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Kim Rowley & Nate Meyer at FMTC Meet Market Booth

It takes a well-designed plan to set up a successful business expo. You must first put together a team of people who can get things done. Determine which venue to use for the expo, assess your venues space, give the vendors a floor plan to choose a space, define the workshop topics and who the keynote speaker would be, make sure that your company’s displays are visible in various parts of the venue and if any other entertainment, i.e., musical, entertaining workshops will be hosted.

The Planning Phase

Negotiations

Now it’s time to invite the big dogs. Whether you’re hosting a small business expo or inviting Fortune 500, you must invite vendors. Let the vendors know that participating in an exposition or exhibits of their business’ products and services can be rewarding by bringing in same-day business, and the notoriety and name recognition that every business deserves.

Plan your event early but always be ready to adapt. Planning ahead allows you and other companies to have time to reserve space and schedule the event on their calendars. Six months to a year is plenty of time.
As a host, be sure to get as many paid reservations as possible. When a company pays for their reserved space, they will most likely show for the event.

An expo should be entertaining as well as informative. Encourage vendors to be creative with their presentations.

Assess your available space and invite as many businesses as can accommodate the space. Create a reserve list, and as a business declines; use your reserve list to invite another business.

As you determine spaces for your vendors, be sure to recover the costs of renting the venue and allow them a copy of the floor plan to select their spots on a first-come first serve basis.

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Moving Forward

Workshops, Workshops, Workshops, Keynote

It is important for the vendors to get more out of this event than just displaying or demonstrating their product. They need ideas. Ideas and ways to grow their business, to enhance the products and services that they already provide, ways to become a household name and be at the top of the list when customers think of that type of product or service needed. You must host informative workshops that promote networking, sales and ways to grow your business. A dynamic keynote speaker with business acumen and success would be ideal for vendors who participate in the event.

Advertising

Advertise well for this event using resources such as the internet, signs, flyers, brochures, radio and television to promote your event. Speak with a talented design company about doing long vinyl banners for help with your advertising.