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Top Tips – How to avoid problems at events and exhibitions

Always prepare for the unexpected – the best laid plans can go awry. Events and exhibitions offer considerable potential for problems, which can become very embarrassing for organisers and companies.

Just start thinking of what could happen on the day?

Doors jamming, stands falling over, people tripping over objects, seats collapsing, merchandise not arriving, staff not turning up – and that’s just for starters. The potential problems are enormous. Recently watching The Play That Went Wrong and Magic Goes Wrong highlighted just how much potential exists to cause havoc in just a small area – so much so that playwrights have been able to create a series of award winning plays in which nothing goes right on the night.

Merely talking to exhibitors can reveal a catalogue of unexpected problems which can occur at any time. Refrigeration breaking down on a food stand in the middle of an exhibition, underestimating demand and running out of brochures or products. There have even been cases where exhibitors have turned up only to find their stand half finished, due to display materials and banners not having turned up. Just think too of the sheer size of some exhibitions – it is not unusual for visitors (and exhibitors!) to get lost among the long rows of aisles covering numerous halls.

Dashing back to your office to collect supplies doesn’t give a very professional appearance, and if you are based many miles away it is not very practical. Ordering extra supplies to be sent over from your premises can take time – if you are lucky it could be the next day before anything arrives. Then of course, there are all sales and orders that you will have lost in the meantime because nothing was available for visitors.

Worse still are those horrifying times when exhibitors find that staff have not turned up. Traffic delays, illness, rail strikes – anything can delay staff arriving. Or you simply find that your stand is more popular than you anticipated. Great news – but if visitors are left hanging around because you don’t have enough people to deal with them those visitors will quickly lose interest and go elsewhere. The majority of those visitors won’t come back because their attention has been caught elsewhere in the exhibition and other exhibitors have provided the help they wanted.

Also to be borne in mind are the unexpected crises that can occur. It might be personal family crises, or problems at work which only you can deal with. Having to dash back early from an exhibition or event might mean leaving the stand unattended, or without anyone of sufficient business knowledge to be able to cope with visitor requests.

The list can go on an on!

Be Event Ready!

Taking time to prepare for the unexpected is worth while. Creating a folder containing emergency contacts, and checking that you have enough supplies on a regular basis to reduce the risk of running out unexpectedly makes sense.

Equally important is using reputable, experienced companies to organise events, set up stands and provide all the extra event staff you will need. As they are used to this type of project, they can provide advice and recommendations as well as providing the required services. If last minute emergencies and crises do occur – experienced demonstrators, exhibition staff, presenters, meet & greet personnel can cope on their own leaving you valuable time to deal with the unexpected, yet without losing any sales or potential business contacts.

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