When prepping for your conference, your main focus is on the members. You want to make sure they are happy and getting their money’s worth which is very important. Exhibitors, however, are also paying to attend and exhibit at your event and deserve some love as well.
Anticipate their needs. Exhibitors require a lot of set up prior to the event. Make sure they have anything they might need or a contact they can get it from. Keep in mind this could include electricity outlets, chairs a map of the showroom, a schedule of where members will be and when they will be in the showroom. Instead of putting the pressure on yourself, you can also ask your exhibitors when they sign up questions like,
What technologies will you need the day of?
What kind of information would you like to know about attendees?
What will you be bringing to your booth?
Consider an event app. An event app is useful for both attendees and exhibitors. It allows them access to all of the information they could possibly need about the event while also being able to connect with one another. Some apps even allow for appointment setting between exhibitors and attendees.
Require/encourage exhibitor visitation. If your association requires continuing education credits, offer credits for attending a set number of booths. This benefits both parties and is easy to do. If continuing education is not a component of your organization, offer a different incentive. This could be entering their name into a raffle, discounting membership, or anything else that applies more specifically to your group.
Improving your exhibitor experience will bring in more money for events, instill a good reputation for your association among vendors, and leave attendees feeling happy.