Trade shows are exceptional opportunities for businesses and manufacturers to introduce new products and services to their customer base. They also give business insiders the chance to compare industry developments and network with other professionals in their field. Trade shows can be large or small, regional or national, depending on the type of products and businesses concerned. Regardless of size and subject, however, all trade shows have one thing in common – planning.

Size and Location

Preparing for a successful trade show requires months of advance planning, beginning with the choice of location for your event. The first consideration when choosing a suitable venue for your trade show is size. Deciding early on how much exhibit space will be required, and how many guests will be attending, will be your guide to finding a venue with suitable accommodations. Part of the excitement of any trade show is the hustle and bustle of staff and guests, but that excitement can soon turn to discomfort if the event hall is too small to easily accommodate displays, staff and guests. Determining the space requirements of your trade show early on will help you to narrow your venue choices to only those rental halls that meet your size requirements.

The next step in choosing a suitable venue for your event is location. Even regional trade shows will be welcoming many out of town guests, and the venue you choose should be conveniently located to nearby airports. This will make it easier for your guests to make travel arrangements to and from your trade show. The venue should also be centrally located to major hotel chains, so that guests will not have to navigate through an unfamiliar city every morning on the way to your event. Nothing adversely effects the mood of prospective customers and business partners like getting lost in an unfamiliar town. By choosing an event venue that is conveniently located to airports and hotels, you can ensure that guests arrive at your trade show bright eyed and full of enthusiasm.

Venue Accommodations

As you audition possible venues for your trade show, you need to be sure that they can offer more than just space. Visit any prospective venues in person, and take a small tour of the establishment. The success of any business event is in the details, and it is important that you do not overlook the more mundane features of the venue you are considering. Check out the available parking, to be sure that it will meet the needs of your many guests. As you tour the establishment, assure yourself that there are adequate restroom facilities, entrances and exits, and that the venue offers ease of access for any of your guests with disabilities.

Before booking any event space, make sure that they can handle all of your electrical and communication needs. Are there an adequate number of electrical outlets, and are they strategically placed throughout the venue? You want to minimize the use of power cables and extension cords whenever possible, not only for appearance but for safety reasons. The venue should also be able to supply the necessary phone and internet access that you require, including Wi-Fi services.

Staff Requirements

The majority of staff for your trade show will come from your own company, and the companies of participating vendors. However, there are many peripheral services associated with a trade show that will require additional staffing. The venue you choose should be able to provide on-site staff to handle valet parking, security and additional information about the area.

You may also want to consider using the venue’s on premise staff for catering and refreshments. While a trade show is not really the right occasion for a full service menu, the availability of light refreshments will help keep your guests in attendance, and fueled up for the days activities. The venue’s on-site caterers should be able to offer a wide selection of buffet items, as well as coffee, tea and soft drinks.

Planning a trade show takes months of preparation, and that preparation begins with finding the venue that offers all of the accommodations and amenities you need to make your event run smoothly. Following these simple tips will help you decide upon a suitable event space for your trade show, and will put you one step further along the road to success.

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