That’s Show Business!

26/05/2022 14:20:33
After almost two years of empty exhibition halls and online-only events, 2022 arrived with a jam-packed calendar of industry events that has kept the Partners team on their toes.

After a few exciting (and exhausting) attendances at some fantastic recent shows, including MACH and The FIT Show, we’ve had plenty of time to think about everything that goes into making a successful exhibition appearance. If you haven’t made your mind up whether the time is right for your business to get back out there and consider exhibiting in-person again, read on for some of our thoughts.


Exhibitions are like icebergs, there’s far more to them than what meets the eye. What looks like a 5-day event on paper translates into weeks of preparation, planning, travelling, building up and packing away. It’s a big commitment and not one you should agree to lightly.

If you’re looking for a huge instant sales boost you could be disappointed as not everyone who visits your stand will be looking to order immediately. However, when they’re done well, exhibitions are often more about providing an unparallel opportunity to get your business in front of thousands of the right people. You’ll have the chance to make new connections, reconnect with your current customers, and hopefully generate interest that will last for months and yes, lead to that all important sales increase.


The old adage ‘you’ve got to spend money to make money’ was never truer than when planning an exhibition. You’ll need to account for exhibition space and stand design and build before even considering basics like travel and accommodation for your team. Then there are optional add-ons like giveaways.

And be prepared for things to go wrong! We recently spoke to exhibitors at two separate events who had to complete last minute repairs and changes to their stands when things didn’t quite go to plan, incurring unexpected costs.

There isn’t really a way to effectively do exhibitions cheaply, so if you’re thinking of attempting a cut-price show appearance maybe consider redistributing that budget to another project you are able to fully commit to.


One way to ensure your exhibition appearance goes off with a bang is promotion. Pre-show make sure you trail your attendance with social media posts, email footers, e-marketing activity, PR, advertising, and website blogs including what you’ll be showing on your stand, plus appearances in the exhibition’s official literature.

During the exhibition you’ll (hopefully) be very busy but try and assign someone the task every day of updating your social accounts with videos and images from the show, promote any giveaways you’re running and don’t forget to use the official hashtags for maximum engagement from visitors.

Make an impact

Exhibitions are a marathon, not a sprint, and they take just as much endurance! You’ll likely be on your stand for hours and hours at a time, and when you’re not you’ll potentially be exploring the exhibition halls instead. It all equates to a lot of moving around, demonstrating, answering queries… you catch the drift.

You’ll want to stand out from your competitors, so it’s worth putting a little extra thought into ways you can make sure your stand is appealing and memorable. We recently had a client who designed their stand around a large screen with a live feed to their factory in Italy. Exhibition visitors could request to see a certain machine being run in real time and watch the up close footage while also asking the operator relevant questions. It was a popular hit at the show and certainly got attendees talking – particularly as they also handed out free popcorn.

Make sure you maximise the time you have at the show by planning every day down to the minute. Whether that is by running a competition, making appointments to chat to editors or meet up with new suppliers. Many exhibitions also offer seminar programs with knowledgeable speakers which are fantastic not only to attend, but you could also consider signing up for a speaker slot yourself if you’ve got some valuable wisdom to impart.

Get support

Without making ourselves sound too elderly, the Partners team has been promoting, attending, reviewing and planning exhibitions for more than 30 years. We’ve attending events in Europe, including Cologne and Brussels, as well as most of the major UK exhibition centres such as Birmingham’s NEC, London’s ExCeL and Telford’s International Centre. We know what goes into a successful exhibition appearance and the little things you can do to make your business stand out among the crowded aisles.

If you’d like to hear more about the exhibition support we provide,
get in touch today!