If you're organising a trade show, conference or exhibition, your main concern is to ensure everything goes smoothly and the event is considered a success. Both exhibitors and attendees - whether they are individual consumers or business representatives - need to go away satisfied with the experience, knowing they have been properly catered for. So long as you achieve this, they will be happy to return again next year.

One of the first things you need to get right is the venue. Choosing specialist conferencing/exhibition facilities in a central location, close to strong transport links, is a no-brainer. You want exhibitors and other attendees to arrive with ease and be in comfort for the whole day. This means selecting a room or rooms with sufficient space and ensuring you don't go over capacity. If everyone feels cramped and crowded, this will impact on their experience.

Another key issue to consider is staffing. You've got to hire enough people to help with the setting up and dismantling processes, and also on-the-floor management on the day. If an exhibitor or customer experiences a problem, they need to know they can find a member of staff immediately. Your employees should be briefed to help out however they can, whether this involves carrying luggage and equipment, assisting in the catering area, or helping to set up marketing stands.

Another important duty you can't afford to neglect is the provision of equipment to each individual stand. Are there enough power sockets, desks and chairs at each stand or booth? Is there sufficient access? And is the level of lighting appropriate? These issues should have been ironed out during the planning stages, but if you notice any omissions when setting up, deal with them quickly. Otherwise you risk upsetting the exhibitor.

Catering is another issue to consider. If you're organising a trade show or exhibition, will you provide complementary refreshments for the attendees? This can be an effective gesture of goodwill which improves everyone's experience of the day, but it comes down to budget. At the very least, you need to make sure food and drink is available throughout the day in the cafeteria - ideally at affordable prices.

One thing you can't afford to forget - from a legal perspective - is to conduct a risk assessment. What are the potential dangers when running a trade show or exhibition, and what have you done to minimise the risks? If you fail to carry out this step, you could find yourself in trouble should something go wrong. Ensure you have first aiders on hand throughout the day, or even hired medical professionals if you are organising a large event and expecting significant numbers of people.