Our Guide to Exhibiting

Emphasis and Oceanology International

EMPHASIS teamed up with Oceanology International to develop a Guide to Exhibiting to support their first time and experienced exhibitors and event management teams.  We developed a guide to maximise return on investment from exhibiting at this and other technical industry shows.  We’ve adapted this into our Guide to Exhibiting at energy and technology industry trade shows.

This guide has been hand-crafted to support marketing or events managers, sales directors, CEOs and any other key stakeholders involved in your event activities to maximise the opportunities available from exhibiting.

Take a look at our guide and get in touch or call us on +44 (0)1243 290818 if you have questions about your next exhibition or corporate event.


1. Pre-Event Preparation


To ensure you get as much out of the show as possible make sure you sit down & plan with ALL key stakeholders


SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound) are a great way to do this


Are you launching a new product, establishing your services in a new market or do you want to generate a specific number of new sales leads? Whatever your goals, the more defined your objectives are, the better chance you have of achieving them.


You’ve set your objectives, now it’s down to the design. Ensure that the stand you’re building, the products you’re showcasing or the messages you’re delivering support you in achieving these goals.


The exhibition or trade show will have many resources available to exhibitors that are free and often overlooked. These include web exposure, exhibitor profiles online, stand sharers (companies that may be accompanying you on your stand), exhibitor social media or the show press office.


Many of the key energy and maritime exhibitions have demo opportunities available for exhibitors outside of their trade show stand. Be part of the waterside demonstrations or visiting vessels programme to support the displays on your stand with practical, hands-on presentations.


Do you have a great case study or a new product that you’re looking to showcase? Review key deadlines and conference calls for proposals to identify speaker opportunities for your sales or technical teams. Attending conferences also offers additional networking opportunities with international peers that have similar technical challenges and solutions.

“Telling isn’t selling”

 2. Spread the word

Leading up to the show make sure you utilise all of the communication channels that you have at your disposal.


Corporate websites, email signatures, company databases, newsletters, social media groups, digital invitations are all useful platforms to inform everyone that you’re exhibiting at the show or launching a new product.


Most trade shows will have a newsletter, which is issued regularly to event attendees and exhibitors. Have you considered advertising or providing technical content for this? As these often have very large distribution lists it could well be worth considering.


Tell the exhibition team about any events, receptions or press launches you are holding as soon as possible. There may be scope for this to be included in on-site material such as the preview show catalogue and show daily.


Pre-book meetings with key clients at the show.


Keep a meeting timetable so that your events team knows everyones availability and when key meetings are being held.


Ensure your team understands the objectives that have been set, elevator pitches, responsibilities, key clients/customers to target, etc. Most of all remember to instill the message that “telling isn’t selling”. Encourage your staff to open all discussions with lots of questions.


Have you considered methods to raise brand awareness for your company or a product?  There are many sponsorship opportunities available at exhibitions and trade shows both leading up and during the event.

“Face-to-face marketing can have a major impact”

 3. During the show

After months of planning the exhibition week has finally arrived.  Stick to your plan and meeting schedules, keep your team motivated and ensure everyone has regular breaks.  A good first impression is worth its weight in gold, avoid common mistakes like eating on your stand, being on your mobile phone, untidy stands and ensure that everyone who comes by goes away with marketing materials or giveaways so they remember your company.

 4. Post-event activities

You’ve planned, set objectives and trained your staff. At the show, the events team have gained interesting leads as well as really important feedback from attendees. Post-show activities are just as essential as the main event. Make sure your team is briefed to follow up after the show.


Use a badge scanner or even just a simple pen and paper, but make sure you know who has visited you and what they wanted to learn more about.


Leave your press packs here for industry journalists to view. Provide a contact to deal with press enquiries, such as imagery requests.


Book in a time slot with the show photographer or video crew to produce professional imagery and footage of your stand.


When you get back to the office make sure you follow up with all of your leads quickly. Don’t just send an email; mark out time to follow up by phone and in person over the coming weeks. Face-to-face marketing can have a major impact on your business but be sure to make the most of your team’s hard work.


Keep the momentum going by broadcasting press releases announcing business conducted or product launches made at the show. Include post show comments on your website, social media and in newsletters.


Earn additional visibility by releasing quotes for post-show collateral produced by the show team, such as press releases, videos, brochures, etc.