Exhibitions are often a big investment for businesses however they can provide so many benefits that will, in turn, provide a return on that investment. Face-to-face marketing is one of the most powerful and successful marketing tools and exhibiting is one of the only platforms which allows businesses to interact with prospective customers in person. Attending an exhibition for the first time can be quite daunting so we have come up with 10 top tips to make your first time exhibiting a little less stressful.
1. Invest in Good Quality Displays
Your stand display is one of the first things to make an impression on your visitors so it is vital your display makes an impact.
When walking around an exhibition it is always clear to see who has invested time, money and resources into their displays. Exhibition stands which are faded, wrinkled or damaged will give the wrong impression to visitors. A good quality display lets people know that you are professional, proud of your brand and that they can expect that same level of professionalism and quality in the product or service you are offering.
Make sure you don’t overcrowd your stand but you also do not want it to look empty, finding a good medium is key. Get some inspiration from our bespoke exhibition stands.
Once you know the size of your stand, we offer a range of bespoke exhibition stand solutions to suit your requirements. Bespoke exhibition stands are completely unique to you and we provide you with a FREE full render so you can see what it might look like.
Stand design and layout is an important factor so make sure you don’t overlook it.
2. Be Organised
Preparing for and attending an exhibition can be overwhelming, even for an experienced exhibitor. As a novice exhibitor it is imperative you are organised for every possible situation to avoid mishaps and misfortunes.
Make a list of items you plan on taking, check them the night before and take lots of spares. It is a good idea to take an exhibition emergency kit with you.
3. Create a Strategy
Having a strategy is vital for maximising the return on your investment.
Staff preparation will help the exhibition run smoothly and successfully. Senior management should run a meeting before the exhibition with all of the staff members that will be working. This should include how the day will run, what your objectives are, target audience, the products or services that you are pushing and key knowledge about those products.
The role of your staff at the trade show is to create new business leads. After initial contact, your employees should know if a lead is hot, warm or cold and when their details are taken that information should be included to help the salespeople follow up after the exhibition.
Assess where your stand is in relation to traffic – is it near workshops or guest talks?
Be sure to read the exhibition programme the night before the event to assess when keynote speakers are speaking and when footfall is likely to be at its highest. This is important so you and your team know the prime time to be focused and forward-facing, ready to interact with visitors.
4. Be Realistic About Your Goals
As with any investment, it is important that you are realistic about your goals. The last thing you want to do after months of planning is set yourself, and your team, up for failure.
Set realistic goals which are measurable and attainable – remember this is your first exhibition so you cannot expect the world.
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see immediate results after the exhibition. Visitors are often bombarded with emails and follow up calls so don’t be disheartened if you do not see results straight away. Visitors are now aware of who you are, and what you provide, and will come to you when they need you but don’t let the lead go cold.
Our article on SMART objectives has some great tips on setting goals.
5. Dress Comfortably
Wearing appropriate footwear for an exhibition is important because you will be on your feet all day. Don’t forget to also take into account appropriate clothing options when attending an event. Exhibition venues and rooms are usually too hot or too cold so make sure you plan for both circumstances and dress in layers.
The last thing you want is to be too hot or too cold during an exhibition as it will more than likely hinder your focus and impact the impression you leave on visitors.
6. Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for any business, it provides a free platform for advertising your products or services to people, and offers an opportunity to connect with customers – new and existing.
Use social media to promote your attendance and ROI on an upcoming exhibition. Let existing customers and new visitors know that you’re attending an event.
7. Have a Competition or Incentive at Your Stand
A small competition is a great way to attract visitors to your stand. It provides them with an incentive to visit your stand as well as giving you an opportunity to gain business cards and visitor information.
It prolongs the time spent on your stand giving you more time to engage with potential customers.
8. Research the Audience Attending the Event
Before the event, make sure you research the type of visitors attending so you can tailor your marketing material to best suit that audience.
Tailoring your marketing material is important so you can provide visitors with relevant information about the benefits your product or service can bring to them, and why they should choose your business.
9. Acknowledge Everyone Who Walks By
One of the biggest downfalls that exhibitors have is not being attentive to visitors. Not only is this a wasted opportunity for potential leads, but it also gives visitors the impression that you are not interested in their presence and dampens your professionalism.
It is important to acknowledge every visitor because you never know who they might be. Visitors come from all sorts of backgrounds, they could be potential sales, suppliers, CEOs or even the press. All of which could bring a huge benefit to your company not only in terms of sales but also expertise and networking opportunities.
10. Keep Leads Organised
Capturing visitor information is a goal for almost every exhibitor. Business cards and visitor information are how you will follow up after an exhibition.
It is important to have a system which logs leads and visitor details, so no information or potential leads are lost. You can’t follow up a lead without any contact details.
If you don’t have a business database to input visitor details into, consider having a simple organised system.
Many exhibitions offer a data scanning facility where you scan visitor cards when they attend your stand and all the information gathered gets sent to you at the end of the exhibition. This is a great tool because no information is lost or incorrectly noted down so consider looking into this before the event.
At XL Displays we are experts in exhibition stands and portable display equipment. For advice and more information on how we can help you get the best stand for your exhibition or event please Contact Us or call us on 01733 511030.