Five Tips for Successful Exhibit Planning

October 24, 2023

Mike Montgomery

Mike Montgomery is senior vice president of client services at Skyline Exhibits, building client partnerships, supporting growth and elevating Skyline’s position as the leading provider of custom modular exhibits.

Planning is an essential part of creating an engaging and successful exhibit experience. The process requires attention to detail, time management and clearly defined objectives. If you have felt overwhelmed or unsure where to begin, here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Outline Your Exhibit Strategy and Objectives
Why are you exhibiting at the trade show? What are the reasons you chose a particular trade show? These are essential questions to ask when planning your exhibit. Determining your marketing goals and business objectives is vital to developing a strong exhibit strategy. When investing a significant portion of your marketing budget in a trade show exhibit, you must ensure it delivers on your objectives with measurable results.

Whether your goal is lead generation, client engagement and meetings, product launch or increasing brand awareness, creating an exhibit strategy with clearly defined goals is essential to measure your success. Your objectives determine the attendee journey within the exhibit space, as well as the data and metrics collected and measurement of the results.

2. Determine Your Budget
Planning your exhibit budget requires organization and strategy. Your budget may not allow for everything on your wish list, so it’s important to prioritize and align resources with your objectives. Determine which elements and features will directly contribute to your objectives. Endless new technologies are available, but if they don’t add value to your attendee journey, it’s not worth the investment.

3. Create a Solid Partnership With Your Exhibit Provider
Creating a solid partnership with your exhibit provider increases the success of your exhibit strategy and brings you peace of mind. Here are four important factors to consider when choosing your exhibit partner:

  • Ease of Doing Business: Prioritizes clear communication and efficiently delivers high-quality products and services.
  • Solution-Oriented Strategy: Views your exhibit as a piece of the larger marketing strategy and provides solutions to amplify your brand.
  • Collaborative Process: Invests time in getting to know your brand, messaging and audience to understand your exhibit marketing goals.
  • Expert Services: Manages your exhibit process — from design and fabrication to transportation, installation and dismantle — so you can concentrate on meeting your objectives, connecting with your audience and growing your business.

4. Define Your Expectations
Clear communication and defined expectations are essential to designing an impactful experience that meets your exhibiting goals. Regarding your brand image and messaging, clarity and precision are important. The exhibit introduces your audience to who you are. When designing your exhibit, it’s best to clearly define your brand personality and the key messages to communicate in your exhibit. These fundamentals play into the exhibit design, layout, graphics and activations. 

5. Manage Your Timeline
When it comes to planning your exhibit, a manageable timeline is everything. Sometimes your timeline is not ideal or exactly what you expected, but it’s critical to understand what is feasible within your timeline and work within those parameters. Ask specific questions and create a timeline to guide your team and your exhibit partner. If expectations are shared and clearly understood, it’s easier to adjust and change plans when there are unexpected circumstances.


Partner Voices
For the past 18 years, BlueHive Exhibits has been a steadfast partner for both national and international companies, catering to their trade show and event needs.