Ever wondered why you should employ a designer or why some stands seem so much busier, brighter and better than that of their competitors? This article will help to de-mystify the world of the designer and to let you in to some of their trade secrets.

Design is not an intangible element instead it provides a plan that will give your product the optimum chance of success at your chosen show or event. Further more the creative process begins with a series of extremely details questions that deal in the hard facts about your product.

This process is called the Design Brief and it is here that we would start the discussion about your show requirements. Listed below are just a few of the major considerations that we would talk about with our clients.


Event planning. How many shows or events do you plan to attend in the year? If it’s just a one off would you like to be able to re-use your stand in years to come? If you attend many events would are they all in the United Kingdom and if not where in the world do you also exhibit?

Name of Show and organiser – it could be that you have not even decided on your show and this is something that a good stand design company can help you with. You need to be sure that you are attending the right show with the calibre of visitors that your product or service needs.

Hall plan and Stand size including perimeter dimensions and if an Island site or closed on various sides. If there are any columns on the stand.

Budget – this is a question that no one likes to answer but it is crucial to give an idea of spend as this can save a lot of time and frayed nerves. Given no budget at all a designer will take the brief and come up with the best possible solution for your requirements but will probably come in at a cost that is well over your expectations. Given a budget they will design accordingly.

Company ID. It is here that the designer will start to get a feel for your company. What your brand is and what image you would like to convey to your prospects. How do you see your position in the market place and what are your marketing goals for the show? See below. It is at this point that we would collect and relevant product brochure plus logo/branding ID.

New product/s launch. If you are intending to launch a new product at the show we would strongly advise that this was the sole message that you put across at the event. Too many messages soon get lost in an exhibition environment.

Look of stand. Here the aesthetic takes over initially i.e. would you like your stand to be open and inviting or would you like a more formal, stylised appearance? Your stand is not just a two dimensional space it is a three dimensional environment and a good designer will make use of every available cubic centimetre. What is the maximum height permitted and would you like a Single Storey or Double Decker stand? Would you need a lighting rig? This would be dependant on product i.e. vehicles yes, small giftware would require more direct lighting. Also would you need a platform floor and what type of floor covering is preferred i.e. carpet as opposed to laminated floor? Will you need a kitchen/refreshment area?

Division of space. Stand space is expensive so you need to make the most of your environment. Do you need a store room, offices, private/semi-private meeting rooms or reception desk, area - greeter desk?

Stand dressing. Will you need furniture and will this be supplied by yourselves or hired/purchased? Will you need to display marketing literature i.e. brochure display/holders?

Audio Visual. Do you need audio visual equipment on your stand? Do you need a PA system? Hire or purchase?

Graphics. Good graphics can really make a stunning impression. A picture can get your message across in a split second and “show weary” visitors will not read a lot of text. Will you need your graphics to be re-usable or are they for a one off use only?

Stand staff. How is your stand to be staffed? How many people will be manning your stand and what will they need to do that effectively? Do they need access to pc? How will they collect your prospects data?

Marketing Goals. What do you want to get out of the show? Do you want new prospects? Sales? How will you filter your visitors and how will you ensure they have an unforgettable experience on your stand?

Practical considerations. If your designer is also your stand contractor the following will need to be discussed: Electrical connections - client to purchase direct or designer to organise? Agreed time of handover of stand. On-site show call out cover. Breakdown arrangements and stand storage requirements.

Armed with all of this information your designer will then do their own research and analysis into your market place and will conceive an initial design for your consideration. This design is normally in the form of a black and white line drawing but once the design has been agreed in principal then a full colour rendering with fabric and flooring samples will be proposed to you normally in a formal presentation.

Many exhibition companies offer a free design service and this is an extremely competitive market place but as with all industries the cheapest is not always the best. Look for a designer and contractor that you are happy to work with and that you are confident can deliver the service and attention to detail that you need.

Your designer effectively becomes an extension of your marketing department with the exhibition experience to make sure you become the best in show.

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This is the latest article about Basic Knowledge of Exhibition. In this articles will explained about Participating in Fairs & Exhibitions (Exhibitor's Side). I hope it's useful for beginner, event organizer, or everyone that interested with the exhibition industry.








3. Participating in Fairs & Exhibitions (Exhibitor's Side)

3.1. Understanding the Power of Fairs & Exhibitions
3.2. Defining Objectives
3.3. Selecting a Fair/Exhibition
3.4. Preparing the Participation in a Fair/Exhibition
3.4.1. Start of Preparations
3.4.2. Stand Design
3.4.3. Technical and Organizational Aspects
3.5. Calculating the Participation Costs
3.6. Actions When the Event is Running
3.7. Communication and Promotion Activities
3.7.1. Before the Fair/Exhibition
3.7.2. During the Fair/Exhibition
3.7.3. After the Fair/Exhibition
3.8. Evaluating the Participation in a Fair/Exhibition
3.9. Participating in Foreign Fairs & Exhibitions

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3.1. Understanding the Power of Fairs & Exhibitions
As part of the marketing-mix, the participation in a fair/exhibition is by far the most valuable tool. Considering the presentation of the full product/service range of a company, combined with the personal contacts with the clients and prospects, no other marketing instrument is more efficient than a trade fair participation.
See : "1.4. The Marketing Functions of Fairs & Exhibitions".

3.2. Defining Objectives
Before making the final decision to take part in a trade fair/exhibition, clear objectives must be defined. These objectives will be derived from the overall corporate marketing plans, which have to integrate, far in advance, any participation into a fair.

