Exhibition planning blog header showing people waking into an event hall

Exhibition planning for marketers and brand managers

Exhibition planning for marketers and brand managers – before, during and after.

A fantastic way of putting yourself in front of your target audience is by displaying your business at an exhibition.

This is the perfect opportunity to engage with a lot of clients face-to-face in a short space of time. While still allowing them to experience your brand.

Here are our top 15 tips for preparing for your event

A - Exhibition planning prep – before the event

Preparation before the Event

So, you’ve booked your place at the next big exhibition. What do you do now? There is a lot of preparation that goes into pulling off a successful exhibit that will bring you new business. In the months leading up to the Exhibition, there are a few things you want to make sure you do:

1 - Research the event in advance

Find out what kind of success they have had in previous years. How many people are expected to attend? Does it appeal to your target market? How much advertising exposure will there be? Find out all you can know about the event beforehand so you can maximise your marketing impact and tailor your communications

2 - Let your existing clients know that you will be there

Reach out to your customers to let them know you'll be exhibiting at the event and invite them to come to visit your stand.

Encourage them to engage with you on social media platforms and prompt them to attend the exhibit. Although the exhibition organisers will do advertising, it doesn’t hurt to push your own awareness that speaks to YOUR client.

3. Plan your stand design with your brand management team

Once you’ve booked your spot, the organisers will send you the specs of your exhibit stand.

This is when you reach out to your brand management team to start planning. When we plan an expo, we look at:

  • What are our goals for the day and what defines success for the event
  • Based on those goals, we strategise what methods we need to achieve them, including key messaging
  • We design the stand graphics along with professional stand designers
  • We plan the marketing collateral e.g. brochures, pamphlets, on-screen videos and any corporate gifting.

Your brand management agency should guide you from the initial planning, through to the final execution of your stand without you having to get your hands dirty.

Hiring a professional will free up your time so that you can focus on your primary business needs and not let the ball drop with the added pressure of the exhibit.

Tip: Booking your stand in advance will give you an advantage on choosing the best position. Find out where the highest foot traffic will be to get the most engagement possible.

B - Exhibition planning prep – during the event

Now your stand is all setup and looking gorgeous! You’ll want to create a brand experience and leave an impression with the visitors. You can do this by following these tips:

1 - Your people

Your company brand may be first seen by the stand design, but it's your team who will make it memorable and bring impact, so make sure to motivate and equip them for the event.

  • Make sure the staff that are managing the space are either in uniform or appropriately dressed to reflect your business culture. Keep an eye out for any stains on clothing; collars; zips or lipstick on teeth! Remember to watch out for each other!
  • Brief your team on your goals for the day and what defines success. Boost their morale and get them excited for the day ahead!
  • Plan ahead what breaks you will be taking and when. Make sure it's fairly distributed so certain team members aren't taking the load whilst others may be spending too long on a rest break. Consider a roster for arrival and departure times, along with lunch, toilet and smoking breaks.
  • Smile! Remember to be friendly and engaging – nobody wants to walk into a stand with miserable people who won't look at you.

Facilities Management Marketing example - exhibition stand design

An example of an exhibition stand we designed at the Mining Indaba

2 - Stand appearance

Your stand is the "face" of your company at an exhibition. Your careful planning can fall apart if your stand looks unkempt.

  • Don’t allow clutter to gather on your stand. That means no empty coffee cups or take-out packets lying around!
  • Make sure to consistently be tidying up the stand – depending on how many of your team are there, define a roster of who does what, and when.
  • If you are offering samples of your product or some form of takeaway, make sure the dispenser is tidy and fully stocked at all times – nothing worse than running out of stock when you are trying to share a brochure!


Remember to ask yourself throughout the day – is this customer experience living up to my brand?

B - Exhibition planning prep – after the event

It’s almost time for you to sigh the last breath of relief! It’s been a busy few days and you’ve spoken to countless prospective clients but the work isn’t quite over just yet. Now you’ll need to follow up.

  • Database:
    Being prepared means that you have now collected a great database of leads. It’s always best to tackle this list as soon as possible after the exhibition ends. Make sure to add them to your CRM (and it's also a good time to ensure that your privacy policies are up to date).
  • Timeous:
    You want the visitor experience to still be fresh so that when your email lands in their inbox they know exactly who you are. So aim to email your leads within 3 days of the event. This will also show your protective client that you are very organised, professional and efficient. Ultimately letting them know that you are a kick-ass organisation to work with!
  • An opportunity to delight:
    You can throw in a little extra love for any clients who (depending on your product) either bought or signed up at the exhibition. Send them a jar of cookies with a personalised Thank-you card or a discount on their next purchase. It’s all about the brand experience and giving the client that feeling of wanting to come back for more.
Exhibition Planning Checklist example

You'll make the most out of your exhibition experience by making sure that you are well-prepared!

So we’ve put together a handy Exhibition planning checklist just for you!

See you at your next exhibition!

Are you looking for a brand management partner to help you with planning all aspects of your brand and marketing collateral?

We'd love to chat … reach out to Halo today!