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National Ploughing Championship: Exhibition Checklist

Posted by 53 Degrees Design on 20th Jan 2021

The National Ploughing Championship is an outdoor agricultural show in Ireland which incorporates a ploughing contest held every year in the month of September. Back in 2019 (cancelled in 2020 due to Coronavirus pandemic), the show drew over 1,700 exhibitors showcasing their products, skills and services and had 297,000 visitors.

In 2021, one of the world’s largest outdoor agricultural events is scheduled to return and the National Ploughing Association announced that the event will be opening its gates in Ratheniska, Co. Laois over four days from September 15 to 18. This is the 90th National Ploughing Championship and 2021 will also celebrate the 68th World Ploughing Contest, bringing with it the world's finest ploughers from over 30 countries. 

Despite being cancelled in 2020, the numbers from 2019 alone prove that your brand will benefit from having a presence at the National Ploughing Championship. In this article, we will cover some further information on the event allowing you to set expectations and help make your showcase at the event run seamlessly. 

How to Prepare for an Exhibition

Whether it’s a trade show or exhibition, these events have the potential to be uniquely rewarding and beneficial for businesses across all sectors - assuming everything goes to plan. It’s important to remember that attending these events will be an investment and can’t guarantee success and prosperity, but they will open up the potential for both.

When doing anything in business, planning is the key factor in determining how things will go and being underprepared is guaranteed to seal your fate. Here at 53 Degrees, we have worked with organisations across Ireland on trade show and exhibition displays and even have experience working on showcases for special events such as The National Ploughing Championship.

In light of this, here are our top tips on how you can prepare for any exhibition or upcoming show your business plans on attending:

1. Researching the event

First up, an obvious one but do you completely understand the importance of researching the show and deciding if it makes the most sense for your business? Research the show in detail and look at past exhibitors to find out if showcasing your products or services at events like the National Ploughing Championship is right for you. 

2. Stand Budget

When exhibiting at shows, many businesses worry about the costs involved in creating exhibition stands. Here at 53 Degrees, we have worked with a wide range of clients who have customised exhibition stands for a particular event, purchased modular exhibition stands that can be reused (the most cost-effective option) and even those who have produced pop-up stands for events.

Try to remember when working on your stand budget, you need to give considerations to the size and location of your event, the weather, transportation, accommodation and staff wages, the list goes on!

3. Early Application

To attend the National Ploughing Championships, you must complete and submit an online questionnaire for the organisational team to review. They will then let you know whether you’re eligible to attend or participate at the event.

Once your application for exhibiting at an event has been approved, you then want to think about where exactly you want your stand or exhibit to be located. The location of your exhibit makes a huge difference and applying early will give enough time for the application to be approved and in turn, give more location options. You don’t want to risk your stand being in a spot where footfall is at its lowest.

The quicker you sign up, the more time you will have for researching the past events, looking at the different promotions and competitor line-ups to prepare. 

4. Marketing

Attending events like the National Ploughing Championship is a great opportunity to promote your products and services, let visitors and existing customers know where you are, how long you’ll be there and why they should come to visit you at the event. If you’re working with a marketing agency, let them know your plans for attending and work alongside them to help develop a strategy on how you can drive traffic to your stand over the course of the event. 

5. Practice & Preparation

It’s essential that you practice setting up your stand with your staff, the simple reason for this is that your exhibition will represent the first and in some cases, the only impression hundreds from your target audience will have about your business. The more eye-catching, professional and welcoming the stand is, the better chance you have of reaping the many benefits of attending the show. 

6. Preparing the pitch

One of the most common mistakes businesses make when it comes to attending events is not having a pitch planned and prepared in advance. Before attending the event, define your expectations and what you expect to achieve with the dedicated event team to help put a plan in place for how exactly you intend on achieving the goals. For example, are you going to have special offers for your products or giveaway free gifts.

7. Who will be representing your business at the event?

The final consideration is the most pivotal and as a business, you must give plenty of time and thought into who exactly in your team will be representing your brand at events like The National Ploughing Championships. They will be responsible for making good first impressions on your target audience and want to have those individuals who have a real passion for what it is you do. 

Top Tips for Exhibiting at the National Ploughing Championship & World Ploughing Contest 2021

Planning Process

Ahead of the National Ploughing Championships and World Ploughing Contest for 2021, there are a lot of considerations that need to be given during the planning process. Here at 53 Degrees, we have experience dealing with exhibition stands at the event and have put together some tips on how to plan your stand.

As we previously mentioned, the first step towards exhibiting at this event is going to be completing and submitting an online questionnaire early via the National Ploughing Championship website. The organisational team then reviews it and decides whether you’re eligible to exhibit. Ahead of the application process, take the following into consideration.

