While there is a lot to learn about planning a small expo in New England to serve a particular industry, much can be gained from this type of venture. If you work in the same industry, you can gain notoriety, respect, and even establish yourself as a leader if you can create a successful event. If you work outside the industry, you might be able to build a business based on planning and hosting events at conference hall rentals throughout the northeastern region. Before you begin to plan an industry expo, there are a few things that you need to know. The more you can learn about what is required to host an event of this size and scope at a local Milford conference center, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.
Start With a Budget
How much will it cost to plan an industry expo? The cost will depend upon a few things, such as the size of the target audience, which will factor into everything from the venue that you choose to the amount of space on the show floor that is available, and even the ability to host after-expo networking events in the evening. You might want to start small with a group of 100 to 200 attendees before jumping into conference hall rentals that can host thousands. The budget needs to include the cost of renting the venue, any marketing expenses that will be required to promote the event, costs for decorating, security, travel, insurance, and booth set-up, just to name a few.
On the other hand, you should also consider how much money you will be bringing in with booth rental space during the expo, any sponsorship opportunities that will be made available, and any other type of income that you might expect to receive. A well-planned and organized expo can be very successful and bring in lots of participants, sponsors, and attendees. Decide whether you will charge for admission to the event or if you will have an attendee sponsor that covers the cost. Consider how much it will cost “per head” for attendees and factor that into your budget as well. Work closely with the Milford conference center to make sure that there is enough room for all attendees, vendors, and exhibitors, sponsors, and their staff, and also for you and your staff at the event.
Design and Decoration
You want your event to reflect the nature of the industry that you serve, and you want to do it in style. Consider hiring a professional event decorating company that will provide you with everything from carpeting and furniture to decorative pieces and showcases. You will also want to work with a shipping company that can assist with receiving, delivering, and removing your exhibitors’ booths and equipment before, during, and after the event. If you don’t have a lot of experience working to plan an industry expo, you might also want to work with a consultant for the design of the showroom floor. You need to maximize the space to provide enough room for exhibitors to display their products and services while making sure that there is space for all of your attendees to navigate the expo.
Include networking and break areas as well, such as a refreshment stand with coffee, tea, water bottles, and light snacks. Tables and chairs, couches, and charging stations are just some of the things you should include. Work with the venue for things like Wi-Fi and mobile charging stations. The Crystal Room Conference Center has options for mobile charging of up to 150 devices for you, your sponsors, and your guests. Work with the venue, consultants, and decorators to make sure that there is room for everything that you want to provide during the small expo in New England. Make sure that you have all of the venue requirements before hiring any outside vendors or bringing any services into the Milford conference center.
Attract Exhibitors and Sponsors
You will need to find ways to attract exhibitors and sponsors to participate in your event at conference hall rentals. Create a prospectus that highlights all of your plans to date, including the location, amenities, floorplan, expected number of attendees, dates for the event, and any demographics or data that you have collected. Include a list of advantages and benefits for exhibitors and sponsors, outlining why they should support your event. Include pricing information, any additional benefits, such as exhibitor passes for staff, and have a contract ready for signing. Make the basic information available online and try to speak with potential exhibitors and sponsors in-person or on the phone whenever possible.
Promoting the event, sponsors, and exhibitors is an essential part of ensuring that you plan an industry expo that will be successful. Use industry trade magazines, websites, and other publications that will help you to reach out to even more targeted attendees, companies, and potential sponsors. Even if the window has closed for registering to attend this year’s event, make sure that everyone knows that they can pre-register for a future gathering. Make sure you do everything you can to cater to the needs of your sponsors and exhibitors. Even if you charge attendees to go to your small expo in New England, your bread-and-butter still lies with the sponsors and exhibitors who will pay for the bulk of the event.
If you would like to schedule a tour of our Milford conference center or if you are interested in learning more about our meeting room and conference hall rentals, give The Crystal Room Conference Center a call at 508-478-7800. We have a wide range of amenities, ballroom space, and options to help you plan an industry expo for small to mid-size attendee lists. Call today for pricing and details about our well-appointed and recently renovated facility.