8 simple ways to increase engagement with visitors at exhibitions

Exhibitions and events can be great places to grow your business. They are opportunities to get your brand out there and introduce your company to a new audience and prospective customers. Most companies attending exhibitions will have common goals. To build brand awareness, generate new sales leads and networking. But these cannot happen if you don’t properly plan and prepare before you get to the event. To make the most of any event in your marketing plan, try some of the following simple tips to increase engagement with visitors at exhibitions.

Planning ahead

It may sound obvious but planning ahead is one of the most important aspects of attending an exhibition or event. You’ll want to do your research on who will be attending, that’s both customers and other exhibitors. Try and visit the event the year before, if this isn’t possible visit similar events to see who is exhibiting, therefore checking out what the competition is like and what your competitors are doing to attract customers at that event. Stand design and manufacture can take a bit of time as well as exhibition prep so remember not to leave all this to the last minute.

Stand Design

Of course you want to stand out from the crowd and get noticed but where do you start when it comes to designing your exhibition stand. At Graphic Mill we have over 25 year’s experience in stand design and build. We can challenge and enhance your brief so your stand will have high levels of engagement with visitors at exhibitions, and then we’ll bring it to life. We can advise on the most suitable size stand, the best materials to use and which elements can be modified or changed to help keep costs down. From our rural farm studio in Wiltshire we offer the complete service from creating 3D designs of your stand to build and break down of the stand at the event, so you can concentrate on what really matters.

Coffee & Tea

Attending exhibitions can be tiring. So why not offer free tea and coffee to visitors to your stand. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to engage with your customers while they can get their caffeine fix. Coffee machines can be hired easily, as well as a small fridge or cool box for milk or even water. Furniture, and sofas, can be hired too so they’ll be no excuse not to catch up with your potential new customers over a cuppa.

Promotional freebies or samples

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but everyone loves a freebie. Whether it’s a free sample with a money off voucher for the next purchase or a useful branded promotional item like a pen or portable charger it’s a great way to keep reminding the customer about you long after the event. However, it’s important to make sure your investment is worthwhile. A voucher or money off code for an online purchase can be a great way to evaluate success of the event but a pen could end up straight in the bin.

Experiential Technology

Technology changes rapidly. Over the last year we have seen tech innovations making an impact when it comes to exhibition stand design. For those looking to invest heavily in their stand and really build a crowd, augmented reality (AR) technology is one new way to make you memorable at an exhibition. When used on exhibition stands, the possibilities are endless as they link the physical and digital worlds. If you’re not quite ready to go fully digital or are worried about the cost? Try combining a few new digital ideas with something more traditional like an impressive light display or touch screens with interactive effects.

A phone charging point

When everyone needs to be constantly connected and glued to their phones why don’t you offer a charging point for potential customers whose phone’s have run out of juice. Plug sockets or USB connectors can be easily built into your stand and you can provide charging cables for anyone that hasn’t brought theirs along to the event. This will encourage visitors to your stand with the aim of getting them to hang around for a little longer than usual.

Get in touch with key contacts and influencers before the event

It is easier than ever to reach out to key contacts, influencers and journalists so get in touch to tell them you’ll be attending an exhibition and invite them for a coffee. During the event you can use social media to increase engagement with visitors at exhibitions by seeing who’s checked in to the venue or mentioned that they are attending. You can invite these people to your stand through social media and even offer a special incentive for visiting you.

Train your staff

It’s extremely important that the staff on your stand have the right level of enthusiasm and know your products inside out. Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and think about everything you think a potential customer might want to know about your company and the questions they might ask. If you are hiring staff from an agency, make sure you give them enough information to do the job you are hiring them for.