How to Plan a Trade Show

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Get Started with Your First Trade Show

If you’re considering holding a trade show at some future date, the time to start planning is now. Expo planning is a big undertaking, and the sooner you start making plans, the better. The way you handle the first steps of the process can make or break your show, so it’s important to give them careful attention.

Select a Venue

The first step in event planning is selecting a trade show venue. Select a site that is easy to get to and is within close proximity to restaurants and hotels. Take a tour of a potential venue before booking it, and ask the staff for information on the services they provide, such as catering, security, advertising or audio-visual equipment. Make sure that the location has plenty of space for the number of exhibitors that you hope to bring in.

Design the Layout

Once you know where your expo will be held, start thinking about the best use of the space. Does the site have one large room where all exhibitors will be housed, or will the event floor be broken up into several smaller rooms? Particularly if the space is large, breaking it into visually appealing sections will improve the aesthetic and the feel of your event. Although you could ask exhibitors to bring their own dividers, providing pipe and drape in Las Vegas demonstrates that you are an organizer who will go the extra mile for your vendors. It will also give your event floor a unified feel.

Make a Security Plan

A trade show can draw large crowds, so it is important to have a plan for keeping those people safe and secure. Your venue may provide security personnel, but you might prefer to hire an outside crew that specializes in large event security. In addition to posting security guards, it can be a good idea to enact other security measures, such as providing all staff and presenters an RFID-enabled name badge and requiring all guests to pass through metal detectors. The security step of trade show planning is essential for helping both exhibitors and guests feel safe and relaxed at your event.

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