3.3. Selecting a Fair/Exhibition
Before selecting a fair/exhibition to take part in, a company has to answer several basic questions, including:
Will the subject of the fair/exhibition cover my range of products/services?
Will the fair/exhibition be representative of my market? How significant will it be?
Will the fair/exhibition allow me to reach existing and/or new target groups?
In addition, answers to the following questions must be provided by the fair organizer:
Is the fair/exhibition a national, regional or international event?
What is the frequency of the fair/exhibition? What are the next dates?
Which companies will exhibit?
What is the price per m²?
Are there additional meetings or congresses beside the fair/exhibition?
What will be the promotion campaigns to attract visitors at the fair/exhibition?
What are the figures related to the last event:
Number of visitors (national and foreign)
Types of visitors (professional or public visitors? from which countries? of which decision level?) Number of exhibitors (national and foreign)
Net exhibition area rented to exhibitors (national and foreign)
Have these figures been audited?
What were the results of the visitors' or exhibitors' satisfaction surveys carried out after the last event?
The decision process should also take into account the quality of the event, as well as the internal and external infrastructure linked to the fair location (for example, accessibility to the venue).
Companies willing to exhibit may also have a look at international exhibition directories which provide detailed information on the fairs and exhibitions organized worldwide (name and content of the fair, frequency, date and duration, name and address of the organizer, main product groups, visitors' and exhibitors' figures…). Additional information can be obtained from trade publications or newspapers, market reports, trade associations, chambers of commerce, and trade departments of national embassies.
Another way to select a fair/exhibition before deciding to exhibit is to visit the event and get an own impression.
The final decision to participate will be taken after evaluating the fair/exhibition and considering the objectives and the investments related to the event.

3.4. Preparing the Participation in a Fair/Exhibition

3.4.1. Start of Preparations
After having registered to a fair/exhibition, the exhibitor should ask the organizer for information materials about the event, like the hall plans and the exhibitors´ manual.
The next step is the development of a precise timetable regarding the preparative actions. Usually, the information materials provided by the fair organizer include relevant deadlines on this purpose.
Further major preparation tasks include:
the set-up of a detailed budget;
the areas of responsibilities of all those involved in the fair participation, according to each task;
considerations about the size, the location (in the exhibition hall) and the design of the stand (or booth);
different offers from stand construction and transportation companies (including the related services and costs);
the list of products to be displayed on the stand;
the promotion materials (before and during the fair);
a complete advertising and communication plan;
the selection and briefing/training of the staff to be present on the stand;
the travel and accommodation for the exhibiting staff;
the invitations to be sent out to existing and prospective customers (visitors).

3.4.2. Stand Design
The stand is the key factor for a successful fair participation.
The concept and design of the stand is determined from the objectives of the fair participation, because the question is: "What should be reached through the stand?".
The first important stand features are its size and its location on the exhibition floor. The characteristics of the exhibition hall, such as the height of the ceiling, the entrances and gangways, the neighbouring stands, and the emergency exits must also be taken into consideration when designing the stand.
Depending on the participation goals to be achieved at the fair, exhibitors can follow 4 different strategic positioning concepts for the stand design:
Product-oriented positioning concept. It aims at presenting the technical aspects of the products to be displayed on the stand. Studies show that 75% of exhibitors mainly follow this concept.
Solution-oriented positioning concept. It aims at demonstrating the exhibitor's tailor made and customer-oriented solution competence. 69% of exhibitors try to include this concept in their stand design.
Communication & Event-oriented positioning concept. It aims at drawing the visitors' attention from an emotion point of view. 33 % of exhibitors follow this concept.
Competition-oriented positioning concept. The purpose of this concept is to show that the exhibiting company belongs to a certain business sector and that it is differentiated from the competitors. From the exhibitors' view, this concept is less important than the three others.
The chosen strategic positioning concept will determine the stand size and features, as well as the products to be displayed. However, an overload of products can damage and jeopardize the success of a fair participation: generally, the fewer the better!
Additional presentation possibilities may include models, charts, photos, films, videos, slide shows, and live presentations from artists (with or without music). But these additional presentations and attractions must not disturb the communication with visitors.
As a privileged communication platform with the visitors, the stand can be split into 3 different zones:
the passive zone (attraction) is used to attract the attention and interest of the visitors passing by. This can be achieved by relevant eye-catchers processes;
the active zone (acquisition) is used to approach visitors and find out their areas of interest;
in the intensive zone (negotiation), products can be presented in details, offers can be negotiated, and contracts can be closed. To achieve these purposes, it is important that this zone is not too much crowded nor disturbed by loud noises.
It is important that the stand is clearly and logically structured, and that the design reflects the corporate identity. To lead to a homogeneous corporate stand design, the following stand features should be taken into account:
consistent display of the company sign;
use of the corporate colours and fonts;
consistent design of the information materials available on the stand (catalogues, brochures, graphics);
consistent and goal-orientated layout of the stand;
behaviour and external look of the exhibiting staff in connection with the corporate philosophy.
On the stand, communicating and informing the visitors are the main concerns for the exhibitor. In this respect, the stand design, the selection of displayed products and information, and the organization and qualification of the exhibiting staff play an important role. A stand designed towards communication will emphasize interactive conversation, whereas a stand designed towards information will emphasize the image of the company

