Angels Advice

Latest News
Angels Advice


January 2007
Angels makes the odds of success greater for five major companies.

Advice for Exhibition Organisers

Making a Show a Success

Angels can provide you with the most attractive and professional promotion, hospitality, reception and demonstration staff for your exhibition stand (booth to our American friends!). However, to makeLive product presentations always enhance an exhibition's success your show a success, it takes more than just building the stand or booth and shipping in some of your staff or hiring a selection of outsiders.

The reality is that many exhibition stand or booth organisers and planners are not full time professional exhibition staff. The job is often done part time as many companies only exhibit once or twice a year. So naturally, not all of the benefits of attending an exhibition necessarily accrue. Most of this happens because companies fail to brief, train and prepare their staff accordingly - or they pick people to staff the stand or booth from a convenience point of view rather than choosing people that will get the best out of the investment being made.

So to help you, here are some do's and don'ts. Nothing will substitute for proper exhibition training (which Angels can provide), but we hope this section will help to set you on the right path.

The Background - Why are you there at all?

Having the best exhibition stand or booth you can afford built on the space you have booked is a great starting place. But it is surprising how often this investment and effort is wasted when it comes to the actual show. Research has shown that up to 75% of the success of an exhibition stand or booth is down to the staff on the day and not the amount of money Stand build up - make sure it is all finished before the show opens!invested.  Remember - an exhibition is a live people-to-people sales and marketing event. It is also likely to be the largest single item in most company's marketing budgets.

The implementation is often at odds with the objectives. For example, you may want your stand or booth to generate as many qualified sales leads as possible. If, however, you staff the stand or booth with people who are not enthusiastic about being there, are there because they live the closest to the venue, are there because they were the staff that could be spared at the time or are there because they enjoy meeting their existing customers and contacts, you are unlikely to have the success you have envisaged. If your chosen staff do not really want to be there and they feel they are there because they have to be, they are also not going to create the right impression with your customers and prospects. It is a sad fact in the exhibitions business that this happens more often than not.

It is said that exhibition stands or booths fail not because the exhibition did not work, but because the exhibition was not worked! So if your staff are not working to full effect to a well thought out brief, you will not be making good use of or maximising your investment in attending the show.

How often have you heard "Well, the number of leads were down this year, but the quality was better!".  Frankly that is often just an excuse for not having worked the show properly and for not getting the benefits or results envisaged or planned.

So the first thing to be really clear on is what the objectives of the exhibition are (are youThe right exhibition staff make all the difference! targeting the right show?), what your objectives for your stand are and what measurable results you expect to get.  Once you have this agreed, you can then decide what type and calibre of staff you will need to ensure the objectives and measurable results are achieved. Do not underestimate the power of having the right people there! With them you can attract people to your stand, gain qualified leads, achieve positive follow-ups and close sales.

Obviously, if you decide you need professional, capable and attractive VIP hospitality or promotional staff to assist in making your exhibition a success, Angels is here to help! Angels can also provide stand or booth training and briefing for your staff prior to the event ensuring all of your staff are up to speed with what is expected of them and provide day-to-day assistance with stand or booth organisation during the show.

Making it a Success

Here are some headlines to think about when you are planning to take your company to an exhibition. (There is much more than this to consider in the whole process from start to finish. Angels can help you with all of the elements of planning and executing a successful show).

Organise Your Stand

It may seem obvious, but when you are planning the stand or booth try to keep the message that Make your stand easy to access and your products visible!you want to get over really clear. Single strong themes work much better than multiple mixed up themes. Conflicting exhibition stand or booth  display signs do not work well. Make sure that your company name and logo can be clearly seen.

Do not build walls on your stand or booth. Nothing puts off potential clients more than having to overcome obstructions to get onto your stand or booth.   These can include display racks, plant pots, furniture and the way that you arrange your demonstration areas. Make your stand or booth as open and welcoming as you can. Make sure that your staff do not become walls themselves!

Promote Your Stand Before the Show

It is surprising how many companies book stand or booth space, plan and build a stand or booth and then have their staff turn up on the opening morning of the exhibition. They completely omit to promote their forthcoming attendance at the show to help ensure its success.

Companies that promote their upcoming attendance at an exhibition to old and new customers and potential customers alike, will reap greater rewards than those companies that fail to do anything. If you pre-promote your exhibition attendance, you will at least know that you will have a responsive audience when you get there.

There is nothing like a busy exhibition stand or booth to attract even more attention and visitors. Pre-promotion ensures a constant flow of traffic that has prior knowledge of your stand or booth and the purpose of your attendance. A mix of customers who know why they are there because of their prior knowledge and new customers and visitors is always a good mix to have. It promotes business.

You will find that most exhibition organisers will have pre-event programmes/programs you can participate in. Check them out and select the most appropriate. Make sure that you select your targets for pre-promotion and aim your promotion directly at them - focus your message. You can also use all sorts of media and include internet and email. Best of all, make sure that your sales people promote the exhibition and your stand or booth to existing customers. Don't rule out using incentives to help get people there. 

Choose Your Staff Wisely

Do not pick the obvious candidates - pick the best! The results will be almost entirely dependent on your choice of staff. The most obvious problem that occurs is the conflict between sales and marketing: the marketing department really needs good sales people at the show to make it work; the sales department regards exhibitions as a distraction and does not want its sales people to be off the road. Angels at the Motorcycle Show

Exhibitions are a major selling opportunity - get your best sales people there and brief them well! Also employ professional and talented promotional staff if your show will benefit from having them - call Angels or see our web site section Angels in Action to see what Angels has done for others and what Angels can do for you.

