next trade show or exhibition. NVP Exhibits provides a wide range of exhibition stands and trade show display stand technology, exhibition display stands and display stand packages all kinds of exhibitions, expos, trade shows and conferences.

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