3.4.3. Technical and Organizational Aspects
Among the numerous technical and organizational aspects regarding a fair participation, the following are especially important:
Selection of exhibits;
Transportation;
Insurance;
Selection of the exhibition staff;
Selection of a stand-construction company.
For the selection of exhibits, the following should be considered:
Exhibit only the items which correspond to the latest technological standards and design; do not exhibit old stock;
Exhibit only the items that can be delivered in a foreseeable time;
The presentation of new research results emphasizes the exhibitor's technological competence;
It is mandatory to have detailed information materials of all exhibits;
Exhibits that are in motion or in operation attract more visitors than non moving exhibits.
The transportation of exhibits requires a good knowledge of the relevant customs and laws. Almost every fair or exhibition organizer work by contract with firms which are specialized in all kinds of transportation matters. The use of their services will guarantee compliance with laws and removal of the language barrier. An exhibitor must consider the following aspects regarding transportation:
Selection of the kind of transportation;
Packaging;
Use of containers;
Shipping deadlines;
Customs;
Import and export laws;
Delivery to the fairgrounds (forklifts, cranes, etc.);
Storage of empty boxes and containers;
Transportation back to the point of origin;
Insurance should be carefully considered, especially when participating in foreign fairs. Insurance can apply to the following areas:
Stand;
Exhibits and information materials;
Staff;
Visitors. The main risks include:
Fire, explosion and water damage;
Transportation damage;
Theft;
Baggage damage;
Liability against another party;
Accidents/illness of staff members.
Getting insurance is solely the exhibitor's responsibility. Usually, an exhibitor is required to prove that he has insurance.
The staff is the third factor of fair success. Staff members should be selected according to professional and personal skills (fair experience, foreign language knowledge, mind-openness).
Before the fair starts, it is of the utmost importance to brief the exhibiting staff taking into consideration all the aspects of the fair participation (introduction to the stand design, areas of responsibilities of each staff member, exhibition goals…). This point is too often underestimated or neglected.
What kind of exhibiting personnel is needed? The following must be considered:
Management;
Commercial staff;
Technical staff;
External staff assisting the exhibiting staff (interpreter, translator, hostesses);
Stand supervisor (fair coordinator) ;
Spokesperson.
Chief executives and business leaders, who are usually among the visitors at specialized fairs, expect appropriate staff on the stands.
During the fair, the main mission of the stand supervisor is to coordinate. He is not only in charge of all organizational and technical aspects, but he is also the link between his company (exhibitor) and the fair organizer.

3.5. Calculating the Participation Costs
The main concerns regarding a fair participation are the related costs, especially for small and medium sized companies.
It is not possible to provide figures on the average overall costs related to a fair participation, because these costs depend on the size of the stand, the kind of fair, the location of the fair, and many other factors.
However, some experts consider that a very rough estimation of the total costs related to a fair participation may be obtained by multiplying the price of a rented stand by 10 (staff salaries excluded).
Usually, the costs related to a fair participation include:
the basic costs (stand rental, energy supply, exhibitor passes, parking permits, etc.);
the costs for stand design (creation proposals, planning, stand lettering, displays, photos, slides, signs, decoration and ornaments, audiovisual-supported presentations, etc.);
the costs for stand equipment (furniture, carpet, lighting, kitchen equipment, video recorder, slide projector, etc.);
the costs for stand services (visitor entertainment, fittings, hostesses, interpreters, auxiliary staff etc.);
the costs for communication materials (invitations, give-aways, advertising materials, catalogues, advertisements, mailings, press folders, translations, admission ticket vouchers for visitors, telephone, fax, internet, etc.);
the costs for transport, handling and waste disposal (storage, insurance, border tax, waste disposal, etc.);
the costs for the travel, accommodation and entertainment of the exhibiting staff;
other costs (consulting, fair market research, follow-up, training, etc.).
For newcomers or small organizations, joint participation with another company is a cost effective way to participate in a fair. Especially at foreign fairs/exhibitions, joint stands of two or more companies or joint participation in governmental stands are worthwhile possibilities to enter new foreign markets.

3.6. Actions When the Event is Running
Calculating the number of people visiting the exhibitor's stand is important information.
Furthermore, in order to get detailed information about the visitors and their areas of interests and requests, interviews can be carried out on the stand with a representative sample of visitors. The interviews should be conducted every day during the exhibition with the help of a short and structured form. The results will be used for business purposes after the fair, and to get more visitors and optimise the stand design for future events.
A fair is also an ideal opportunity to observe the market and its competitors (product comparison, competence of the stand personnel, design of the competitors' stands, etc…), and to gather competitors' information materials (brochures, catalogues). After the fair, this information should be analyzed.

3.7. Communication and Promotion Activities

3.7.1. Before the Fair/Exhibition
The main communication objective before the fair is to show that the company is exhibiting at the fair, in order to acquire as many qualified visitors as possible. This goal is fundamental, otherwise investing in an exhibition is useless. Consequently, attracting and inviting visitors on the stand is one of the most important actions to undertake before a fair.
Exhibitors' communication activities before a fair include:
Direct mailings to specific target groups (decision-makers, government officials, press, opinion leaders, etc.);
Advertising in exhibitors' catalogues/CD-ROM. For almost all fairs and exhibitions, a catalogue and/or a CD-ROM with the list of the exhibiting companies is published by the organizer. It is possible for the exhibitors to place advertisements in these publications.
Advertising in specialized trade magazines. Sometimes, such publications release special editions about a fair and offer possibilities for advertising. It should be very clear that advertising does not mean editorial coverage.
Outdoor advertising. Advertisements in public areas, at airports, train stations, or on the access routes to the fairground can be very effective.
Internet. Exhibitors can use Internet to inform and promote their fair participation on their own homepage or through advertisement on the organizer's website or other websites.

