13 Tips for a Successful Exhibition in India

According to IBEF, India’s GDP is estimated to have increased by 7.2 percent in 2017-18 and 7 percent in 2018-19.

The country, as a growing economy, provides great opportunities for international firms who want to gain a foothold in this Asia by addressing the needs of the market. Global companies rely on trade shows and exhibitions to get the pulse of the market and understand the specific needs of the local consumers.

However, pulling off a successful exhibition in India is easier said than done. Several factors come to play while exhibiting in India.

Based on our experience of working with several international brands and helping them with many exhibitions in India, if we were to share some learnings and advice, here is what we would say –

  • Plan Early – Planning is part and parcel of any trade show, and it consists of several things. First up, search for the right exhibition for your industry. Next, set a budget for the exhibition, the stall, and other expenses in between. It is always a good idea to book the booth space in the exhibition well in advance. The earlier you book the space; the more are your chances of getting early bird perks and better location. Moreover, advanced planning will give you ample time to get things moving because things take more time in India.

That apart, plan for the logistics in advance including the travel tickets, hotel bookings, etc.

  • Collaborate with a Local Booth Design Agency – When in Rome, do as Romans do. Ergo, leave all your worries behind by partnering with a local exhibition stand design agency. For this, start your research early, seek expert professionals, check references, and check the agency’s reputation in the market. Having a look at their portfoliowill give you a better idea along with discussing your needs, budget, and time considerations. This is a vital step as the agency will have complete knowhow of the market and can get your work done.

Once you finalize the agency, give them a detailed brief including information about your brand, products/services, your budgets, your objectives of participating in the exhibition, and also your requirements from them. You need to have a detailed conversation with the agency before they get down to designing the booth.

Apart from designing the booth as per your requirements and business objectives, an established exhibition booth design agency can help you with the following –

  • Speed up the process of planning and ordering the show services
    • Handle and manage all the paperwork at the exhibition
    • Manage the shipping and tracking of booth materials
    • Ensure safe storage of the booth materials in warehouses or storage facilities
  • Get the Stand Design Approved – Once the stand designs are finalized, make it a point to get them approved by the trade show organizers. This is because, for example, sometimes riggings may not be allowed in certain venues with special design needs. Or some exhibitions might have stringent specifications for mezzanine booths. You can ask the exhibition stand designers for the sketches or concepts of the trade booth design, which you can then show those to the organizers to get their approval.
  • Get Clarity on Stand Materials and Construction Techniques –Your exhibition partner will have a good idea about which stand materials and construction techniques will work in your favor considering the local market, material availability, weather conditions, and booth design. Trust their advice to zero in the best materials and techniques that can make your design stand out.
  • Get Booth Mock-Ups –Mockups are a must-have to understand how your stand will look on the exhibition floor. Insist your booth design agency to prepare and demonstrate a detailed mock-up that can help you understand how the booth is going to appear on the exhibition floor.
  • Include Elements that Establish your Thought Leadership – Indians are extremely curious, and they like to know about the latest advancements and happenings in the international circuit. Use the exhibition as your opportunity to establish your thought leadership. Also, if this is your objective, communicate the same to your exhibition design partner so that they can design the booth accordingly.
  • Make Space for Giveaways and Sweepstakes- Giveaways and sweepstakes can be great for getting more footfalls to the stall. After all, who doesn’t love some freebies! Moreover, these can help you interact and establish a connection with attendees and increase your brand’s visibility. However, you need to design the stall keeping in mind the amount of space required to store the goodies or conduct the sweepstakes.
  • Be Ready for Short Timeframes for Installation and Dismantle –For many of the exhibitions in India, the stand build-up and dismantling times are extremely short. This can affect the design of your booth because the booth design agency will need to factor in the installation and dismantle time. Do have a conversation with the agency about this beforehand.

If possible, the exhibition booth design agency can assemble parts of the stall in their workshop, take the assembled parts to the trade show, and complete the installation in the given timeframe. The same goes for dismantling. They will have expert staff, who will be able to dismantle the stand in the shortest time.

  • Make Room for Contingencies – On-site conditions in India can be very different as compared to other geographies. Hence, it is important to have backup plans ready. Battling the weather, transportation woes, and managing labor-intensive work can be some of the reasons that things may not go as per the plan. A well-established and experienced exhibition design agency will have the skills, expertise, and resources to manage such contingencies.

Bonus Tips:

  • Get A Native Speaker to Host Product Demonstrations – India is a multi-cultural nation with every region having a different language. Therefore, based on the region of the exhibition, hire a native speaker who can host the product demos and answer the queries of the local public without any hassles.
  • Be Aware of Freeloaders– With freebies at your booth, it could attract attendees who are not genuinely looking forward to learning about your products or services. They might visit your booth just to get some freebies. Make sure that you train your booth staff to handle such attendees.
  • Post-event Follow Up – Don’t leave any stones unturned when it comes to the post-event follow up. In India, WhatsApp is gaining a lot of popularity. It is a great way to nurture leads and connect with the attendees. Make the most of it to reach out to your potential customers. Apart from this, you can also use personalized emails and phone calls.
  • Nurture Personal One-To-One Relationships – Personal one-to-one relationships matter in India. Find out how you can establish the same after the event. Maybe send them souvenirs or customized newsletters that can remind them about your brand/business.

Let’s connect if you are ready to enter one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and want to understand the market through exhibitions and trade shows. Our team of booth design and development experts will be happy to work with you to help you achieve your business objectives.