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Exhibitions and similar events

These are mass events (sometimes in the form of a competition), where the participants present at a specific venue and during a specified period: the results of their work, projects, products, and/or services. Events of this type can be open to the general public or limited to a more narrow professional circle of visitors (e.g., a trade show for participants from a specific industry). The intent of the participants depending on the particular brand of event can be: sales, trade and professional contacts, locating financing or co-operation, going after awards (when there is a competitive element).

Exhibitions can be broad profile or, more often, devoted to a predetermined topic. They come under a variety of names. Examples are:

  • exhibitions
  • trade shows
  • (science) fairs
  • poster sessions
  • Internet presentations
  • virtual or on-line trade shows

The common denominator of these events is that the number of participants is large and they compete, first and foremost, for the attention of the public. Second but no less important is that they need to come up with a memorable presentation. In both cases it is important to produce a high level performance and the audience, attracted by a participant, to be provided some handouts to link the participant to.

With the exhibitions the particpants usually pay for a booth or exhibition floor, as well as for the additional services, provided at the venue of the event.

With these events one typically uses video clips, live presentations, promotional handouts – mostly hard copy, but also on recordable media like CDs, DVDs, and/or flash memory. A site on the Internet provides also a possibility to present the work of the participant in detail, though it is of paramount importance with the emerging virtual or on-line shows, where the major presentation and participation media is the World wide web.

Participant materials by media and distribution strategy

The materials, discussed in this section, are the concern of the participants in the event, and not of the organisers. The materials of the organisers are discussed below.

The audio-visual methods to influence the public depend on the size and location of the booth, as well as on the additional services requested by the participant. They include posters to be attached to the walls of the booth, handouts, fully operational or demo models of the processes or products presented, or video projected onto a screen or the wall of the booth. Often exhibitors encourage spectators to register with them, leving contact info and e-mail addresses, in order to receive addtitional information on issues of interest.

Depending on the media the materials, prepared for a workshop, can be:

Type of materialExamplesDistribution
PrintoutsPosters, flyers, brochures, catalogues, business cards, invitationsby hand, by e-mail
е-materialspdf-/text filee-mail, uploading to a web page/site
Multimediaexecutable file(s)e-mail, handing out of CDs/DVDs, uploading to a web page/site
Web pages (site)html files at a web address (URL)uploading a web site and referring to the link for downloading or on-line viewing

General materials of the show

The general promotional meterials are those, prepared by the organisers.

As a rule, these and similar metrials can be conceived and produced early, after the overall parameters like topic, duration, venue, and dates have become known.

Examples of general promotional materials include, e.g.:

  • Promotional posters. These contain artwork, logos of organisers, sponsors, title of the event, dates and venue. Also contact info, deadlines, key participations. Electronic versions can be produced if the distribution strategy commands it.
  • Flyers, containing title, event description, venue, dates, deadlines, contact information.
  • Event folders with pockets, stuffed with promotional materials. Layout contains title, logos, artwork, dates and venue.
  • Promotional objects, like notebooks, pens, pencils, gadgets.
  • Publications in traditional and electronic periodicals, containing title, description, venue, dates, deadlines, contact info.

General organiser-responsibility materials, which are tied to the specific participations, on the other hand, are often not ready until after the expiration of the registration and financial commitment deadlines. Here are a few examples:

  • Program of the event: a leaflet, a brochure, or a poster depending on the size of the event.
  • Map of the exhibition floor: a leaflet, a brochure, or a poster depending on the size of the event, which shows the locations of the individual booths in the exhibition hall.
  • Individual named badges for the registered participants in the event
  • Event catalogue. Often the organisers of the event publish a catalogue of the participants, which may be distributed free of charge among the visitors, who have bought an entry ticket, or, alternatively, can be sold on site. Exhibitioners can buy extended presentation in the exhibition catalogue for themselves.
Promotional materials by the participants

As a rule, the exhibitioners are entirely reponsible for the creation, production and distribution of their own handouts.

  • Promotional posters. These contain artwork, logos of organisers, sponsors and/or company/project, title of the event, dates and venue, contact info. Electronic versions can be produced if the distribution strategy commands it.
  • Flyers, containing title, project description, venue, dates, contact information.
  • Project/company folders with promotional materials. Layout contains title, logos, artwork, dates and venue, contact info.
  • Promotional objects of the porject/company, like notebooks, pens, pencils, gadgets.
  • Publications in traditional and electronic periodicals, containing title, project description, venue, dates, contact company/project info.
E-materials, multimedia, and Internet

All printed materials referenced above can be duplicated as e-materials (e.g., PDF- or text files) to be distributed by e-mail or uploaded to the site of the event or the site of the participant. This is particularly appropriate with the materials, which have not shown up by the expiration of the technology permitted deadlines for inclusion in the event catalogue.

Increasingly more often we see one or more dedicated web pages (e.g., on the site of the company/project) or, more rarely, a dedicated web site.

With the emerging virtual shows the only presentation of the participants is by e-materials and on the site of the virtual show.

Anticipated distribution (print runs)

With the exhibitions the anticipated distribution of the materials (respectively, the anticipated number of visits of the specialised web page/site or the number of downloads of e-materials; print-runs of printed materials) depends on the scale of the event and the expected visiting rate. It can range from a few dozens with the more compact events with restricted access, but more often the numbers (print-runs) are from a few hundred to a thousand.

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