3.7.2. During the Fair/Exhibition
Beside the stand design, the information materials available on the stand play an important role. The "what", "how", "when", "to whom" regarding the distribution of information materials should be carefully considered. Also important is an accurate estimation of the quantity of available materials.
Usually, exhibitors have to deal with four groups of visitors on the stand:
technical-oriented visitors;
management-oriented visitors;
private/public visitors;
press visitors.
Appropriate information materials should be available for these four visitors' groups. Examples of information materials are: general brochures, technical leaflets, product information, catalogues, corporate newsletters, lists of references, price lists, and press releases. During foreign fairs, the information materials should be correctly translated in the language of the country or in a usual foreign language.
Communicating on the stand can also include:
Multimedia presentations, but the success resulting from the use of such media does not always justify the costs of their production;
Product/machine demonstrations. Wherever possible, real machines should be shown in operation on the stand. It would even be better if the machine would produce items, which the visitors could take away with them.
Efficient communication with the press is a factor for successful fair participation, especially if the exhibitor introduces innovations or raises interesting topics. Press centres, where exhibitors can leave their press materials, operate in almost all exhibition centres in the world.
A way to efficiently communicate with the press is to organize press conferences, which can be held directly on the stand, or in a room of the exhibition centre, or, if needed, outside the fairground. However, as journalists are usually overloaded with press events during a fair, only well-timed press conferences with interesting news and attractive invitations will draw their attention and be successful.

3.7.3. After the Fair/Exhibition
With the objective of keeping current customers and making them loyal for the next trade fair/exhibition, it is essential to carry on communicating with exhibitors and visitors, even when the event is over.

3.8. Evaluating the Participation in a Fair/Exhibition
In order to evaluate the participation in a fair, it is imperative to set up clear objectives before the preparation process.

No Objectives ==> No Success Evaluation!

A report on each visitor's visit should be established directly on the stand. The analysis results of the collected reports should then be compared with the objectives. These reports should also be used for appropriate follow-ups.
Sometimes, the economic success of a fair participation can only be correctly evaluated some months after the fair or can not be clearly attributed to the fair participation.
The evaluation of a fair success, according to the participation objectives defined in advance, is based on two kinds of criteria:
Quantitative criteria: number of visitors at the stand, number of contacts (regarding existing or new customers), amount of sales contracts signed during the fair, amount of information materials provided to visitors;
Qualitative criteria: they are more difficult to estimate, as they include discussion content with visitors, the quality of these discussions, the visitors' interest in the exhibited products or services, their opinion about the stand and the supplied information, the gathered information on competitors and new distribution channels or potential new business partners.
Participating in fairs and exhibitions has both economic and non-economic impacts, which therefore have to be considered when measuring the fair's success.
Methods to evaluate the non-economic (psychographic) success are based on:
research (such as surveys among visitors and stand employees);
analysis of visitors' statistical data provided by the organizer;
analysis of the media response;
evaluation of qualified contacts.
Methods to evaluate the economic success are based on:
budget controlling (expenses vs. revenues);
amount of sales;
amount of visitors;
analysis of basic figures:
costs per square metre (= total costs / size of stand)
costs per visitor (= total costs / number of stand visitors)
cost per qualified contact (= total costs / number of qualified contacts)
duration of visitors' stay at the stand (= total time of conversations / number of conversations)
critical number of contacts (= total costs / contact costs per sales rep.)
response to invitations (= number of pre-fair invitations / number of visitor with invitation)
results of all these analyses are particularly useful to improve future fair participation

3.9. Participating in Foreign Fairs & Exhibitions
Fairs and exhibitions play an important role for a company planning to enter markets abroad.
The main objectives to participate in foreign fairs are:
to collect information on the given foreign market;
to introduce a brand and a product/service supply;
to conclude cooperation with foreign partners;
to open new purchasing sources.
When participating in fairs and exhibitions, companies may face difficulties regarding transportation matters, duty and visa regulations, language, socio-cultural habits in business, climate, accommodation, etc. Considering these potential problems, foreign exhibitors should pay attention to the following:
fair organizer should offer extensive assistance;
foreign exhibitors should plan and prepare his fair participation long time in advance (sometimes it might be easier and more cost-effective to first share a stand with another company or governmental organization).
In some countries, participating in fairs abroad is considered as export promotion and is therefore supported by government promotion programmes. For instance, in Germany, the Ministry of Economic Affairs provides a budget of approximately 35 million € per year for joint official German participations in fairs abroad, and more than 5,000 companies take advantage of this programme each year.

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This is the 2nd article about basic knowledge of exhibition, the main topics is Planning and Implementing Fairs & Exhibitions from the Organizer's Side. It's suitable for beginner, event organizer or everyone that interested with the exhibition industry. So enjoy this !

2. Planning and Implementing Fairs & Exhibitions (Organizer's Side)
2.1. Introduction/Objectives
2.2. Defining the Exhibition Subject
2.3. Undertaking a Market Research
2.4. Developing the Exhibition Concept
2.5. Attracting Exhibitors and Visitors
2.6. Analysing the Exhibition Results
2.7. Calculating the Exhibition Profitability



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2.1. Introduction/Objectives
The objective of a fair organizer is to make profit from the organization of a successful trade fair. "Successful" means a continuously growing number of exhibitors and visitors over the years, and the creation and maintenance of an excellent image of the fair. These goals can be achieved by applying target-oriented marketing and PR approaches, reaching a high degree of internationality, and positioning the fair as the worldwide leading event in a given industry branch. It also requires from the fair management a constant consideration of the future trends and technical developments of the fair business and its related services.
To achieve this set of objectives, the fair organizer has to put special emphasis on the following:
acquisition of exhibitors and visitors;
high quality of services provided to exhibitors and visitors;
constant development of infrastructure;
regular communications with exhibitors and the press;
relevant information to be provided to exhibitors, visitors, and the press.

2.2. Defining the Exhibition Subject
There are many ways to find a subject for a new exhibition.
The easiest way is to take out a part of an existing exhibition and develop it into an independent event.
Another option is to discuss with a trade association to create a fair for its related business sector.
More difficult is the definition of a fair subject based on market research.

