If you are looking to propel your business the right exhibition can make a huge impact on sales and marketing. Exhibitions are the only sales and marketing medium that provide you with an abundance of pre-qualified visitors for you to interact with face-to-face.
Select the right exhibition
With over 50,000 b2b exhibitions being held each year it is important to select the best exhibition to suit your business needs and importantly that will propel you and your product or service in front of the ideal target audience.
- Focus on global exhibitions offered in your industry sector that are appropriate for your company.
- If your competition is exhibiting it is a good indicator that you should be doing so.
- Check audience demographics
- Depending on what you plan to exhibit consider accessibility
- The time of the year the exhibition is being held and political considerations can also be important factors
Set clear Objectives
Ensure your exhibition is a success by planning your key objectives well in advance. This will provide you with direction and clarity for your marketing strategies including Branding & Graphics, Products, Visuals, Literature, your exhibit, IT support, staffing and importantly your budget.
Your objectives might include:
- Gaining media exposure
- Conduct market research
- Data collation
- Enhance relationships with current customers
- Introduce new products or services
- Increase sales
- Open up new markets for your business
Marketing & Communications
Pre event it is always a good idea to contact those who you would like to see at the show and tell them where your stand is located. The most successful companies at exhibitions understand the benefits in pre show marketing. Some companies mistakenly think that the organiser is solely responsible for getting a quality audience to the event, but smart exhibitors know they share responsibility and promotion is the key.
Everything you do in advance will pay dividends at the show.
Not only will you benefit on the day but it will also enhance your presence in the market place. Visitors to large shows will have to manage their time efficiently and will generally know who they want to see before they arrive so make sure you are one of the companies listed in the agenda.
- Take advantage of pre show publications and special show industry trade journals
- Offer show special rates / discounts in your online marketing
- Personalised direct mail
- Give-aways and promotional items offered in conjunction with direct mail are effective.
- Consider sponsoring the event, this will not only demonstrate your support for the event and the industry, but it will ensure you have increased exposure on the day and can really set you apart from your exhibiting competitors.
Put your best foot forward
Hiring the right staff and being well presented is key to a successful event. In some instances your staff will be the only difference between you and your competitor. Your staff are your ambassadors and everything they do and say will be reflected on you and your business.
- How well equipped are your staff to sell and demonstrate your products and services
- How do they look and interact with people – they must conduct themselves appropriately at all times refraining from behaviours that may appear unprofessional or offensive.
- How much training will they require pre event
- Can they effectively qualify prospect
- Plan your schedule for manning your stand and any other activities in advance
- Know what other activities are happening at the show to avoid any conflict of interest for your potential visitors.
- Have plenty of water on hand for staff.
Whilst at the stand refrain from:
- Eating gum
- Sitting down unless with a client
- Using cell phones
Who to expect at a show
Others in the industry
Have the relevant information ready and staff prepared to answer the questions they maybe presented with.
Know who can talk to the press and what information they are able to give.
The press may ask if they can capture parts of your exhibit on film with an interview.
When people leave your exhibit they should have an understanding of your product and service, and a clear view of how implementing your business will be of benefit to them.
Consider giving the attendees something they can get involved with. An interactive experience will be enjoyed and remembered longer than any display.
- What will make you stand out from your competitors?
- How will you create interaction opportunities in your exhibit
- Will you have give-aways, discounts
- Priority ordering for a limited stock
If you want data of your visitors, consider why they might agree to provide you with such valuable information. Will you set up a competition, or are you providing them with invaluable information.
With energetic pro-active staff, a well thought out exhibit and a wealth of experience coupled with great services and products you are set to have an outstanding show.