  • Ahead of the show, it’s important to set out your objectives of exhibiting at the National Ploughing Championships.
  • Dedicate what space you require to then meet your listed objectives.
  • Who are you hoping to target at the exhibition?
  • How much budget is going to be available for the event.

After the NPC approves your application you will then want to think about your technical details to ensure everything runs as expected. Getting ready for this exhibition can be challenging, here are some expert tips on planning your space at the event:

  • Access your space orientation/shape and square meterage. Confirm your site number with the organisers.
  • Access the location within the overall site, proximity to similar exhibitors/competitors/NPC Headquarters/Entrance and Exit Gates
  • If your exhibition requires structure, identify the type: solid sided marquee, PVC sided marquee, glass-fronted marquee, a frame marquee, exhibition trailer.
  • If using a marquee, how many entrances and emergency exits are required.
  • Identify if you require the services of an exhibition stand contractor and this should be done early, at least 6 months prior to the event.
  • Identify the services required for the structure. 

Electrics & AV Required

The mains supply for your exhibition stand at the National Ploughing Championship can be ordered directly from the show organisers.

  • You are required to hire an electrical contractor to install the above.
  • In the event of a power outage, you will need a back-up generator.
  • Does your stand require any AV equipment such as LED screens, PA, speakers, stage systems, lecterns, mic, mixer desk etc.
  • Emergency exit signs and lighting.
  • Fire extinguishers must be supplied by the exhibitor.

Toilets & Plumbing

Ahead of the event, you will also want to consider the toilet block and plumbing situation.

  • If your exhibition stand requires a sink, water and waste are required within the structure which will need a plumbing contractor to install.
  • Toilet blocks and executive toilet blocks will also require a plumbing contractor.
  • Should you wish to opt for portaloos, no plumbing is required.

Exhibition Internal & External Fit-Out

At this stage of the planning process, you will be giving consideration to what your exhibition will look like and the different requirements such as the following:

  • Are internal walls required? If so what type; Octanorm with Foamex infills, system fascias, Maxima or graphic covered flats
  • Do you require internal rooms for storage, meetings, a canteen and cloakroom for staff as well as a conference or consultation room.
  • Is a frontage entrance structure required on the marquee either in the form of full frontage structure or entrance structure only?
  • Is your site level - if not, will ramps, steps and planters be required at each entrance?
  • Does it incorporate large format art or PVC graphic banners and flags?
  • What flooring is going to be required within the marquee?
  • If your stand has a canteen for employees, you will want to consider a fridge, Burco boiler, kettle, toaster, water fountain, bins and microwave.
  • What furniture is required? Tables, stools, counters, system counters, trestle tables and chairs, benches etc.
  • Queue or barrier systems - are they going to be required on the day?
  • Are you going to need brochure holders and displays like A4 acrylic brochure holders?
  • What type of internal graphics will be necessary - Fascia graphics, wall graphic panels, graphic infill panels, pull-up banners, Nomadic pop-up, counter graphics, hanging banners, decals etc.

Exhibition Days

The following are considerations for exhibition days at the National Ploughing Championship and World Ploughing Contest 2021:

  • What contingency plans are there in place in the event of adverse weather conditions.
  • Has the delivery of any promotional material to your site been considered and after the event, have you set arrangements in place for the removal of this material?
  • How will your staff get access to the site - do you need to supply them with exhibitor passes?
  • Will onsite cleaning be required for each day.
  • Will onsite support be required - electrical, carpentry, plumbing etc.
  • Will COVID-19 protocols be in place during the event and can social distancing be observed within the marquee, will you have to set up dedicated entrances and exits?
  • Identify the keyholder for the duration of the event. 

Why you should exhibit at the National Ploughing Championship & World Ploughing Contest

If you don’t already know, the National Ploughing Championships is Europe’s most prestigious agricultural event and if you attend, it presents you with the opportunity to connect with both potential customers as well as other exhibitors.

Given the establishment of a Ploughing Association in every county in Ireland as well as delegations as far as New Zealand in attendance at the event, it’s evident that the impact your participation in this event can have on your event is a truly powerful one.

The National Ploughing Championships is a prestigious event that is a great opportunity for businesses to increase brand awareness, grow their customer base and expand their business both locally and globally.

If you’re planning to exhibit at The National Ploughing Championship & World Ploughing Contest 2021, why not get in touch with the team at 53 Degrees Design today to find out how we can help with stand design and more. Call us on +353 1 429 2904 or email your query to info@53degrees.ie.