2.3. Undertaking a Market Research
Once the subject of a fair for a specific business sector has been defined, it is important to find out if the number of possible participating exhibitors will be high enough to guarantee a significant representation of this business sector. This research should be based on regional, national, and international investigations.
It is also recommended to make a listing of national and international trade associations and organizations connected to the given business sector, in order to find out which one could become an actively supporting partner.
Market researches are also necessary to better know the needs and wishes of the possible exhibitors and visitors, and to be informed about the latest developments of the fair business in order to integrate these developments into the fair concept.

2.4. Developing the Exhibition Concept
It is highly recommendable to develop the concept of a new fair/exhibition in co-operation with a supporting partner of the trade community concerned by the fair, because it has got appropriate knowledge on the chosen subject.
Developing a fair concept is related to the identification of:
the associated product groups and sub-topics, in order to attract the right targets (exhibitors, visitors) and differentiate the fair from possible competitive events of the same branch;
the frequency of the event (every year, every two years, twice a year…), depending on the frequency of the innovations of the developed products/services (this varies from branch to branch). If the frequency is too long (every three years for instance), it might happen that a competitive fair fills the gap;
the date and duration of the event;
the location of the event;
the target groups of exhibitors and visitors;
possible meetings to be linked to the event;
the terms and conditions for exhibiting (opening hours, set-up and dismantling times, terms of payment, general information on security, liability, insurance, cancellation, etc).

2.5. Attracting Exhibitors and Visitors
According to the concept of the fair/exhibition and the defined product groups, the acquisition of exhibitors can start with the full range of instruments of the marketing-mix (product/offer, price/conditions, distribution, communication).
Attracting visitors starts long before the fair. As a first step, the organizer can communicate on general information about the fair (name, subject, city and venue, dates and opening hours, entrance fees, linked meetings and other complementary programmes). Later, when a significant number of exhibitors have signed their participation contracts, information about them can be added.
The organizer can provide the exhibitors with necessary advertising and promotion materials to be distributed to their own customers they would like to welcome on their stand.
Another important activity for exhibitors' and visitors' acquisition is the communication and PR campaign towards the press.

2.6. Analysing the Exhibition Results
At the end of a fair/exhibition, visitors' and exhibitors' opinion polls should be carried out to evaluate the success of the event. It is indeed of the utmost importance for the fair organizer to assess the success of the fair by analyzing if the set objectives have been reached. If some of the objectives have not been reached, it is important to impartially analyze the reasons and to develop a strategy to avoid replicating these mistakes for the next event.
The quantitative criteria for defining the success of a fair are based on:
the revenue;
the rented area;
the amount of sold tickets;
the amount of sold catalogues;
the revenues generated from services;
the number of exhibitors;
the number of visitors. The qualitative criteria for defining the success of a fair are based on:
the types of exhibitors;
the types of visitors
the media response to the fair;
the "climate" or ambiance felt during the fair.
The types of visitors can be known and analyzed via opinion polls carried out during face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of visitors at the fair. These visitors' opinion polls should take into account the following criteria:
the origin of the visitors (international, national, regional);
their position in their companies;
the business sector they represent;
the duration of their visit;
the frequency of their visits to this fair or to other fairs of the same kind.
These visitors' information are usually published by the organizer, as it is a good way to convince exhibitors of the quality of the event.
Besides visitors' analyses, it is also important for the fair organizer to survey the exhibitors´ opinions, wishes and feelings about the event, through interviews with a few selected people. The results can be used to improve the fair concept, provide better services and enhance the relationships with the exhibitors. They can also be communicated to the press.

2.7. Calculating the Exhibition Profitability
The Contribution Margin calculation is a short-term controlling instrument, which suits well for calculating the profitability of a trade fair/exhibition. It clearly separates variable costs (which can be influenced on a short-term basis) from fixed costs (which can not be influenced on a short-term basis).
The advantages of the Contribution Margin calculation are as follows:
The evaluation of variable costs is the basis for the internal allocation of costs per task;
Strict separation of variable and fixed costs enables a clear allocation of costs per task;
It facilitates the management by objectives, because a cost is allocated to each task. Costs can be better planned, analysed, and controlled;
When calculating the profitability of a fair, the general expenses and overheads of the organizing company must be taken into consideration.
The Contribution Margin calculation answers the needs of different hierarchy levels:
For the project manager of the fair, the relevant controlling instrument is the Contribution Margin 1, which is calculated from the fair revenues - (minus) the fixed and variable costs directly related to the fair;
For the head of the Division, the relevant controlling instrument is the Contribution Margin 2, which is calculated as the Contribution Margin 1 including the fixed costs of the Division;
For the Executive Board, the relevant controlling instrument is the Contribution Margin 3, which is calculated as the Contribution Margin 2 including the company-related fixed costs. The Contribution Margin 3 finally gives a response on the profit or loss of a fair.
The Return On Investment (ROI) is the product of two indices ("Turnover Profitability" and "Capital Turnover"), and describes the annual profitability of the invested capital:
the "Turnover Profitability" analyzes the profit in relation to the turnover.
the "Capital Turnover" analyzes the turnover in relation to the invested capital.
The "Payback Period" is the necessary time to gain back the capital invested into a fair. The Payback Period should not exceed three years.
In many companies, the claimed minimum profitability is between 10% and 20%.

