Exhibitor Toolkit

Information and advice to help you get the most from your day at SheffEX

We’ve put together this guide to help you to get the best experience out of your day at SheffEX based on feedback from many previous exhibitors at SheffEX. We’ve found that people’s experiences vary and the success of the day is improved according to the planning that they do beforehand.

Many business people attend SheffEX looking for new ideas, products, services and inspiration, but we all know that nobody is obliged to give you business. The most successful exhibitors have put in time and resources to maximise their return on the opportunity.

The least successful exhibitors tend to do no planning, make no investment in the event, allocate no resources beforehand, and then wonder why there aren’t queues of new customers at their stand.

SheffEX features many first time exhibitors and it can be hard to know what to do to get the best out of it. If you have never exhibited before it can be a daunting prospect – we’ll try to demystify it and give you some insider clues.

Create A Stand That Stands Out

Your stand will be your showroom and office for the day and you’ll want to make the maximum impact to attract the most number of prospects.

Always have a couple of dry runs at setting up your stand. Try setting it up at work (or in the spare bedroom) by marking out the size on the floor with masking tape. Make sure that you can comfortably fit everything inside the space and still have some room to chat to visitors. Make sure that you have everything you need packed into a storage container to avoid anything going wrong on the day.

Pull up banner stands are used by almost every exhibit these days as they are fast to erect, inexpensive, easy to transport and store. They vary in width and can have anything printed on them. Consider having one or more (depending on stand size) with your day to day brand with your usual products or services, and one dedicated to SheffEX, maybe with a special offer or current marketing campaign.

Try using free standing leaflet stands, or a small display cabinet or shelving unit. Hover well in front of your stand and invite people in to chat and look at your material.

Some exhibitors have purpose made stands which look fantastic in larger areas and can often incorporate extras like screens, LED displays, lighting and furniture. If you are using a purpose made stand please make sure that you have checked with the SheffEX sales team that your allocated space meets your needs.

Avoid the common mistake of setting up a table and sitting behind it – we can’t stress this strongly enough. This is the most common reasons that exhibitors have a poor experience at SheffEX. Many visitors see the the table as a barrier and they walk past unless they have a very pressing need for what you are offering. If you do need a table we can arrange one for a small charge subject to availability and notice.

Before the Event

Become an Official Sponsor
There are opportunities to become an Official SheffEX Sponsor where we will give you wider exposure in SheffEX marketing or at the event itself.

Action: Contact tony@sheffex.com

Sponsor a SheffEX newsletter
We send our newsletters to over 20,000 individual contacts and we can put your company name at the top of every single one of them, reaching more business contacts across the Sheffield City Region than any other method we know of.

Action: Contact sales@sheffex.com

Banner advertising at the venue
There are a limited number of spaces at the venue to erect pull up banner stands in high traffic areas around the venue. Contact the SheffEX sales team if you’d like to discuss the available options.

Action: Contact sales@sheffex

Issue a press release
You can create extra buzz around your business with a special offer, competition, guest appearance, product launch or other news item at SheffEX. The local and trade press are always looking out for interesting stories so if you can get their attention you could enjoy some extra free publicity. If you need help in crafting an effective message you can speak to HR Media, the PR company that looks after the SheffEX public relations and media enquires.
Send out invitations to contacts
Make sure that you invite your business contacts to visit you at SheffEX this year. It’s a good chance to catch up with people you don’t see often and it could lead to some unexpected sales. Try to arrange a time to meet them on your stand with the promise of a coffee.

Options: Face to face / Email / Twitter / Facebook / Linkedin

Social Media
In the months before SheffEX we run an intensive social media campaign through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and we’re inviting you to engage with SheffEX and the other exhibitors and delegates.

If you are short of time there are a number of ways to partially automate your social media by creating posts using Hootsuite.com or Tweetdeck.com to schedule messages to post automatically. You will still need to create the content but it’s an ideal way to create content in bulk and

You can also enlist the help of the social media experts at AT Social Media who help to manage the SheffEX social media presence. They have the knowhow to create campaigns and build a presence for your business to get noticed online. Ask us for a referral.

Twitter
SheffEX tweets as @SheffieldExpo where we try to namedrop as many exhibitors as possible.

Join in the conversation by telling your followers that you’re exhibiting at SheffEX with messages about your plans, who’s going to be there, what products you’ll have on show, or even arrange to meet current and potential clients at SheffEX. Post links to sheffex.com as well as your own company website or Facebook pages and don’t be afraid to include the Twitter handle of anyone that you want to see your tweets, including @SheffieldExpo. Tweets with images are especially effective at getting your tweets noticed.

Use hashtags like #sheffieldissuper to get you noticed locally and maybe even retweeted by people you’ve never met before.

Update your Twitter profile with a message like See us at the SheffEX expo on 20 June, see sheffex.com for details and free registration

Follow Friday uses the #ff hashtag to suggest interesting Twitter accounts to your followers. Like the name suggests, it happens on a Friday, and it works on the principle of sharing the love and increasing followings.

