Hosting an outside exhibition can be an exciting and unique way to showcase products or services. Especially when the sun is shining, the mood is good, and the production of your event is on point. You can create a totally different vibe for your event all because there is no roof overhead!
Being outside has its natural benefits for our health and wellbeing so not only should your prospects hopefully be feeling the positivity, but your team should too!
As with any event though, whether you’re planning an exhibition, a trade show, or a roadshow event, there are several key factors to consider for outside hosting and in this month’s blog we aim to point you in the right direction to make your summer event, an exhibition extravaganza.
Define Your objectives and set a budget
Clearly outline the purpose and goals of your exhibition. Determine what you want to achieve, whether it’s promoting products, generating sales, or creating awareness. Having clear objectives will help you in the planning process. Once these objectives are in mind, look at how you want to achieve them and what, in an ideal world would help make that happen.
To hit these objectives though, you need to work with a budget in mind. The event may run over a few days so accommodation could be a cost to factor in. How many sales team members will be needed and how much will they cost? Have you factored in printing costs for any leaflets or catalogues? If you do not budget, there is every chance you could fall at the first hurdle!
Once your objectives are set, begin to determine how best to train your team to help you achieve them.
Source a reputable outside exhibition stand designer and builder
Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve at your event and have calculated a budget, you can get to work on investigating the perfect exhibition stand for your outside event. Do you need a cover? Will you be wanting furniture? How much space are you being given at the event? Asking yourself these questions will enable you to get a rough idea of what type of stand you may need. Outdoor exhibition stands can come in a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes so once you have your vision, speak to a company like Nomadic. We can then let our exhibition stand design team get to work to bring your dream to reality.
Work with your chosen stand provider
The company you select for the event will work to give you exactly what you need but they will need your input to ensure the project is executed in the best way possible. You know your market; you know the location. By providing your exhibition stand company with as much information as possible it will allow them to work to your specific needs. Think about accessibility, how light may hit the stand and what your objectives are for the event. If you need space to demo, watch your stand doesn’t encroach on others’ plots. If you are looking at securing leads, do you have space for furniture, and will it be covered from the sun or worst case rain?
The best option is to look for an option that provides you with reconfigurable display stands. This way you add or remove features depending on the space available, the weather and the event itself. And, you’ll only have to buy one stand that can last for multiple events!
Choose a suitable location
Select an outdoor venue that aligns with the theme and requirements of your exhibition. Consider factors like accessibility, parking facilities, amenities, and available space for installations or booths. This may sound common sense but if this is an event where other businesses may also be attending, make sure you fit the theme. A kid’s retailer is not going to go down as well at a health food exhibition for example.
Depending on your business type, you may require a permit or licence, especially if selling a product so speak with the event organisers or local authorities to find out the requirements.
If hosting a private event where you are the only exhibitor, find out if the location requires you to carry out an exhibition risk assessment before being allowed to host there. It may also be worth noting that events with multiple exhibitors may also request this.
And perhaps when booking, consider the surface, if exhibiting in the warm months, are you in a field, or on tarmac? If in colder months, will it be slippery or soaking wet? How people move about during the event is an often less thought of issue but is one that can greatly hamper the attendance and therefore the success.
Just don’t forget to book your venue or your slot at the event!
Plan the logistics
Consider the logistics involved in setting up and being at the exhibition. This includes arranging for utilities such as electricity and water, organising tents or canopies for shelter, renting display structures or tables, and ensuring proper signage for attendees. The event organisers should be able to help with this but should it be only you, speak to the owners of the venue.
Sketch out a floor plan too. If you are hosting a large number of people, you want to ensure that your stand can be seen, as well as even heard from a variety of vantage points. If you are among a large number of exhibitors, liaise with the event organisers about positioning and where amenities may be so that you can help attendees find them before or after they have visited you.
This is an important one and we have touched upon it above but it’s worth reiterating its importance.
Outdoor exhibitions are susceptible to weather conditions, especially in some seasons and some countries, so plan accordingly. Have backup plans in case of rain or extreme weather. Consider renting or providing temporary shelters, umbrellas, or heating/cooling equipment to ensure attendees’ comfort. Outdoor exhibition stands need to be weatherproof, but should you have not factored this into the design, perhaps think about gazebos or other forms of shelter.
Promoting your attendance
Whilst your stand-building company is busy behind the scenes perfecting your outdoor exhibition stand design, you can begin promoting. Now that you are booked in to attend, have your team hired and have defined what you want from the event, you need to let people know you are going to be there. Promoting an exhibition before an event gives you a great chance to ramp up interest.
Utilise your social media with fun interactive elements such as competitions, countdowns or videos “behind the scenes”, produce some posters, send out emails and maybe issue a press release to local media. Perhaps even look into sponsors to give your brand a little more endorsement from other businesses.
Catering and amenities
Consider what catering will need to be provided and whether you need to install toilet facilities and waste management. If you are attending as part of a larger event, this should all be taken care of, if you are renting a space for a private exhibition, it’s all down to you! So, speak to the property owners too. This is an important aspect to consider as visitors will remember how well looked after they were.
Engage with your audience on the day
At the exhibition, include live demonstrations, workshops, or hands-on activities. Encourage audience participation and provide samples or even tote bags that contain a mix of company literature and gifts. If you don’t have a product as such that can be given away, engage with people by showing your product in action. You want people to be leaving feeling positive and remembering who you are. Even a free pen or mug can go some way to keeping your brand name at the forefront of their mind!
Evaluation and feedback
After the exhibition, evaluate its success by gathering feedback from attendees, exhibitors, and staff. Assess whether you achieved your objectives and identify areas for improvement. This feedback will be valuable for future exhibitions and help refine your event planning strategies. Hold a team debrief after the event and allow it to be an open floor. You can learn a lot from those who were closest to the action!
Remember, hosting an outdoor exhibition requires careful planning, attention to detail, and adaptability. By considering these key factors, you’ll be well-prepared to host a successful and enjoyable event for exhibitors and attendees alike. If you want help to give your event a boost with a bespoke exhibition stand, contact us today!