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This article is The part 1 : Background and Fundamentals of the basic knowledge of Exhibition, where it's very useful for beginner, event organizer, or everyone that interested about exhibition industry. Here the complete article :

1. Background and Fundamentals

1.1. Historical Development of Fairs & Exhibitions
1.1.1. Ancient Times
1.1.2. Middle Ages
1.1.3. Industrial Revolution
1.1.4. Current Times

1.2. Definitions and Types of Fairs & Exhibitions

1.2.1. Trade Fairs vs. Exhibitions
1.2.2. International, National, and Regional Fairs & Exhibitions
1.2.3. Types of Fairs & Exhibitions

1.3. The Product "Fair/Exhibition"

1.3.1. The Exhibition Ground or "Hardware"
1.3.2. The Event and its Related Services or "Software"
1.3.3. Types of Fair Organizers

1.4. The Marketing Functions of Fairs & Exhibitions
1.4.1. Basic Functions
1.4.2. Promoting, Launching, and Selling
1.4.3. Assessing, Learning, and Interacting
1.4.4. Return On Investment

1.5. Fairs & Exhibitions as an Important Factor for Economic Development


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1.1. Historical Development of Fairs & Exhibitions

1.1.1. Ancient Times

The historical traditions of trade go back to Ancient Egypt, the Greek Civilization and the Roman Empire, when journeying traders met local producers in market places and bazaars.
The Romans began to host fairs from itinerant locations to permanent places, thus developing a kind of "Fair Industry". In the Bible, a fair taking place in the town of Zor (now part of Lebanon) is mentioned in the Old Testament ("Ezekiel", Chapter 27). Herod King of Judea (37-4 B.C.) was the first to build a permanent fair centre (3,200 m2) with a wall around it, located in the town of Botana, and where archaeologists found evidence (coins mainly) indicating that visitors of this fair centre came from Syria, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Spain and France.

1.1.2. Middle Ages
The term "fair", which was only used for the first time in the Middle Ages, comes from the Latin word "feria", meaning a religious festival, usually taking place near a convent or a church. The same sense is to be found in the term currently used in German - "Messe", which derives from the Latin term "Missa", or religious service, at which the priest, on pronouncing the final words "ite, Missa est", declared the religious service at an end, thus giving the sign for the opening of the market, usually held in the church square. The first fair of this kind was the "Foire de Saint Denis" near Paris, founded by King Dagobert in 629, and which by 710 was already attracting more than 700 merchants.
The first fair which had not only cash-and-carry products, but also production means, was the Leipzig fair (Germany) held in year 1165.
Records found in the archives of the city of Utrecht (The Netherlands) also indicate that Bishop Godebald gave the city a charter in 1127, which included the permit to organize "fairs" outside of the town ramparts. At that time, the city of Utrecht already organized 4 fairs annually.

1.1.3. Industrial Revolution
The process of industrialization, which began in the 18th century, required new sales and distribution channels, thus affecting the trade fair business.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, fairs indeed evolved from sites for direct sales to sites displaying a broad range of available goods: only samples of much more diverse product ranges were exhibited. These fairs were known as Sample Fairs (from the German "Mustermesse"), initiated for the first time by the Leipzig Fair. These sample fairs, with a wide range of investment and consumer goods, dominated the fair scene in Europe up to the middle of the 20th century.
In addition, at the end of the 19th century, and in the early decades of the 20th century, numerous exhibitions of national significance were organized, mostly dedicated to a specific theme, for example electricity, health or mechanical engineering, and primarily aimed at the general public.

1.1.4. Current Times

After the Second World War, the fair business started following the trend of rising specialization of the economy. A large amount of specialized fairs, and consequently a broader diversity of fair locations, arose.
Despite the emergence of high-speed, electronic communications methods during the 20th century, fairs today - as temporary marketplaces - continue to rank as one of the most dynamic and effective sales and marketing tools in existence. Fairs, as a complex mixture of information, communication and entertainment, are truly the only marketing communications media allowing the full exploitation of all five senses in an environment of face-to-face interaction.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the fair business is characterised by a continuously growing supply of fairs and exhibitions: fair organizers enlarge their field of activities on a worldwide level, while being engaged in international co operations.

1.2. Definitions and Types of Fairs & Exhibitions
1.2.1. Trade Fairs vs. Exhibitions
There are many understandings and definitions of trade fairs and exhibitions. However, the following are generally and widely admitted.
Trade fairs are market events of a specific duration, held at intervals, at which a large number of companies present the main product range of one or more industry sectors and mainly sell it on the basis of samples. Trade Fairs predominantly attract trade and business visitors.
Exhibitions are market events of a specific duration, held at intervals, at which a large number of companies present a representative product range of one or more industry sectors and sell it or provide information about it for the purposes of sales promotion. Exhibitions predominantly attract the general public.

1.2.2. International, National, and Regional Fairs & Exhibitions

UFI has established the following criteria for defining the internationality of a trade fair/exhibition.
To be recognized as an international trade fair/exhibition, the number of participating foreign exhibitors must represent at least 10% of the total number of exhibitors, or the number of foreign visitors must represent at least 5% of the total number of visitors.
Non-international trade fairs/exhibitions can be classified as national (i.e. visitors coming from areas extending beyond a given region) or regional (i.e. visitors coming from a specific province or county).

1.2.3. Types of Fairs & Exhibitions
Trade fairs/exhibitions of capital goods display machinery and related services needed in the manufacturing industry.
Trade fairs/exhibitions of consumer goods display products and services dedicated to the public and end-consumers.
A specialized trade fair/exhibition denotes a thematically concentrated fair for trade and business visitors.
A multi-branch trade fair/exhibition displays offers of more than one business sector.
A general trade fair/exhibition displays a mix of all areas of life.
A corporate exhibition displays the products or services of only one manufacturer, one wholesale dealer or one purchasing pool.
With the growth of Internet, virtual fairs have been recently developed, allowing permanent displays of products and services online, but they do not (and will never) replace physical fairs.




