Planning an expo, trade show, or exhibition is a huge undertaking. But if done properly, the benefits are well worth the effort. Incorporate these five tips into your event planning checklist to help set your company or organization up for success, year after year.  

Planning an expo, trade show, or exhibition is a huge undertaking. But if done properly, the benefits are well worth the effort. Incorporate these five tips into your event planning checklist to help set your company or organization up for success, year after year.  

Get Organized and Stay Organized, with a Central Planning Document

The best events are generally those with the most well-thought-out plans. Consider creating a comprehensive event plan that includes all pertinent information and resources in one central location, like Google Drive. Housing the document on a cloud based platform allows your core team to be able to edit and receive changes in in real-time, so you all have access to the most up-to-date information at all times. Keep in mind that the plan is only as good as the information you put into it, so encourage your team to use this as the primary resource and planning tool throughout the entire process. Allowing everyone equal visibility will also relieve you, the lead planner, of the burden of constantly fielding questions and sending out updates.  

Make Sure your Event Space has all Necessary Resources

Depending on your industry and the nature of your unique expo or trade show, what you need out of an event location will inevitably vary. Prior to securing your expo location, be sure that the space is equipped with everything you and your vendors will require for a smooth event. This could include access for product delivery, loading and unloading, shipping and receiving, appropriate security, A/V, Wi-Fi, food and catering services, and much more. If you’re not sure of everything your vendors will require, research trade show planning guides and tailor your own expo planning checklist to be sure you’ve covered every possible need. Still not sure you’re covering all of your bases? Don’t hesitate to ask the vendors you have a good relationship with. Better to ask, then fall short.   

Target your Marketing Efforts

You could plan the best expo ever, but if the turnout is poor, your event will flop and participants likely won’t get the ROI they were after. Invest in your own marketing to increase ticket sales and combat the risk of low attendance. The best bang for your buck in most cases, is targeted digital and social ads that drive people to an informative and easy to navigate event landing page. The page should at minimum include a summary of the expo; provide time, date, location specifics, and allow you to easily purchase tickets. Relevant industry trade publications and their websites can also be a great fit, especially for b2b audiences.

Encourage Innovative Booth Spaces

For good reason, many well-established businesses have been attending expos and tradeshows for years – but that doesn’t mean their booth needs to look like those of years past. Encourage vendors to refresh or completely transform their booth setups, to reflect their audience as it is today, not like it was 5, 10, or even 20 years ago. Reach out to your vendors early on in the planning stage with inspiration and resources that might help them to consider an overhaul of the status quo.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Event Follow-up  

Your event was a success, but not so fast! You still have important follow up to do. Reach out to each of your sponsors, vendors, and attendees to thank them for their participation and remind them to take advantage of early-bird pricing for the following year. Also, for your vendors and sponsors, don’t forget to share relevant lead lists, or other metrics garnered at the expo that could increase the chances of them achieving their goals for the event. These are important, if not in some cases, imperative, to securing their future participation.

The expo hall at South San Francisco Conference Center is made for special events like yours. Give us a call (650) 877-8787 and Schedule a time to talk with our event planning team and see what makes us special.