• Nichola Kelsey

Exhibition Stand Packing Checklist

You've got your stand booked at an upcoming exhibition. This is your chance to shine and promote your business and services to new customers, demonstrating your expertise and the value your support can bring them. No doubt you've spent some considerable time planning the design of your stand, and how visitors are going to interact with it. BUT....don't get too caught up in the detail and forget about the basics! Here's a last minute checklist to make sure you're fully prepared.

1. Signage and Collateral. Make sure you have everything you need to make your stand your own. Brochures, post cards, flyers – probably essential to your stand? Will it be obvious from first glance what

your business does? Do you have any giveaways/sweets to draw people in?

2. Business Cards. Get ready to hand out your contact information to visitors and other exhibitors alike. Maybe consider investing in a business card holder to keep them all in order. Do you have enough, or is it worth sticking another quick order in? You don't want to run out!

3. Stationery. Pens, pencils, scissors, Sharpies, notepads and Post-It’s, rubber bands, paper clips, stapler, tape – you never know WHAT you might need!

4. Tech. Phone, laptop, ipad – all the gear, but no idea! Whatever you’re bringing for your stand, make sure you have a (PAT tested) charger (and somewhere to plug it in) so you don't have a tech fail. Find out how to access the venue's wifi, and get your devices connected as soon as you start setting up so you've time for any trouble shooting.

5. Follow up emails. The most important part of taking part in an exhibition, and easily forgotten or messed up. Avoid this pitfall by planning these before you go! You'll want to contact all the visitors to your stand as fast and efficiently as possible. Make it quick and easy by planning out a generic template, which you can then personalise as you send them out.

6. Social Media. Work out how you're going to engage with social media during the event, and plan some posts in advance - don't forget to use the event hashtag (eg #MicroBizShow) in all your posts to make it easy for the event organisers to repost. A picture of your finished stand before the show opens would be a great one to start with!

7. Team. Even though you may work alone in your business, you might want to consider bringing some support with you on the day so that you make the most of talking to all your stand visitors. Make sure your team are fully briefed on what you want to achieve from the day, and the pitch for when they are talking to visitors. This will give you a "Brand Ambassador" to help promote your business, and you'll be able to attend any seminars or networking sessions safe in the knowledge that your stand (and business) are in a safe pair of hands.

8. Miscellanous. Don't forget snacks (don't starve), water (stay hydrated), mints (avoid smelly breath), hand sanitiser (lots of hand-shaking means lots of potential germs), back up shoes (sore feet and sore back), photo’s of your stand (for set up), or even a first-aid kit (just in case!). Fail to plan, plan to fail!

9. Final email. One week before the event, drop a final email out to your contact list, letting them know you'll be at the show. The more visitors you can attract to the show, the better the event will be for you and the organisers.

Exhibition shows are the perfect way to boost your business but you need to be well prepared and to do that you need to checklist these things, to make it a success.

The Micro Business Show takes place on 25 February 2020 at Draycote Hotel Rugby, 10am - 3.30pm. Free seminars, free networking and FREE ENTRY!