1.3. The Product "Fair/Exhibition"


1.3.1. The Exhibition Ground or "Hardware"
Is considered as "hardware" all what is related to the exhibition ground, including halls and open-air areas.
The exhibition halls have to provide all necessary supply sources for electricity, water, gas, and communication connections (telephone, ISDN, Internet), as well as clear and unambiguous signage system. It is generally admitted that one-storey halls are more convenient for exhibiting than multi-storey halls.
Infrastructures like restaurants, parking areas (separated between exhibitors and visitors), toilets, and entrance areas are integral parts of an exhibition ground.
As more and more meetings and congresses are held beside fairs & exhibitions, appropriate room facilities are also being part of the hardware.

1.3.2. The Event and its Related Services or "Software"
Is considered as "software" all what is related to the trade fair/exhibition itself and the related services provided to exhibitors and visitors (stand construction services, technical services, freight forwarding, catering, security, insurance, cleaning, hostess services, medical assistance, etc).
Are also considered as "software", the related services provided by the city (hotel accommodation, entertainment and leisure, cultural offers - museums, theatres, opera, concerts -, restaurants and bars, shops and department stores, etc).

1.3.3. Types of Fair Organizers
Independent organizers of fairs/exhibitions rent the appropriate exhibition space to a fairground owner for hosting their events.
Some not-for-profit federations or associations might organize their own fairs in a joint venture with private fair companies.
In many cases, fairground owners can also be exhibition organizers. Usually, the city is the owner of the fairground.
Nowadays, traditional and long-experienced European fair companies are starting joint ventures with foreign fair organizations located in regions like the Middle East or the Asia/Pacific. For example, German fair organizers are exporting their fairs to these areas, or they take part in joint ventures regarding the construction of new exhibition centres (such as the cooperation between Shanghai and Düsseldorf/Munich/Hanover).




1.4. The Marketing Functions of Fairs & Exhibitions

1.4.1. Basic Functions

The basic functions of every fair or exhibition is to join supply and demand, provide information, and show technical trends and developments, all in one time and in one place, using face-to-face communication.
Fairs and exhibitions are a unique opportunity for achieving trade objectives, because they are the most efficient way to reach a complete market audience and do business all in one shot.
Fairs and exhibitions are also an indicator of economic and market trends, because they reflect market procedures, types and scopes of market changes, as well as directions and speed of future developments. Fairs & exhibitions are more than just a marketing tool, they are an entire market place.
The function of fairs to serve as a place for personal contacts and face-to-face communication will remain of fundamental importance in the times of increasing use of telecommunication means, new media, and Internet.

1.4.2. Promoting, Launching, and Selling

Fairs and exhibitions are the right pace to achieve fundamentals trade objectives, as they give the opportunity to:
Win new customers and collect high quality leads,
Entertain existing and loyal customers,
Renew contacts with past customers,
Launch new products or services,
Show and promote full range of products or services,
Accelerate the selling process, and generate sales,
Build and increase company and brand image,
Consolidate public relations,
Generate media interest.
The major surveys carried out on this issue prove that fairs and exhibitions are more effective than any other tools to achieve all these goals at once. (graphs)


1.4.3. Assessing, Learning, and Interacting


1.4.4. Return On Investment

Fairs and Exhibitions generate a high Return On Investment, because the invested amounts of time and money will be greatly refunded. In addition, costs spent in the selling process are worth more when backed by fairs and exhibitions
CEIR study has shown that exhibition leads cost 56% less to close than field sales calls. (graphs)



1.5. Fairs & Exhibitions as an Important Factor for Economic Development


Beside the expenses related to the participation in a fair itself, both exhibitors and visitors spend large amount of money during a fair for accommodation, restaurants, transportation, entertainment and other indirect services. These expenses do not only increase the profits of the local businesses, but they also have positive effects on local employment while increasing tax revenues.
Studies have shown that half of the exhibitors' expenses remain in the exhibition city or its surroundings, and that a visitor spends between 200 and 350 US$ per day in the city. It is also estimated that a fair brings six times the organizer's revenue into the city/region. This effect is called "indirect profitability".
In addition, fairs and exhibitions serve as a stimulus for the national industries and as a means for improving the technological know-how and equipment, as well as enhancing the import/export activities, especially for the less developed countries.
Fairs and exhibitions are the most cost-effective way to be directly in the heart of a business sector, because apart from doing business, they enable to:
Learn more about the clients' and prospects' expectations,
Get immediate feedback on product range and corporate image,
Build and enlarge prospects' database,
Research the market and competition, and assess market potentials,
Keep up-to-date with innovations and new technologies,
Maintain a presence in the marketplace,
Locate possible agents and distributors,
Initiate cooperation, alliances, and joint ventures,
Recruit new staff.
In terms of market knowledge and corporate positioning, statistics show that fairs and exhibitions fulfil these main expectations all in one site. (graphs)

Source : http://www.ufinet.org/pages/thetradefairsector/basicknowledge.asp

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If you are organising an exhibition, event or even exhibiting your own stands display at an event, you will want to ensure that people are aware of your presence, ahead of time. Making your presence known at an exhibition ahead of time can help to drive interest and visitor numbers. So what can you do? One idea is to submit an electronic press release online to one of the many websites who now specialise in electronic press releases. Before submitting the press release though, you need to know how to write one. Below are 8 tips to help you write the online press release to promote your exhibition or exhibition stand.

1. Ensure that you give clear information about the exhibition in the first paragraph. This can be expanded upon in later paragraphs in the article. This first paragraph though is crucial and will also enable you to make clear who the target audience are, i.e. the people you are looking to attract to your exhibition.

