Exhibitor Must-Do's Before the Event: A Checklist for Success

By Sandra Christian on February 27, 2023

Are you and your marketing team ready to become an exhibitor at your next event? Being a successful exhibitor takes a lot of hard work, preparation, and dedication. To make sure you have the best experience possible at your next event, we’ve compiled a list of things to do before the day of the event to ensure everything goes smoothly. Read on for all our tips and tricks for becoming the best exhibitor!

Create a List of Goals: Make a list of goals for the event so that you can measure your success.

Before any large event as a vendor, it’s important to create a clear set of goals. Are you looking to drive more website traffic? Increase your social media followers. Encourage people to purchase your product. Make sure that whatever you plan on doing is well-defined.

You should also determine which goals are most important: What do you want to focus on during the event? Make a list of the activities that will help you achieve those goals and use that list as your guide leading up to and during the event. You should also devise a timeline that allows for ample time for each goal.

Additionally, make sure you take several steps with every goal:

  • Figure out how to track success for every step in the process and what benchmarks will demonstrate success (i.e., website clicks, new followers, conversions from leads into sales).
  • Plan out how much it will cost (if necessary) to achieve each step (consider marketing materials, promotional items, etc.),
  • Outline who needs to do what in order for each goal and step to be achieved
  • Decide beforehand when each step will be completed so it can be reviewed accordingly.

Research the Event: Gather as much information as possible about the event to ensure you and your team is well-prepared.

Before attending any event as an exhibitor, it is important to put in the work to ensure you are as informed as possible. 

Here are some steps you can take for your research:

1. Find out who the organizers of the event are and gain a thorough understanding of their expectations for exhibitors.

2. Understand what kind of crowd will attend the event and observations from previous years if applicable.

3. Research what other exhibitors will be attending and actively scout out upcoming trends within your industry to identify something unique that will set you apart from the competition.

4. If you plan to be on stage - determine what length of time is allowed for your pitch and plan accordingly; is there an allotted space for display? How much time do you have between shows? Define those parameters ahead of time in order to accommodate those needs during the event day.

5. Lastly identify primary contacts that could be useful before, during, and after the event; such contacts could include speakers or other exhibitors which would provide ample opportunity for networking opportunities that could help later down the line when collaborating on future events or promotional materials

Make Connections: Reach out to other exhibitors and attendees before the event to maximize your networking potential.

Before the event, reach out to the other exhibitors that are attending, as well as attendees if possible. Ensure you let them know what kind of products or services you'll offer. There's a good chance that some of these people will be interested and may end up making purchases before the show has even begun. If talking face-to-face is intimidating, follow up with an email or social media message.

You could also think about joining any industry-specific groups on social media - Linkedin is a great platform for professional connections to sow seeds and invite us to visit with you and your team during the upcoming show. This allows you to build relationships before the event and build exposure as well. Additionally, don’t forget to do your research into potential customers that may attend the event and try to find out more information about them before approaching them on the day of the event.

By connecting with others who will be there ahead of time, you can create buzz for your products and services in advance of your arrival at the event. Also, make sure to check out any relevant hashtags—for example, #eventname—to see who else has been tweeting about it and join in on conversations that are taking place online related to it. Being engaged can help draw more attention and traffic from those who are attending virtually by tweeting from your business account or tagging @usernames involved in conversations. This can create a bigger presence than just setting up a table at the event itself!

Prepare Your Pitch: Make sure you have a great pitch prepared for the event.

As an exhibitor, it is important to have a great pitch prepared for the event that you are attending. This is the best way to hook potential customers and start the process of getting them interested in what your business has to offer. It's important to ensure your pitch is tailored specifically for the event, as different customers will have different needs and interests.

Before arriving at an event, take some time to research who will likely be in attendance and create a pitch with them in mind. Identify what key features or products you need to focus on that would be most relevant or intriguing, and use this information as part of your pitch. Additionally, prepare concise answers for common questions that could come up during conversations, such as pricing info or company background. Rehearse your pitch until it rolls off your tongue smoothly– this will be helpful when meeting potential customers!

