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  • FORUM INSIGHT: Your checklist for taking a stand at an expo

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    Attending an exhibition in order to find new sales leads and create new business relationships can be a complicated process.

    It’s not an insignificant cost, so here’s a handy guide to ensure you get good value for money…

    Book your stand

    Well, obviously. But you need to consider the size of your stand – you don’t want to look like a bit player, but you also need to ensure that you can fill your stand rather than it look like a big empty space.

    The positioning of your stand is important too – near the entrance of the expo is a prime spot, but comes with a premium price; do you want to avoid being too close to competitors?; you’ll definitely want to steer clear of the toilets.

    Do you want two open sides on your stand? Or just the one?

    Equip your stand

    You’ll need to buy lighting and electrics (plus testing) which isn’t cheap even for a plug socket to charge up phones and iPads. You’ll need to rent furniture if you haven’t got any to take to the expo yourself. Consider a table and chairs for meetings, plus a reception desk and literature racking as the bare minimum. At some expos you’ll also have to order carpet or flooring. And don’t forget to order your name board!


    What’s your ‘message’ for the expo? And how are you going to communicate it to the delegates who pass your stand? Posters, pop-up standees, leaflets and more need to be considered – and no stand is complete without a bowl of mints or sweets on the reception desk.

    Lead generation

    You’ll need to hire a scanner to zap delegates’ badges. And make sure you stick a bowl for business cards next to your bowl of sweets.

    Stand build-up, break-down and parking

    You’ll need to book your loading bay times for both set-up and break-down – and quickly, or you could end up with a very early morning/late evening spot. Also book your parking for the duration of the expo.

    Register staff

    You’ll need to register staff as ‘contractors’ for build-up and break down periods, and check the terms and conditions. Very often they will be required to wear hi-viz jackets and hard hats due to health and safety regulations.

    All staff attending the actual expo will need to be registered to receive a badge.

    And there’s more… You’ll need book travel and hotel rooms for your staff, and budget for expenses, particularly lunches and dinners.


    If you attend one of the Forum Events Forums or Summits, you can throw away the checklist.

    Suppliers who attend our events simply need to book their attendance and select the delegates they wish to meet. We’ll do the rest, including providing meals and overnight accommodation for all supplier staff who attend, as part of the package.

    No hassle, no checklist. Just a proven way of discovering new clients, and with no time wasted.

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    Toby Cruse

    All stories by: Toby Cruse