2. Make sure you give clear information about where and when the exhibition is and also if possible, details on how to get to the venue. If the press releases is about one exhibition stand only then be sure to give details on how to find your stand in the exhibition, i.e. stand number and aisle number.

3. Using a bulleted list can be a very good way to break points down and to make information clear.

4. Ensure that you use your keywords in the title of the press releases so that it attracts the right people.

5. Do not try and over-complicate the press release with over-complicated words, unless needed. Keep the electronic press release simple.

6. Ensure that you add one or two links to your website, in the press release. Most electronic press release sites allow you to add in a few links. The link/s will benefit your site in terms of search engine optimisation, in addition to giving you the chance to offer the reader some more genuinely useful information about your exhibition or exhibition stand.

7. Do not write your press release the same way you would a normal article. A press release should offer definite news i.e. a definite piece of information.

8. Do not make the press release too long. Press releases can be quite short, i.e. they do not need to more than 400 words unless you have specific things you need to say.

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Ever been to a big trade show that has been categorized as popular and successful by the critics in the industry? I bet if you have been to one, then you will understand the fact why tradeshow display is one of the major reasons for a trade show to be magnanimous as far as sales and trophies are concerned.
Trade show exhibits are usually a huge issue that plagues the store owners and the salespeople. They have such a proportionate and huge impact on the conversion of prospective consumers into buyers that they simply cannot be undermined or undervalued in any way. This is where cheap trade show displays are to be denounced if the quality is proportionate to the price because used trade show displays or their cheaper counterparts can be devastating to the sales graph of the store in a trade show.
Nowadays many tradeshow displays are available for the store owner to choose from. They range from the traditional tabletop displays to the new order plastic displays. Usually display rental objects are available at usual nearby stores as well as online portals all over the net.
More popular of these tradeshow display items are the exhibition systems that are electronically automated, or have audio visual effects to allure consumers. Trade show furniture that specializes in convention exhibits is also widely available.
Marketing displays and outdoor banner displays are two entities that can be combined to produce a magical effect on the consumers. The former can be utilized better with the help of a preliminary bout of consumer entrapment through the outdoor banner displays to engage the consumers prima facie. Tradeshow display panels and kiosk displays are a good way to summarize the product's benefits to the consumers, who are usually pressed for time. A short introduction to the prospective consumers who pass by can initiate interest in them and hence convert it into actual sales.
Exhibition furniture can be varied as well. Portable trade show displays such as the traditional nomadic displays plays a great role in commandeering the sales graph to ascend vertically. Also, they may come in handy in case of a quick substitution of place or a variation in the shape or area of the conducting arena.
After all, in a trade show, the basic highlight is supposed be the greater capability of acquiring consumers for your showcased product. This advantage may not be available to you in the complexes outside a trade show. This also emphasizes the importance of trade show displays in propping your sales charts up. Therefore, if you want to actually gain from your stint at a trade show, have your trade show displays on the go every second you are present there.

About the Author
Carl Formby owns and operates http://www.businesstradeshowequipment.com/, a website dedicated to Trade Show Equipment and Retractable Banner Stands

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You want to explore your business in China, the giant developing country?
Lets take a look at the magical power of Canton Fair.
The Canton Fair (China Import and Export Fair) is Chinas LARGEST trade fair of the highest level, of the most complete varieties and of the largest attendance and business turnover.

The NEWEST information of Canton Fair will probably get you more prepared for the Chinese trade.
The 104th Canton Fair will be arranged in 3 phases instead of 2, from 15 October to 6 November, 2008. Each phase will last 5 days instead of 6 with 2 intervals for 4 days each. All three phases will be held in the Pazhou Complex, while Liuhua Complex will no longer be used.


Exhibition Sections:


Phase 1: 15th -19th, October, 2008


Categories: Large Machinery and Equipment, Small Machinery, Bicycles, Motorcycles, Vehicle Spare Parts, Chemical Products, Hardware, Tools, Vehicles (Outdoor), Construction Machinery (Outdoor), Household Electrical Appliances, Consumer Electronics, Electronic and Electrical Products, Computer and Communication Products, Lighting Equipment, Building and Decorative Materials, Sanitary and Bathroom Equipment, International Pavilion.
Interval from October 20 to 23


Phase 2: 24th -28th, October, 2008


Categories: Kitchenware & Tableware; General Ceramics; Art Ceramics; Home Decorations; Glass Artware; Furniture; Weaving, Rattan & Iron Arts; Gardening Products; Stone & Iron Products (Outdoor); Household Items; Personal Care Products; Toiletries; Clocks, Watches & Optical Instruments; Toys, Gifts & Premiums; Festival Products.
Second interval from October 29 to November 1


Phase 3: 2nd -6th, November, 2008


Categories: Men and womens Clothes; Kids wear; Underwear; Spots and Casual Wear; Furs, Leather, Downs & Related Products; Fashion Accessories and Fittings; Home Textiles; Textile Raw Materials & Fabrics; Carpets & Tapestries; Food; Native Produce; Medicines and Health Products; Medical Devices, Disposables and Dressings; Sports, Travel and Recreation Products; Office Supplies; Shoes; Cases and Bags.


The Canton Fair has achieved great success after splitting into 2 phases since its 91st session in 2002. In the recent 6 years, the Canton Fair has developed better and better and enjoyed high reputation among the exhibitors and buyers. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China, the research and investigation of the reform proposal has lasted for over 1 year and collected suggestions from all relevant sides, especially exhibitors and buyers through various means such as survey, seminar, on-site interview, and email. The exhibitors and buyers generally support the Canton Fairs reform for 1 session in 3 phases.


Now, PLAN your China Business Trip!


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