Make the Most of Exhibition Opportunities

Top 7 Tips for Making the Most of Exhibition Opportunities

How do you get your product into the hands of a big customer? For many of us it’s still about exhibiting at the best shows. They are a major investment of money and time so you need to make sure that you will squeeze the greatest value out of the opportunity. Here are our top tips to help you make the most of that exhibition: 

1. Make sure it’s the right show for you.

Be clear about what you want to achieve and do as much research as you can on the best shows in your industry. Ask suppliers and current customers which shows they would expect to see your type of product or service exhibited at. 

Tip: Visit shows yourself if possible to get a feel for the event and who is attending and ask current exhibitors about their experience.

2. Take a team

It’s hard to get the most out of an exhibition when you are there on your own. Plan well in advance for a team or at least one other person that can come along with you. Make sure you brief them thoroughly and rehearse the key messages you want to deliver to the delegates at the exhibition.

Tip: As a rough guide we would advise one person per 500 footfall but really try to have minimum of 2 people at any size of show, for ease of comfort breaks, lunch and chance to walk round the show yourself to network.

3. Get promoting

Promotions need to start well before the event. Is there a broader angle you can attack this with, such as the launch of a new product line that you could send out an email campaign about or post on social media? Could you invite current customers and associates to visit you on the stand to talk business, view products or enter your big prize draw?

Tip: Having a prize draw is a good way to pull in delegates to your stand and gather business cards.

4. Look your best

How do you want people to feel about your business? Whatever that emotion is, for example: luxury, fun or security, make sure that your marketing materials, exhibition display stand and personal presentation reinforce it. A good level of grooming is essential for the whole look too, regardless of who you’re trying to appeal to. Avoid clutter and the temptation to show everything; stay tightly focused on key products.

Tip: Maybe a team uniform is the best approach, casual or formal, name badges, embroidered shirts.

5. A warm welcome

Exhibitions are exhausting but you don’t want that key customer to swing by just at the moment you’re in a huddle grumbling with a colleague. Do your best to stay bright and alert, maintain positive, open body language, keep your head up and smile. Then, when that dream customer finds your stand they will be pleased to see you. Remember, exhibitions are just as tiring for visitors. Offering small snacks or sweets, or even a glass of water is a thoughtful gesture that not only makes people feel better about your business but also encourages them to drop in and hang around.

Tip: Offer them something FREE to brighten up their day, everybody love’s a freebie.

6. Have the collateral

What marketing materials do you need to take to the event? These could include banners, displays, tablecloths, monitors, laptops and more to dress your stand. Include some type of giveaways. Branded promotional merchandise can help people drop by your stand. These include; bags, pens, notepads, keyrings and more. You may also want to include print such as leaflets or information packs and of course plenty of your business cards.

Tip: Having a large bag with your name on it will end up being the delegates choice of bag to walk round with at the exhibition, giving your business great exposure.

7. Follow-up

No, it’s not over! You’re not allowed to collapse in a heap until you’ve done the follow-up. The best time is immediately. Add contacts to your system, fulfil all your promises and, if nothing else, send a personal email thanking people for dropping by. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed to prompt the sale.

Tip: Tag all leads with the event name you met them at, it could be 12 – 24 months before that important enquiry comes back in. Always good to understand where it stemmed from.

Finally review the exhibition and see if it was it worth it? Did you get the return on investment that you set? If not, see point 1 and review!

For more help and advice for the best way to promote your brand at your next exhibition, feel free to give us a call to discuss more.

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