How to prepare for a trade show:

The final event management steps

Here we cover the final stage in how to prepare for a trade show. Find out how to book your stand dressing, choose the best lead capture software and so much more in under three minutes!

Welcome back to another bitesize guide to steps to organise an event from Quadrant2Design. Our goal is to make planning your exhibition as easy as possible by laying everything out in these short guides.

If you’ve missed one, fear not! You can find the bitesize guides to the first steps to organise an event right here:

Bitesize Guide from Quadrant2Design: How to Organise your next Exhibition Stand
Bitesize Guide from Quadrant2Design: How to Start Preparing for your Next Event

In the previous guide, we covered the first event management steps you should take, including selecting your staff, ordering promotional giveaways and more. This guide wraps up the final steps of this stage of preparing for a trade show, including:

    • Booking your stand dressing
    • Choosing your lead capture software
    • Transfers to/from the venue and/or parking passes
    • Organising client entertainment

Before we get into the final steps to organise your event, click here to download your free exhibition planning tool!

Book your Exhibition Stand Dressing

Another step about how to prepare for a trade show is the stand features or extras. Once you’ve planned your exhibition stand, you can start thinking about the details. These are the added extras that draw people into your trade show booth and encourage interaction.

Some of our clients choose to work with florists or caterers to bring their stand to life, but you’ve probably got ideas. Get this planned early, you may find your stand dressing supplier gets very busy during exhibiting season.

how to prepare for a trade show

Download lead capture software

The main reason that people exhibit at trade shows is to generate leads and close deals. Having the right lead capture software to help you will automate this process and remove the need for lengthy data entry after the event.

The old fashioned ‘drop your business card into this fishbowl’ technique isn’t enough these days. You need a system that makes it just as easy to follow up as it was to collect in the first place. This exhibiting guide gives tells you our favourite lead capture apps.

Transfers to/from the venue and/or parking passes

If you’ve been following these bitesize guides to preparing for your next event then you’ll have already booked your floor space at the right exhibition and chosen your team. That means that you can start thinking about transfers or parking passes when it comes to travelling to/from the venue.

Every venue has a different offering for exhibitors. For example, the NEC in Birmingham has a free bus service from the car park however it is also serviced by public transport. Check the venue’s website to see the best (and most cost-effective) ways to travel there.

If your staff intend to drive you need to arrange parking permits for the venue and supply them with a map of where they should go.

Organise Client Entertainment/Meals

You’re not the only business trying to woo the big bosses will all-expenses-paid evenings out. Remember, your competitors are more than likely to have a space at the same trade show as you. You have to plan early to avoid being stuck with the worst evenings!

There are two reasons that we recommend planning early:

Firstly, as mentioned, you don’t want your competitors to nab the best nights with the best clients. These tend to be the first and last nights. Some people don’t arrive on day one, other people leave early or are too exhausted by the end of the show.

Secondly, restaurants will book up fast. Trade shows attract thousands of visitors, and they all need to eat. Booking a table early avoids any embarrassment when it comes to organising your client event entertainment.

purple and white stand

Summarising Stage Three of Planning your Exhibition: Event Preparation

The only way to deliver the event preparation stage in a bitesize, easy-to-digest guide was to split it into two parts. There is a lot to do at this stage!

Part one recaps everything that goes into the early parts of event planning preparation. If you did read it but you want a catch up anyway, here are all the steps that go into event preparation:

  • Selecting your Staff
  • Planning Stand Activities
  • Sourcing and Ordering Promotional Products
  • Arranging Meetings
  • Training your Staff
  • Book your Exhibition Stand Dressing
  • Download Lead Capture Software
  • Booking your Transfers to/from the Venue
  • Organising your Client Entertainment

Last but not least, download the free event planning tool to help you keep on top of your exhibition planning and come back next week for your bitesize guide on transport and accommodation.

To discuss your next event preparations with one of our experts, call us on 01202 723 500, or email