Thinking of exhibiting with your biz?
Got an exhibition coming up?
Here are my top 10 tips for getting the most from your next business exhibition.
TOP TIP #1 PLAN AHEAD
IT WILL COME AROUND QUICKER THAN YOU THINK! Get your ideas together early, think about what you need to take on the day. Is your stand/backdrop sorted? Need a tablecloth? Got plenty of business cards? Leaflets or samples of what you do? Got a pad to take notes on? Got some mints to override that coffee? Got your flat shoes ready? Got a lip balm, you might get a bit dry from all that chatting you’ll hopefully be doing.
TOP TIP #2 EMBRACE THE SOUVENIR MENTALITY
EXHIBITIONS REALLY BRING OUT THE ‘MUST. COLLECT. STUFF’ MENTALITY IN PEOPLE. Can you give away something relevant to your business that people will collect in the event bags?
TOP TIP #3 PROMOTE THAT YOU’RE EXHIBITING
LET YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW YOU’RE GOING. Yes, there will be visitors and new contacts but this is a great opportunity to put faces to names and invite existing contacts for a face to face chat. Send an email invite campaign, plug it via your social media channels (Make sure to include the event itself and any event hashtags for a retweet on twitter) and change your email signature to say you’ll be there.
TOP TIP #4 RUN A COMPETITION
CAN YOU RUN SOME KIND OF COMPETITION TO GIVE AWAY SOMETHING OF VALUE? This will enable you to collect data from the people visiting or passing your stand, will give you a reason and opportunity to open a conversation. How will you collect leads? Business cards in a vase? Enter details in an email list on an ipad? (GDPR ETC)
TOP TIP #5 STAND OUT
ROLLER BANNERS. MAGNETIC OR VELCRO BOARDS ON A STAND. Bit standard isn’t it. Blends into the background doesn’t it. Sure, we mention this as we coincidentally sell fabric banner stands – but we do so because of the feedback we’ve been getting from our new range of stands. They look the business and are multi-purpose.
TOP TIP #6 ENGAGE & GET INVOLVED
YOU’VE GONE TO THE EFFORT OF GOING TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS. So Make Sure You Are Smiling And Not Sat There, Head Down On Your Phone. Be approachable, engage in conversations. If you’re unsure how to start off conversations or this is your first show simply ask ‘’What is it you do?’’ or ‘’Have you come across us before?’’ to kick things off. If you have giveaways then ask ‘’Would you like one of our free pens?’’
TOP TIP #7 STAND OUT
CAN YOU HAVE SOMETHING ON YOUR STAND THAT STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD? Ask your team (or friends and family if you’re a one-person show) how you could promote what you do. Can you run a demo? Can you educate or inform with a talk? It takes bottle to start a talk in front of a small crowd, but a small crowd turns into a large crowd, and you’ll soon be receiving interest.
TOP TIP #8 GIVEAWAYS
PROMOTIONAL MERCHANDISE ARE A GREAT ICE-BREAKER BUT ALSO A GREAT WAY TO BE REMEMBERED AFTER THE EVENT. Don’t underestimate the power of a good promotional product.
TOP TIP #9 CAN YOU TALK
ARE THERE SPEAKING SLOTS AT THE SHOW? Can you give an interesting and/or informative talk to the audience? This will be a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. It builds trust but also showcases your knowledge. It's basically a 4Sight.
TOP TIP #10 FOLLOW UP
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, FOLLOW UP. You’ve put all that effort in, planning, got up early, stood there all day having great conversations and making new connections, to not follow up. This would be criminal in business terms. Part of your planning for the event should include allowing time after the event over the following days/week to email or call those business cards you’ve collected. (Please, if you only do one thing from this list, do this at least)
I love exhibiting, it's a great opportunity to promote what we do, but the feedback from clients is brilliant, think of it like a networking meeting, only you get not three 1-2-1s, but more like 50-70.
I'm always happy to chat ideas and share my experiences of exhibiting. If you're stuck with what to do for your next event, get in touch.