I have the pleasure to be the coordinator for MindFireInc’s Trade Shows. Having coordinated tradeshows like Graph Expo, Dscoop, PODi and other tradeshows/events for the last two years and a half for an inc500 software company is always a learning experience and a lot of fun. It’s the highlight of my job. From establishing relationships with the vendor to buying pins and velcros – making sure that hop up banner will stay on the frame is part of my detailed task.
Here are some surefire tips to make sure you keep your calm and make your exhibit a success.
- Plan as early as possible. It’s always safe when you have leeway. You just never know any circumstances that might happen like getting sick.
- Ask your manager, what he needs to get started. Primarily, you would ask or look around for vendors who can work around your budget. The initial reaction is of course, customer service. From the quote you received, you’d be able to compare apples to apples. Second is working around your budget and fast replies to your emails. Lastly, getting good vibes with the person is essential.
- So now you decided which vendor you are going with, request another detailed quote. Always double check the prices especially when you’re renting. Make sure if the equipment’s are one-time fee or per hour or per day. Vendors tend to do acronyms so ask them what they are.
- Now that you hired a vendor and starting to get to know him and the event. Create a checklist and time line (early bird deadline). I won’t give you details on the check list. There are a lot of sources online to give you information of what you should put on your checklist.
- Don’t shy away for follow ups. Remember, your company is paying a lot of money for this vendor so don’t hesitate to call them when in doubt. As much as possible, send them an email and then call. Email is good so you can document it.
- Once, you feel that you’re almost on the last leg of logistics, assign a designated person at your booth the day before the official opening to meet with your Marketing Director or whoever the manager of your company’s tradeshow. Get his cellphone and give your manager’s cell phone. It’s always smart to check everything on site before the big day.
- Last checklist. Create a checklist for your IT person for equipment that should be brought to the tradeshow. Don’t forget to test the electronic equipment before packing it. Secondly, create another checklist for your collaterals.
- Get all the flight information of your company’s staff that is going to the tradeshow. Put them in google docs so they’ll be able to know what time their colleague will be arriving or departing.
- If you are not going to the tradeshow keep your mobile phone on. Just in case your colleague needs something that needs to be shipped immediately or just have an important question , you can take action as soon as possible.
Hope these tips will help you in your next event. Keep in mind, being organized is the key to keep you calm and have a successful exhibit.