Top Tips for exhibiting at events and trade shows

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Top Tips for Exhibitors

With the Chamber’s Business Expo coming up in June, we have again been looking at how our exhibitors can make the most of their stands. Exhibiting at shows can be a great way to get your business in front of hundreds of local businesses in just one day and typically at the same cost as an advert in your local newspaper.  It should therefore be a simply way to engage with your customers and build your client base, so here are our tip tips for exhibitors to ensure you see a ROI;

Before the exhibition

It’s worthwhile letting your contacts, clients and potential customers know where and when you will be exhibiting.

  • Include details of the Expo in your newsletter or send a direct email to your database inviting them to attend.
  • Add the Expo details to your email signature and of course utilise social media.
  • Use your Facebook page to promote the event details, show off your stand design and preview your expo offers.
  • Tweet about the event, keep your follows up to date with your preparations and connect with other exhibitors and visitors using the event twitter account or hashtag
  • Continue the social media activity on the day.  Share what’s happening at the event, who you meet and what you learn.  Follow and engage with others who are also talking about the event online, this way you are networking online and gaining new prospects even if you don’t actually meet them on the day itself.

 

Define your key objectives

Consider the competition at your event and identify what aspects of your products and services are unique. Decide what you would like to achieve from your exhibition:

  • Build brand awareness?
  • Promote / demonstrate a specific product or service?
  • Take new orders on the day?
  • Gather leads and network to support future sales and marketing?

 

Visual impact & branding

How do you get your exhibition stand to communicate who you are & what you do, in the time it takes someone to pass at your stand?  Intelligent use of graphics can communicate a powerful message in a single glance.

  • Focus on the benefits of your products or services, keep text to a minimum.
  • Create a focal point on your stand and ensure everything revolves around your overall message & brand concept.
  • Don’t include time sensitive information if you intend to use your materials again.

 

Staff preparation

The preparation and suitability of your company representatives should not be underestimated. ‘People buy from people they know, like & trust’

  • Staff should be people orientated
  • Be knowledgeable about your company and relevant products and services
  • Be enthusiastic and confident
  • Be good listeners
  • Look and act professionally at all times
  • They should be informed of the  key benefits of your products and services vs the competition

Also, make sure you have enough people to cover lunch/comfort breaks and to allow you to make the most of the networking opportunities and business seminars.

 

Company Literature

It is thought about 90% of all literature collected by people at exhibitions or trade shows never makes it back to their office. Design material that is simple and gets your message across effectively.

  • Determine how many brochures/give away items will be required, never run out on the day!
  • For an economical point of view ensure you can also utilise any leftover marketing materials for future events and mail outs.
  • Be innovative; offer them a gift that they can use again or design a competition that showcases your product.  Creative, attractive offers will encourage people to visit your stand and keep them there longer.
  • Don’t miss an opportunity to gather contacts & leads, a classic business card draw or give away is a simple way to do this

 

Post Event

The event doesn’t end when you pack up and go home.

  • Remember to follow up on any leads or contacts
  • Use the event as a PR & marketing opportunity.  Add photos  to your website and social media.
  • Build your social media connections, take a look at the Twitter account and hashtag for the event, interact with the conversations and follow people you met up with.
  • Plan a follow up event.  Use the exhibition as an opportunity to promote a follow up event, a free seminar or showcase for your product.  This is a good way to engage with your ‘leads’ and encourage them to interact with you again.  This gives you the chance to sell your business service again without sending a direct sales message that might result in people instantly branding you as spam.

 

BLOG By Kingston Chamber of Commerce

 

Members Tip:  If you have any comments, questions or useful advice about the above blog, please do comment below…..

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