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Putting ourselves out there: What we’ve learnt from exhibiting at events in 2019

The past year saw a flurry of events taking place across London and beyond that were relevant to Klevio. The problem is, as a startup, it’s sometimes tricky to know which events to exhibit at and which ones to give a miss. After all, event planning takes time and you’ve got to make sure the effort expended is worthwhile. Here’s what we learnt along the way.

1 If possible, do a reccy 

The best way to ensure you’ll get value out of an event is by checking it out in advance. If that’s not possible, you can also rely on word of mouth by speaking to industry colleagues to find out about their experience at the event in previous years. Crossing your fingers and hoping your target audience will be in attendance isn’t the most scientific of methods…

2 Prepare for sales reps to go *very* quiet once you’ve booked 

One second your phone won’t stop ringing and then suddenly it goes deathly quiet. Was it something you said? If you’ve already booked a place at the event, then the answer is “yes”. Sales reps are famously great at communication – until the deal’s done, and then they become curiously less keen to speak to you.

3 Secure your spot early 

When it comes to exhibiting at events, it’s all about location, location, location. So as soon as you know you want to attend, make sure you book your stand in order to grab a plum spot and avoid the risk of getting positioned too far away from the action, or even worse next to the toilets. What’s more, you’ll often get a discount for early bookings too.

4 Haggle on price – and perks

You don’t ask, you don’t get. While the sales rep on the phone might insist they can’t reduce the price to exhibit, you’ll often find they discover some wiggle room around things like speaker slots and other features. The best thing to do is scan the opportunities before you speak to them, so you know what might be of interest and are ready with your bargaining chips. 

5 Sometimes it’s better to have more people manning the stand – but not always

“Too many cooks spoil the broth” is usually a reliable truism, but in the case of event exhibiting, there’s no such thing. Of course, you won’t want your stand flooded with colleagues – after all, you don’t want to scare off passersby. But such is the nature of events that there’ll always be something else they can be helping with – even if it’s just grabbing the team lunches. 

6 Have everything you think you’ll need with you – and more

From extension leads to flyers to tools for fixing your stand, it’s best to pack everything you might possibly need, lest you end up having to embark on the ‘walk of shame’ back to the office or local DIY store to pick up emergency essentials. Quite simply, you never know what can go wrong at an event – until it happens. 

7 Give yourself breathing space by setting up well in advance

The days leading up to an event are invariably pretty hectic, and the more prepared you can be the better. If possible, try to ensure your stand is fully up and ready to go at least a few days before kick-off. Also, organisers are usually pretty busy themselves in the days leading up to an event, and won’t always have time to answer questions or deal with last-minute glitches.

8 Re-use collateral whenever possible

It’s costly and time-consuming to keep creating new collateral for events. If your resources are limited, make sure that when possible you reuse collateral from previous events rather than creating it from scratch. That means being diligent with your digital housekeeping by keeping assets safely and electronically stored and backed up.

Are you an event exhibiting veteran? If so, what are your top tips on how to make sure everything goes swimmingly? Drop us a line at hello@klevio.com.

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