Facebook
Facebook has become a seriously effective tool for getting your business noticed. If you don’t already have a Facebook Page you should set one up today and start populating it with messages about your business activities. Invite your family and friends to like it as well as your business contacts. You can also like other business pages to get noticed. Messages can be scheduled and like Twitter, images are powerful.

Make sure that you like the SheffEX Facebook page at facebook.com/sheffex and we’ll return the favour.

LinkedIn
Join the SheffEX LinkedIn group at linkedin.com/groups/7465350
Exhibitor Masterclass
We are hosting a special exhibitor only event where experts will take you through some great ideas to help you get the most out of your stand at SheffEX.
Add SheffEX to your company website
Let your website viewers know that you will be at SheffEX. Post updates about your your upcoming stand at SheffEX mentioning the products, services that you will be showing. You can also post a short profile of the people who will be on your stand so potential customers know who they can speak to.

Include your stand number and consider having a promotion to attract your customers to your stand. Any image is better than no images and high quality photography will help you to stand out. If you aren’t handy with a camera you can use a professional photographer such as Footprint Photography, the official SheffEX photographer.

Put the “See us at SheffEX” logo on the website

Leverage your database with Email newsletters
If you aren’t already, now is the time to leverage your existing contacts by sending them an email newsletter to update them with current events, special offers, new products, etc. Include a personal invitation to join you at SheffEX with a link to the registration page asking them to mention you when they register their delegate ticket.

Don’t underestimate the value of your existing database of contacts. Make sure that you’ve sent out an email blast to your entire database to tell them that you’re exhibiting.

You can use your regular email or for a more professional look try using services like the locally based 247emaildata or one of the international giants like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.

Get an email signature
Put the SheffEX banner in your email signature and leverage every message to spread the word that you will be appearing at SheffEX this year. We’ve prepared one for you to download from the SheffEX Exhibitor Toolkit.
Company listing on the SheffEX website
All exhibitors can have a listing on www.sheffex.com at no cost. To get your listing fill in the form at www.sheffex.com/toolkit and then send your company logo and any other images to listing@sheffex.com. Most listings appear on the website in around a week, although this may take a little longer at busy times so please provide your details as early as possible. Listings will be processed once your stand payment is received. Prepare as many references as you need, including;

Company name
Website link
Social media links Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn
Address
Contact(s) names including email / phone
High resolution logo
Company profile
Special offers / competition

Send your news stories for the SheffEX website and Eblast
The SheffEX website has a news section where we post articles about your latest products, services, case studies, staff appointments and other news about your business. All you need to do is send an email to listing@sheffex.com with your article and a one or more high resolution images.
SheffEXtra Networking Events
We’ve partnered with The Met Club to co-host regular business networking events at different venues around the region. At these you’ll meet other entrepreneurs, managers and business owners who are looking to meet new contacts. We’ll give regular updates of dates and venues in the weeks before SheffEX.

On the day of the Event

Timetable

0930 Access for exhibitors
1030 Stand set up to be complete
1100 Doors open to the public
1700 After show networking in the Royal Victoria Cafe Bar.

On arrival Make yourself known to the Sheffex Team at the entrance and you’ll be giving directions to your stand position.

Unloading from 0900
Entrance for loading varies depending on your stand position. You will receive full details around a week before the event including details on how to avoid parking charges.

Parking There are over 200 pay and display parking spaces at the Royal Victoria Hotel but to ensure that delegates have the most convenient experience, if you are parking your vehicle for the day we suggest that you use alternative parking nearby;

  • Q-Park Castlegate, 3 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ
  • NCP Sheffield Blonk Street, Blonk Street, Sheffield, S1 2AB

WiFi Login details will be available from the SheffEX reception.

Power for stands Power is only available to stands which have booked this facility beforehand. Please contact us for further details.

Stand position and layout Stand numbers will be notified to Exhibitors in order of booking in the week before the event. Your space will be marked out on the floor along with the number. Remember that there is no ‘shell scheme’ so you can use every inch of the space allocated, but please be respectful and don’t encroach on your neighbours space. Please ensure that you are fully set up by 11:00 am when doors open.

Exhibitor profile page on the SheffEX website Every exhibitor gets a free profile page at sheffex.com. To claim yours go to sheffex.com/listings.

  • Your preferred name and company / organisation.
  • A description of your business.
  • Your company logo – minimum 1000 pixels wide.
  • URL’s for any of the following; Website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram

Delegate contact details We’re not able to provide contact details due to Data Protection restrictions. However, links to articles that you write for our Exhibitor News section will be included in our promotional emails.

SheffEX graphics

Use these in your email, on your website, social media, or on your letterhead. To get a bespoke version with your stand number and / or company logo for a small charge email listings@sheffex.com with your requirements.

Click the image to open in a new window, then save image to your hard drive.

Exhibitor Listing

Exhibitors can have a listing on the SheffEX website. To get your listing;

  1. Fill in the form on this page.
  2. Send your company logo and any other images to listings@sheffex.com.

Most listings appear on the website in around 4 working days, although this may take a little longer at busy times so please provide your details as early as possible. Listings will not be processed until payment has been received.

Enter your exhibitor listing information