Make sure that you pick people that can turn potential customers into your prospective customers and have no trouble speaking to complete strangers. Afterall, you are not just there to see and talk to your existing customers. You are there to get new ones and generate incremental business for your company.

For more information and tips on stand or booth management and stand or booth staff disciplines, see Exhibition Staff: Making a Show a Success.

Make Sure Your Staff Know Why You Are There

It might sound obvious. But its not! It will do no harm to be really clear with your staff about your objectives and how much the company is investing in being at the show (including staff time and travel and all the work it took to get there prior to the show opening day). Then be Brief your stand staff well!clear about what results the company is expecting and how those results will be measured. Note that exhibition leads often convert to sales much more easily and quickly than traditional cold call sales. 

You can attend for many reasons (hopefully not just because you did last year!). Be clear about the ones that are most important to you, for example: generate qualified leads (also decide what a qualified lead is! - just a business card or a complete rundown on what the customer is looking to buy and when), make direct sales, increase corporate visibility, support awareness campaigns for the company or new products, meet existing customers as well as new ones or perhaps launch and demonstrate new products.

Understand Why Visitors Are There

People who attend exhibitions are there for a reason: to get information, to be informed, to be educated, to choose products and a host of other reasons. You are basically there to sell to them. Much like your company, they have invested time and effort to be there. Know why your visitors are there

You should make sure that you qualify them when they appear on your stand or booth and understand why they are there. Then have a well thought out plan on how to deal with the different types of visitor you are going to get. They will not all be people you can sell to - you will need to sort them out. They will be a mixture, for example, of decision makes, recommenders and product or service influencers. You should make it an objective to find out which they are as soon as possible.

Something of a surprise to a lot of companies is that many senior executives from the companies that they sell to show up at exhibitions. You may have had a hard time getting to them in their offices - now they are right in front of you! Another good reason to have your best sales staff there.

Promote Your Stand at the Show

Even if you have made an excellent job of pre-show promotion, you will need to think about how your stand or booth will be promoted to people at the show that have no prior knowledge of your attendance.

Be prepared to promote your stand when at the showYou can sponsor the exhibition itself if you have the budget. But obviously, this is out of the league of most small to medium size companies. However, other opportunities usually abound. Consider the exhibition catalogue given to all visitors - entries and adverts will work for you here. Or you may be able to get your company logo on the bags that are generally given out to all visitors at the door or entrance to the show.

Other opportunities may need the permission of the exhibition organisers. For example, you may use promotional staff to hand out leaflets on your stand or booth, but if you want to have them walk around the show floor and give them out, you may need to clear this with the organisers.

Make Sure Your Company Stands Out

This is a major opportunity to be eye-catching. Hence the need for single powerful messages and clear and precise displays. Avoid reams of text stuck on the walls! A single well thought out statement is worth a thousand words. A good graphic is worth even more.

Be inventive! You should use any means at your disposal to highlight your company and its products and make your customer's (and your future customers) experience enjoyable and memorable. Here is where Angels can help again. Our exhibition and promotional staff can give your stand or booth an identity and solicit very positive responses from your clients. We can also hire performers of many types to help you attract visitors and get your message across. It  does not have to be Cirque du Soleil  - a close-up magician can work wonders when your company message and product highlights are woven into the show! Attendees will stop and watch magic happen!

Qualify and Get Leads

Buyers at exhibitions are there for a purpose - you should make sure that you give them the time they deserve. However, bear in mind why your company is there. You want business and sales leads. So qualification is absolutely key. You will naturally get your fair share of timewasters - but you will never know who is a timewaster and who could be your best customer ever unless you approach them properly and qualify them properly.

If you qualify your visitor as a suspect or a prospect, you will need to make sure that you get all of their information recorded accurately so that the lead can be followed up. So make sure that you have a system for capturing leads, that everyone on the stand or booth knows what that system is and that everyone uses it in the same way. Do not rely on sales peoples' memories or on scraps of paper!

It is always a good idea to have a target for sales leads for each day of the exhibition. Even consider having a competition amongst your sales people and stand or booth staff for the highest number of qualified leads each day. There is nothing like an incentive to help meet your objectives.

Follow Up Aggressively

The show is over - so what next? Obviously you will want to make sure that you get something for all of the money and time you have invested. It is still surprising how many companies seem to "lose" the sales leads they have worked so hard for or they simply do not follow up on them. Many companies will have no idea what happened to all those "hot" leads that came back from the show. Did you really get the business you expected from the show and was it financially worth it?

Have a system for recording the leads, have a system for following them up and have a system for measuring the effectiveness of the follow up and the business that came from those prospects. It will be much easier to justify the next exhibition if you have good history on the Return on Investment (RoI) from the previous ones.


Exhibitions can be hard work. They always consume far more time in organisation that you expect. They can be real business winners if done right. They can be fun!


Remember that Angels can help you make your
exhibition a success!


All of the material in the Advice Section of the Angels® web site is
Copyright © Angels Model & Promotion Agency® and cannot be reproduced or copied
in any form without the prior written consent of Angels®.


  Web Site Copyright © 1999 - 2013 & Content Copyright © 1984 - 2013 Angels Model & Promotion Agency    Terms of Use | Privacy | Trade Marks | Site Map