Investing time in preparing an engaging sales pitch before attending events can help make interactions easier, helping you come across as more confident and knowledgeable about your product or services. Consider roleplaying with your team to get everyone prepared, lowering the nerves, and getting everyone on the same page regarding what to expect at the show. Additionally, having something prepared in advance ensures there are no surprises once you’re at the event– allowing more time to focus on selling! 

Promote Your Business: Take advantage of the event to promote your business.

As an exhibitor, the event is a rare opportunity to get the word out about your product or service to a larger audience, which can be invaluable for the growth and success of your business.

There are several ways you can promote your business at events:

- Promote your business effectively by using signage and banners

- Networking with other exhibitors

- Collecting contact information of interested customers

- Using promotional materials such as coupons or giveaways

- Offering discounts or special pricing

- Setting up an email list or subscription form

- Posting photos from the event on social media and tagging related organizations

By utilizing some of these tactics, you can help create awareness around your business and convert potential leads into loyal customers.

Prepare Your Booth: Make sure you have all the necessary materials and equipment for your booth.

Ensure you have everything necessary to create a pleasant, inviting booth that stands out from the rest. Make sure all materials present a professional image, such as banners, signs, and tables that are aesthetically pleasing and showcase your brand. Have plenty of product samples and other promotional items on hand in order to engage visitors.

You'll also need to make sure you have the right equipment for your event — tables, chairs, display racks — and ask if electricity is available so you can power your electronic devices like laptops or lights if needed. And last but not least, make sure you have enough product on hand for any potential sales — or a backup plan to quickly replenish sold-out items. 

Having a plan in place will save you stress and help lower the costs leading up to, during, and after the event.

Prepare Your Products: Make sure your products are ready to be showcased at the event.

Before you attend the event, make sure that your products are ready. This means organizing them and making sure they look their best. Depending on what type of products you are displaying, you may need to order supplies for demonstrations or props for showcasing as well.

Here are some tips for preparing your products:

Scan your inventory: Before the event, make sure you know what products and supplies you have on hand in order to determine if there are enough items to showcase at the event.

Repackage the product: Repackaging your product is critical to attracting potential buyers with a professional presentation. If applicable, add labels/signage with ingredients and instructions to grab customers’ attention.

Price off each product: Organizing pricing ahead of time is important for selling efficiently at events like trade shows or marketplaces where customers will likely ask how much each item costs. This lessens the repetition for you and your team. Perhaps consider a product folder for the prospect to look over if you sell your products online.

Test each item: Make sure that all items are functioning properly before attendees use them/try them at the event. If necessary, develop a brief tutorial that explains how items can be used so they can test it out more thoroughly.

Add visual elements: Adding visual elements such as brochures or flyers that include images of the product(s) along with step-by-step instructions will be useful during demos or other showcasing activities.

Plan Your Follow-Up Strategy: Decide how you will follow up with attendees after the event.

After the event, you want to follow up with your attendees in order to build relationships and create a lasting partnership. To make sure that you are maximizing your opportunity, it’s important to plan how you will manage the follow-up process.

Your strategy should include deciding which channels you plan on using to stay in touch, what messages you will share, how often you will reach out, and determining the goal for each message or phone call. Also consider if there are specific incentives or additional resources that can help move potential customers further along in their buying decision journey. Additionally, assess if post-event promotions or special offers can be used as an additional incentive for potential customers.

Making sure that you have a well-thought-out and effective follow-up strategy is key for maintaining relationships and growing your customer base post-event. Without this plan in place, it is likely that your contacts and new business prospects may slip away without a trace!


In conclusion, exhibiting at events can be a valuable opportunity for businesses to increase their visibility and reach a larger audience. To make the most of this opportunity, it's important to set clear goals, research the event, make connections, prepare your pitch, promote your business, prepare your booth and products, and plan your follow-up strategy. By following these steps, you can ensure that you and your team are well-prepared and ready to make a positive impression at the event. Remember that exhibiting is not only about selling your product but also about building relationships and networking. With the right preparation and strategy, you can turn event attendees into loyal customers and grow your business.

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