5 Tips on how to have your best exhibition yet

Show season can be very, very busy for many companies with a fast and furious exhibition and event schedule planned. Nothing can beat the face to face opportunities with customers and leads that exhibiting at a trade or consumer show can deliver. However – there is more to a successful show attendance than just showing up in your booth and hoping for the best…. In this blog we are sharing with you 5 top tips to ensure that your next exhibition is your best ever – yet!

  1. Do your research

A wise man once said, “failure to plan, is planning to fail”. Before you plan your exhibition schedule for the following year, do your research. Attending exhibitions is expensive and can take up a huge chunk of a marketing budget. As your start planning your marketing for the coming year, have a long hard think about what shows you are going to attend. Make sure that these shows really align with your business goals and over-all marketing strategy.

Consider asking 10 of your best customers what shows that they consider are the best for your industry and why. Don’t just automatically book up for next year without really doing the research on your options as well as thinking about what you and your marketing team need to achieve. Also – remember that sometimes the quality of a show can change over the years. What was once a fantastic fit for your company, may not be anymore and the last thing you want is to throw precious marketing pounds away.

  1. Plan your marketing

The phrase “build it and they will come” is just not going to cut it in the competitive world of exhibition marketing. Almost from the moment that you book your stand space, you need a marketing plan in place for each show you attend. This plan will need to include a budget, timeframes and tactics.

How are you going to make sure that those that you want to attract your stand know that you are there and why they should stop by? Plan an email campaign to let leads, suppliers and customers know that you will be attending and why they really must come and see you. Make sure your social media is used to help promote your attendance. Think about doing some direct mail invites. Write a press release and let the press know if you are unveiling a new product. What promotions could you run to entice leads and get those precious contact details.

  1. Invest in your staff

Having the right staff on your stand can be vital to the success of your whole show. Your staff can literally make or break you. Invest time and energy picking the right staff, with a good mix of enthusiasm and knowledge to man your stand. Think about measuring the quantity and quality of leads that each staffer makes to ensure that you try and pick the best.

Make sure everyone is given appropriate training and consider having a pre-show briefing to make sure everyone knows what to expect and what your goals are.

  1. Let your stand provide the ‘Wow Factor’

Your exhibition stand and event graphics are an area that you can really make a difference and shine. It really is worth investing in a show stopping stand and getting the look and feel of your stand just right. Figure out what separates you from your competitors in the eyes of your customers and make sure that that comes across in your graphics. Talk to a specialist like the Graphic Mill about how to turn your vision into a physical reality. Think about whether you are looking for a shell scheme stand or a custom exhibition stand and what that stands needs to do for you to consider the show a success.

Also – consider if you need your stand to work for you at more than one show, as this can make a difference. Always work with a good designer and an experienced graphics company that knows how to make the most of restricted and limited space and can create a ‘wow factor’ finished product in line with what you want to achieve.

  1. Don’t waste the follow-up

We all know that despite good intentions, follow up after a busy show can go by the way side once you are back in the office and the exhibition hall feels a million miles away. However, don’t let your hard marketing efforts be undone at the end of the exhibition and do make sure that you follow up with all your leads gained at the show. Ensure that the quality of the lead is checked and you have prioritised who you are going to contact first and what actions need to be taken. Use the post – event time to wisely review your attendance and to look at what you may do differently next time.

Have you got any top tips to share about having your most successful exhibition ever?