Exhibiting at Business Exhibitions and Trade shows is one of the most effective marketing tools available to you. Having a visual presence at an expo will give you the platform to sell to your target audience. Exhibiting is an investment for your business, not only do the events cost your business money but it also takes up resource and time. By following these simple tips, it will help you to get the most out of your experience and generate leads for your business.
Give yourself time to prepare your stand and marketing materials. Ask yourself, what do you want your stand to look like? What services do you want to promote? How do you want your business to be perceived? By answering these questions, you can determine the look of your stand and decide what materials you need to achieve this look. Don’t leave everything to the final hour! You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re throwing flyers and business cards into your bag the morning of the event.
Promote your presence
In the lead up to the show let your connections know about your trade show appearance. Promote your presence through your social media platforms and e-newsletters. Create a buzz around the expo and spread the word about the event. The more businesses through the door – the more likely you are to get a good lead. This rule also applies when you’re at the event, ask the event organiser what the hashtag for the expo is and then actively use it. It’s a great way of seeing who else is at the expo and gives you a platform to make new connections and generate brand awareness.
Plan your day
As soon as you book the exhibitor stand decide which members of your team will be attending the expo. I would suggest a minimum of 3 members of staff, this way you can have 2 people manning the stand and then 1 person who networks with fellow exhibitors and attends the ongoing seminars. It’s also important which members of staff you choose to send to the event, make sure they are confident, approachable and present your brand in the most positive way.
Get to know your neighbours
Whilst having a steady footfall is important to any business expo, ensure that you work the room and network with your fellow exhibitors. You are in a room with 100 + like-minded exhibitors – so make the most of this fantastic opportunity and get networking!
My number one pet hate is trying to have a conversation with somebody that is glued to their phone. As an exhibitor you need to be present and welcoming. Make sure that you are approachable and that visitors feel comfortable walking over to your stand. Keep your mobile phone in your bag, stand up and smile. If you’re slouched in a chair reading your emails, then people will just walk straight past you.
Never leave your stand unattended
Having a deserted stand is a wasted opportunity, whilst we all need a coffee break throughout the day you should never leave your stand unattended. If you have planned your day in advance and you have enough members of staff to cover the event, then there really is no excuse to leave your stand.
After any good business exhibition or trade show you leave the event on a high, feeling that you have lots of potential leads and prospective clients. However, don’t make the mistake of going in to the office the next day and forgetting all about the new leads you have generated, because you’re too busy with your everyday work load. Put everything else on hold and spend the morning following up. Drop them a personal ‘nice to meet you email’, and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you don’t strike whilst the iron is hot then people will forget about you and the money, time and resource you spent on the event will be completely wasted.