How to organise a successful small business exhibition in your local area

Exhibitions can be a fantastic way to promote your business, make some really valuable contacts, and support similar small companies that are looking to make a splash in their industry. If there’s nothing available that appeals to you in your local area, you might decide to start your own. You’ll definitely have your work cut out for you, but the benefits can range from a decent profit through to getting yourself noticed as an influential and go-getting businessperson within your community. But where do you start, and what do you need to keep in mind? In this guide, we give you some important pointers for resounding success.

Make sure your exhibitors have the appropriate levels of support

When you’re targeting small business owners, it’s often the case that they’ll be pretty inexperienced when it comes to taking a stall and winning sales at an exhibition. They’ll be keen to learn everything they can, and it pays you to give them some extra advice and support to get the most out of it. Happy exhibitors are likely to come back to you if you decide to run another event at a later date, so think about how you can serve them with what they need. You might want to run a workshop beforehand that covers top tips for converting browsers into buyers, and you’ll also need to ensure that all exhibitors receive clear instructions before the event, covering everything from car parking and their stall positions, right through to lunch arrangements. Don’t leave your exhibitors with any doubts or queries before the big day.

Consider how you’ll get visitors through the door

We’ve looked at how to keep your exhibitors happy, so now let’s think about attendees. You’ll need plenty of people coming through the doors on the big day, and ideally, you’ll have a couple of months to plan exactly how you’ll get the word out about what you’re doing. Could you run an advertisement in relevant business press? Could you send out a press release to journalists to secure some editorial coverage? Could you team up with a local networking group to spread the news? There are endless possibilities, and it’s just a case of working out how you can best connect with your intended audience.

Sort out all of the admin details

The truth here is that the admin side of exhibitions can often be a little boring. After all, who would enjoy sitting down and sorting out security passes, paper tickets, and the finer details of your arrangements with the venue? Still though, the fact remains that these activities can make or break your event, so you need to ensure that you give them the necessary time and consideration.  If organisation really isn’t your thing, make sure that you have some expert assistance on hand. Choose trusted providers of essentials like lanyards and passes, and consider using the services of an assistant to ensure you get everything done and dusted with plenty of time to spare. Leavings this until the last minute will just stress you out!

Organising an exhibition to help small businesses in your local area can be extremely hard work, but it can also be very rewarding. As long as you’ve done your research and preparation in advance and you know what you need to do in these important areas, you’re in a great position for creating an event that everyone will remember for years to come. You never know, you might even decide to pursue your very own sideline in event planning and management!