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Planning the Perfect Expo: What We've Learned

The tail end of 2023 marked a busy time here at Liftoff for exhibiting our product! We had the pleasure of attending two expos this October, nearly back-to-back, which gave us some incredible insight into how we should prepare for future events, as well as a general checklist to live by when it comes to planning. After eleven years of operation, we’re finally getting into the swing of attending multiple events per year, and we feel as though we learn more and more with each passing event. If you’re new to expos and don’t know where to start or what to expect, we’d like to share some of our newfound knowledge!

Exhibiting your product to the right audience can drastically improve your sales. Here are a few guidelines that can make or break your booth’s success.

Don’t wait! Time is of the essence; this applies to nearly every aspect of planning. Expos are a lot of work! Make sure you set yourself up for success by taking care of these time-sensitive items on your agenda ASAP.

  • Do: Secure your spot early! Most show floors will fill up quickly, especially if you plan to exhibit at a well-known industry event. Registering in advance will allow you to strategize your floor position around your network, competitors, and ideal attending audience.

  • Do: Have your marketing collateral ready. Updated sell sheets, fresh business cards, and any merchandise you would like to offer or display should be in hand and ready to go at least a few months in advance for quality (and quantity) assurance.

  • Do: Acquire your booth and decor ahead of time! This is not only important for quality assurance, but also for floorplanning. A polished, put-together space to market your product will go a long way in attracting potential clientele.

  • Do: Take care of any behind-the-scenes necessities as soon as possible. Most events require separate payment and setup if you need electricity or internet access at your booth. If you need help moving heavy machinery or setting up a bulky display, this should also be arranged far in advance of the show. If you require shipping, make sure you have a carrier in place or plans with the show’s house shipper in time to meet drop-off and pick-up deadlines.

Don’t show up underprepared. Careful planning can increase the return on your investment!

  • Do: Bring enough members of your team to give each other a break! Whether it’s for lunch, a quick bathroom break, or some time to explore the exhibit hall, it’s vital to ensure you have enough hands on deck to provide some much-needed time to rest up. This will also allow for valuable networking opportunities if booth staff visit other booths.

  • Do: Ensure your booth staff is prepared with a pre-planned script to create a more consistent and accurate visitor experience. Confidence is key! Send in your experts with everything they’ll need to know. Those in sales or those who communicate with customers often may be the best choice; they’ll have a solid understanding of how to sell your product with confidence.

  • Do: Arrive early. Most exhibit halls will be open for exhibitors for at least an hour in advance of opening their doors to the public. This will give you time to settle in, set up a game plan for the day, and get prepared for early-morning visitors!

  • Do: Investigate any offered activities outside of the exhibition beforehand. There may be education sessions offering valuable insight, networking events, and various opportunities for having fun while fueling your growth. Creating a schedule can keep you from missing out!

  • Do: Set aside time for catching up with any friends in the industry that may be in town! If you’re looking for extra networking opportunities, take a potential client out to dinner or drinks and build new relationships!

  • Do: Take housing into account! If you’re coming from out of town, the best bet is to plan your stay at the venue or a hotel nearby that the host recommends. Venue proximity can keep you close to any outside events and save valuable travel time and expenses in the long run.

Here are a few additional tips that could help you take your expo experience to the next level:

  • Presentation: Your booth reflects your company. Arrange your space with eye-catching, visually appealing decor and vibrant, easy-to-read signage reflecting your company, its purpose, and the perks of your product. Thoughtful aesthetic planning can go a long way in attracting interested eyes!

    • Tip: People may be more likely to drop by with the incentive of a snack bar, candy bowl, or coffee stand. If space allows, this is a great way to reel people in!

  • Exploration: Take note of any booths you’d like to visit on the show floor. If you’d like to go the extra mile, planning out a route can get you where you’d like to go with time to finish what needs to be done.

    • Tip: We recommend taking the scenic route and seeing what else might be out there! Even if you don’t make connections with those outside of your plans, you can always find yourself heading home with some cool swag!

  • Appearance: Consider having a uniform for your booth staff. This cohesion will make your staff stand out from the crowd and provide a more polished, professional look to your booth.

    • Tip: Recognizable colors from your branding and logos can be a big hit in this area! If you’re looking for a less casual look, matching business attire can help separate your staff from the attendees as well.

  • Event research: Do your research on the event you’re looking to attend. Exhibiting is no small expense, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most that you can out of your investment!

    • Tip: Double-check attendance size, industry, attached events such as networking opportunities, and any other factors that may affect your decision.

  • Posting: Record as much as you can! Social media will only continue to grow as a mainstay of modern marketing, and visual collateral may come in handy to attract potential customers.

    • Tip: When posting, use relevant hashtags so attendees on social media can find you more easily.

With all of this in mind, we hope we can help make your expo experience seamless and successful! We highly recommend taking a look into what events may be right for you. Best of luck!



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