Exhibitions offer a great opportunity for you to both showcase your business and to network. Exhibitions are considered the most cost effective and versatile marketing tool available, however the results are not always assured. If you want to achieve success, you need to invest enough time and resources into what you’re doing.
You also need to consider the 3 stages: before, during and after. Each stage will require a good amount of planning and should be executed correctly. If you want a successful event, here are a few tips to follow.
Plan and Organize
One of the most common reasons why events fail is because the time devoted to planning and organizing was not adequate. During the planning stage, set clear and measurable objectives that you’ll need to follow throughout the event. State what you are focusing on and let this lead you from the start. You should also work out how much you will need in total for the whole event and create a budget. Keep track of your expenses and avoid going overboard with the spending.
Publicize your Presence
Take the time to promote yourself to your customers, whether it’s on the internet or through direct mail. Let your prospects and customers know that you will be at the event and invite them to visit your stand. Make use of social media to create a buzz about your presence at the event. Use the event to reinforce your already existing marketing strategy. In every customer communication sent out, remember to include an event brochure. The more people are aware you are at the event, the more traffic you will have at your stand.
Prepare Promotional Materials
At any event your stand will be your biggest promotional material, so take the time to create a high impact stand. How do you do this? By simply keeping the key messages bold, brief and relevant to the customer needs. Make use of brand colors, innovative lighting and strong graphics to capture attention. You can achieve this easily by working with an exhibition stand builder who can guide you on the design.
Don’t overdo unnecessary promotional materials such as brochures. Your stand won’t be the only one that people visit, and it definitely won’t be the only one that has something to hand out. Give your exhibition stand visitors something useful to take away that has your branding on it. They’ll be less likely to throw away something of use compared to a leaflet full of information.
Have a Team
Even though you may be the best event organizer, it is impossible to do everything all by yourself. Whether you hire the help of exhibition experts, or simply get a good team behind you, it will ease the pressure and lower the risk of disaster.
Having some staff at the stand that will engage your visitors is pivotal. For a successful exhibition, you must work as a team. Train everyone on the details and help them get acquainted with the product or service being demonstrated. Understand each of your team members’ strengths and work to highlight them. Before the exhibit, come up with some basic rules that cover dress code and timing to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Follow up on the Leads
The end of the event does not signify the end of the work. Some might argue that follow up is the most important aspect involved and should never be overlooked. Throughout the event you should have been gathering contact information from customers. Group your leads into hot and cold categories; hot representing those that you’re sure will lead to business. All follow ups should ideally be done within the first week after the event. It’s never too early to follow up, as this make your prospects feel valued. Depending on the objectives you had set at the beginning, evaluate your achievements and whether you managed to successfully come out with the same amount of contacts as you’d hoped.
Stop letting the fear of failure damage your confidence when attending events. If you plan the day out thoroughly and are prepared for what’s to come, your chances of success will be significantly heightened.