It only seems like yesterday when you signed your business up for CeBIT Australia 2017.Or it literally may have been yesterday. Either way, time has flown and now you’ve realised that ‘holy guacamole it’s come up faster than Usain Bolt round a 200 metre bend!’ Before you go into panic mode, take a deep breath. All's not lost. The good news is even though CeBIT Australia is just three months away, you still have time to create an excellent showing.
So what can you do in the time remaining?
1. Take stock
When feeling rushed or panicked, a common feeling is to throw money at a problem until it goes away. And like most things that stem from anxiety, that feeling is counter-intuitive to what you’re trying to achieve: namely to create an excellent ROI. Before you get started, set a budget, so that panic doesn’t win. Then, establish what assets you’ve already got that can be used, be it a great video or some existing sales material. These elements won’t just save you money, they can also spark some seriously great ideas. As the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’
2. Do some research
A big part of your booth’s success is knowing who your audience is and how you are going to find them in a sea of exhibitors. Find out who the speakers will be this year, the fellow exhibitors who will be there and the businesses who will be attending. Then you need to establish what you can offer them and how you might be able to tailor your assets to the message that will best attract them. You may also want to reach out to key prospects or customers who will be there, and organise to meet them at your booth at a pre-designated time. This will ensure you get enough of their headspace during the event, and make them feel as though they have been treated personally.
3. Prioritise your tasks
Once you have a sense of your exhibit, you need to make an extensive list of what needs to be done, then prioritise it. A good starting point is to book the travel and accommodation for yourself and any prospects or clients you are hosting if necessary, because the last thing you want is to put in all this effort – only to find that the only room left is hours away from the venue. Diarise and delegate. By breaking tasks up into small steps, the whole process will feel much more manageable.
4. Establish your design
Given that there’s a good chance that elements from your booth will need to be created off your business’s premise, your booth’s design is one of the first things you need to think about. To make a splash, you don’t need to make it big or intricate, in fact if you go overboard, you may run the risk of overwhelming your customer.
Instead pick one element or concept that will draw people into your area effectively (your magnet) and build your entire design around that. Then get the specifications to in-house or agency designers as quickly as possible – and let them grapple with the detail and timelines.
5. Get your giveaways sorted
… and anything else that needs to be created off your business's premises. If you’re trying to keep costs down and are looking to get giveaways manufactured overseas, then organise this first. The longer you leave it, the higher the shipping will be. Same goes for sales materials and design elements for your booth. When choosing your giveaways, try to ensure it is something that your prospect can use and see most days. Generally, decent drink bottles are a winner, as are cool laptop or iPad covers.
6. Make sure your demos are on point
It’s no use going to all the trouble if your demo malfunctions on the day. Use this time, to test, test and test again. Think of all the scenarios in which your tech could go belly up. Make sure that the exhibition has everything you will need for setup (and organise to take spare cables, computers and devices just in case). Make a checklist of everything and everyone that need to be at the exhibition and have yourself and another colleague check it off. It might seem like overkill, but all sorts of things can go wrong in such a hectic time and and it’s much better to be over prepared than to have your booth diminished because you forgot the correct cable.
7. Schedule booth attendance
Make sure someone has a schedule of who will be in the booth at what times. Standing in the booth and speaking to prospects for hours on end can be an exhausting exercise, so make sure you take it in shifts, and give everyone a chance to recharge. Set schedules for manning the booth, drawing in prospects from the floor, attending pre-set meetings and for checking out the competition or other exhibitors. Make sure everyone is briefed in advance of their role and schedules. And don’t forget to leave someone at the office to manage business-as-usual!
8. Prepare for the post-event follow-up
Prior to your event, there is a bit you can do prior to the event to make your business follow-up ready. This ebook has plenty of tips and tricks to make sure that you prioritise your prospects and prepare for your post-event follow-ups like a boss.
You’ve still got plenty of time to prepare and execute a fantastic exhibition booth. The key is being organised, focused and looking at the next task ahead instead of panicking about the whole.
To learn more about sponsoring at CeBIT and how it can be a provide you with a great ROI for your business, you should consider looking into exhibiting at CeBIT Australia 2017 (it’s certainly not too late!)