Exhibition Management is key to having a successful show. Having an exhibition plan of how you manage your exhibition stand in advance ensures your team is well prepared.

Here are some tips that may help you plan ahead:

Display Stand Manning

  • Put together a stand-manning schedule in advance so staff know exactly when they are expected to attend.
  • Make sure you have the resources to cover their time out of the office.
  • How many staff do you need on the stand?
  1. Rule of thumb is to allow 1 person per 5 square metres
  2. Possibly double this at busy times and half at quiet times.
  3. Stagger shifts around busier times
  4. Ensure there are managers available to back up core staff if activity on the stand suddenly increases
Themed Exhibition stand at a show with staff
  • Try to arrange regular breaks for staff and do not expect them to spend hours or even days on the stand.

Regular breaks will keep people fresh and enthusiastic – look after your staff and they will perform better for you on the day.

Picking the right people:

  • There is little point in having a fantastic display stand if you do not have the right people to man it.
  • Remember – it is people who sell your company for you.
  • Try to select people who will be motivated and energized to be at the show.
  • Those manning the stand need to be:
  1. Positive
  2. Enthusiastic
  3. Knowledgeable about your products & services

The Role of the Exhibition Stand Manager

  • Appoint a Stand Manager. This person should aim to be in attendance for the duration of the show. This may or may not be the person who has co-ordinated all aspects of the show from start to finish, but it is important for one key person to be ‘in charge’ of the stand at the show.
  • Appoint Team Leaders to head up each team shift on the exhibition stand. Their role is to keep their team motivated and focused on reaching targets and objectives. (This is a different role to that of the Stand Manager)
  • Let people know in advance what is expected of them.
  • Meet with the team at the beginning of each show day to answer questions, re-affirm goals and address general issues.
  • Walk the staff around the stand to familiarise them with the main features, location of key products, talk them through visual aids etc.

Plan Pre-Show Staff Training

Briefing and training staff prior to the show ensures staff are clear about what to expect and what is expected of them prior to the day of the show (see our blog on Training your staff for Maximum Impact).

Areas to cover in the Exhibition Stand Briefing Document:

  • Shift times and break times
  • Dress code and behaviour standards on the stand
  • Company objectives for the show
  • Targets and incentives for the show, for each team and individuals
  • How to take leads, orders etc
  • What to give out on the stand (and what not to)
  • Where to find information when needed
  • Reminder to SMILE
  • Why you are exhibiting and the objectives of the show
  • Positioning of the company within the show environment – including competitors and any show partners
  • Approach on the day – how to open conversations, convey the right messages, how long to spend with each prospect etc
  • Stand design and lay-out
  • Features of the stand
  • Explanation of stand promotions
  • Handling and distribution of literature/giveaways
  • Follow up procedure after the show

Finally, ensure your staff have the necessary company, product and service knowledge to fulfil their role on the stand.

There are many steps to planning an exhibition but making sure your staff are organised and well equipped is key to your success.