When you make the decision to include your business in an exhibition, you’re making a huge commitment. Not only is there the costs of reserving the stand space, but you’re also making the investment of time. Whether you’re traveling to the show or whether it’s local, you still need to take a day or more of your team’s time to prepare and man the stand and follow up with any connections made at the event.
Clearly, if you’re putting this much into it, you want to make sure you’re taking advantage of your time and getting good results.
Here are some tips that will help to ensure that your time and money are well spent.
What is Your Goal?
The first order of business is solidifying your goals. Some businesses are concerned only with branding, while others expect a certain number of sales to result. Which of these summarises your goals?
- Branding and name recognition – If you aren’t trying to attract new clients or make sales, you can focus more on the aesthetic appeal of your stand. Make sure signage and any collateral material you have is branded consistently and that the message your team is giving when people stop by the booth is in accordance with this image.
- Strengthen existing relations – Do you expect a large majority of your current clients to be at the event? If so, make sure you have team members there who have the most contact with the clients (probably the sales or support team), and have nice handouts as a ‘thank-you’ for their support.
- Make new sales – If you’re looking to attract more customers and make actual sales or establish a sales funnel, you should look at capturing information from those who stop by your booth. This might mean a contest or giveaway—anything that will encourage them to share phone numbers or emails with you.
How to Brand
If one of your main goals is branding, image should be your main concern. A high quality stand that sets your business apart and clearly expresses your brand is of the utmost importance. If you want to achieve this, you could look at having a modular exhibition stand which are visually impactful and can be easily reused.
Furthermore, make sure those who are manning the stand are wearing logo-ed apparel and that they have a consistent message when they greet those who stop by. You also want your brand to be perceived well, so ensure all of your staff are friendly and welcoming to visitors.
No matter what your goal, you never want to leave a show feeling that your business did not make an impression on attendees. Being memorable is always important, and there are a few ways to accomplish this task.
- Have interactive media – It’s difficult not to remember a stand if you leave it with a digital photo of yourself, a video or some other form of media you were able to create while visiting it. If you have a decent budget (and especially if your business is in the tech industry), having a unique interactive media hook could be your best bet.
- Have awesome giveaways – Most people leave exhibitions with a bag of pens, papers and stress balls—and they probably don’t have any recollection of the booths at which they got them. If you’re going to have a giveaway, it must stand out. This means it should be extremely unique or very high quality. Speaking with a promotional products company to learn about the best giveaways will give you some insight into ideas.
Having a stand at an exhibition can have a huge positive impact on your business. If you’re investing the money and time, make sure you are utilising the above tips to make sure you stand out and get a great return on your investment.