We have put together the following 10 tips to help get your business fit to exhibit, but don’t worry we’re not going to be marching you off to the gym (although many of us here at Tomorrow the World could do with it, when you look at the amount of coffee and chocolate we consume!)
We hope you find these tips useful. Remember we are only a phone call or email away if you have any questions and want to know how we can work with you to ensure your participation at an exhibition is a success.
- Choose the right exhibition – Select the exhibition that attracts the visitors you want to meet by asking yourself: Who are my customers? What kind of events do they go to? Then check the exhibitor lists of past editions of these shows to see if companies similar to yours were there. Finding out this information is key to targeting the right event and getting the best return on your investment.
- Be seen – Your space needs to stand out in a sea of other businesses, so make sure you get a good position (near to areas where people are bound to pass, like entrances, seminar rooms and refreshments…or, dare we even say, the restrooms!) and that your stand is branded and instantly recognisable.
- Marketing material – Most visitors to exhibitions are there to gather information plus, perhaps, the odd freebie. You’ll want to give prospective customers something to take away and remember you by, so make sure that you have a vast stack of business cards, enough flyers (they don’t have to be full information packs) and some useful freebies like branded pens, though keep them small and light!
- Use of the local language – If you are exhibiting in a different country ensure your marketing literature is also translated into the local language, you may even decide to have an interpreter on the stand, but this is not essential.
- Pre book meetings – Find out which of your current and potential customers are visiting and try to secure appointments. Exhibitions are also full of other businesses that could become potential partners or referrers for you so look at the exhibitor list to see which companies may be worth talking to and arrange to see them. But don’t overfill your diary with pre-booked appointments as you’ll need time for ad hoc meetings and don’t forget to take your appointment schedule with you.
- Have a checklist and make notes – Ideally you should create an “enquiry sheet” to complete for all the visitors you meet at your stand. Include fields for contact details (or space to staple their business card), what their interested in and, most importantly, any action for follow-up. Enquiry sheets are useful if there are more than one of you on the stand. Alternatively, take a notebook but look after it!!! Other “must-have” items for the stand are a stapler, plastic wallets, pens, sticky tape, power adaptors, and even a first-aid kit for blisters and minor emergencies! It will be far too late to start looking for these once the event has opened and you get busy.
- Offer your services as a speaker – If the event has an exhibitor showcase or seminar element this could be a chance to show off your expertise in a certain area. Just make sure you have someone to cover the stand whilst you’re off giving your talk. Use this as an opportunity to let people know where you can be found at the exhibition if they’d like to follow up.
- Prepare for the follow up – After every event, you will have accumulated lots of business cards and enquiry sheets. Whilst daunting, you must follow up on these straight away, even if it is with a “holder” email. Keep the conversation going and don’t allow leads to go cold.
- Don’t – eat on the stand, have your back to the aisle or have a messy stand. Limit the amount of time on your mobile or laptop and don’t be tempted to sit down when not busy. Remember you and your business are on show here and you will want to be seen at your best.
- No need to do it alone – Make sure your stand is adequately staffed with employees who are briefed on your selling messages, and that cover is available at all times. No one wants to go to an empty stand! But by the same token, don’t overcrowd the stand or be too pushy. Being intimidated will put prospective customers off.
And lastly if you need any assistance with any or all of the above, this is what we at Tomorrow The World do on a daily basis, we work with you to ensure you have everything covered and get the best return on your investment.
Get in touch with us to find out how on 01925 565065