Marta Gorka from Skyline Whitespace, a UK supplier of exhibition stands, gives her tips for making the most of exhibitions.
Your upcoming exhibition is the ideal time to show off the personality of your business, promote your latest products and generate those all-important leads. But while business exhibitions are a vital part of your marketing strategy and business plan overall, having the time to make the most of them can be a whole different story.
Yes, there are 101 things to think about; from the look and feel of your exhibition stand to the team you assemble on the day. However, don’t be put off…your exhibition is worth doing. What you need are a few tips that could help you save time before, during and after your big show.
Start by asking the question, do you need to exhibit at this show? Or, more importantly, is there another show that would be more worthwhile? Making the most of exhibitions starts with attending one that will be a major benefit to your business in terms of lead generation and PR.
Take a look at an exhibition calendar for the year, there are loads of resources online. Do a bit of research on each show; are your competitors exhibiting there? What size is the show and are you likely to stand out there? Is the location worth the trip? Next, get in touch with 10-20 of your best clients. Ask them what shows they will be attending and why? You can then put together a list of the top expos you should be attending. Remember, attending every show just for the sake of it isn’t realistic or worthwhile, so save yourself the time.
- Long term promotions
Having a promotional item or offer is a great tool to have in your exhibition arsenal. The problem arises however, when you have to come up with a different promotion for each show you’re attending. Again, there is a time-saving solution!
Can you find a promotional deal that will work across multiple shows? That way you only have to create and buy your promo once instead of repeating the process throughout the year. Start by researching your customer base or target market. Try to find out as much information as possible, including age, gender, occupation, hobbies etc. You can then make a more informed decision and create a promotion that your audience actually want to see at every exhibition.
- The look and feel
Yes, you want to “stand out” at an exhibition but it shouldn’t take you hours to set up your display. Choose a lightweight and portable display stand that you can set up and dismantle in minutes without the need for volunteers.
You can also save yourself time by designing a stand that focuses on your unique selling points. Avoid a packed stand that’s full of unnecessary clutter. Instead clearly display your message, products and services. Remember, less is sometimes more and a well-designed stand will help you filter visitors and only attract high quality leads that are genuinely interested – saving everyone time!
- Assemble your expo A-Team
Staffing at your exhibition isn’t something to take lightly. Assembling a team you can trust means you can spend more time promoting your business and generating leads and less time “micro-managing”. So how do you select your team?
You want a good mix of product experts and sales staff who actively enjoy talking to people in a fast-paced environment. Remember, you’re at an exhibition to shout about your business and generate leads, so choose staff who have a real passion for the business and will perform well.
You can also save yourself time with a staff briefing before the day. Make sure everyone is clear on what they’re doing and importantly what you are trying to achieve as a business. Finally, remind everyone of the basics; no eating, mobile phones or sitting around talking to each other constantly.
Plan ahead, save time
Obviously, you may not have enough time to do all these steps, so just choose the ones that are most relevant to your business. Exhibitions are a highly effective marketing strategy and although they can take time out of your schedule, the amount of leads they can generate shouldn’t be underestimated. Yes, planning ahead can take up some of your time but you’ll make that back in the long run too.