Exhibitions are probably the most cost effective way of showcasing your Brand and Product to the target audience. They are an excellent platform to collect leads, generate sales etc. But there are certain points to keep in mind before you go all in. Here we go!
Before you book a stand in any trade show, be sure to do your homework. Find out which all brands have already booked a stand? What is the expected footfall? Are your competitors exhibiting? Try to find out if the trade show’s popularity increasing or decreasing? Try talking to previous exhibitors so as to get an idea on the response they got in previous shows.
Once you are sure you want to take part in a show. Start planning ASAP. Don’t leave it to the last moment. Start with creating a detailed budget and move forward accordingly. Having sufficient samples, having the perfect Stand Design to complement your Brand, having all the handouts ready and branded and ensure you plan out on how to attract crowd to your stand. It can be location of the stand, displaying your product in an attractive manner or getting a creative stall design.
Make sure you spread the word out before the trade show and that you are a part of it. Reach out to everyone (including your existing clients) and invite them to visit you at the stall. Cover as many marketing channels as you can so those can work in your advantage long after the show has ended. Being a speaker at the exhibition conference, doing press release, investing in marketing your brand on the trade show website and catalogue.
Be ready to encounter any product or industry related question. Visitors while visiting your stall would indulge in a conversation with you asking all kinds of questions. Make sure you are prepared enough to tackle those.
Be sure the staff you have are fully prepared and trained to handle the visitors. Even if you hire temporary staff, make sure to give them a little knowledge, if not all, about your Company and Brand. Assign roles to your staff according to your product, like Sales team, Marketing team, Technical Team etc.
One can’t emphasis enough on the importance of this point, as many company fail to follow up on the visitors, hence, not generating the expected result from the show. You need to keep in mind, the visitor at your stall must have visited a 100 different stalls and it is almost impossible to keep everyone in mind. Once the show is over, follow up with the visitors, fix up meetings and convert those leads into customers.
While booking a stand don’t hesitate to ask for a better offer/ deal than what you are paying for. If you negotiate a bit, you might end up getting a good marketing deal or a better location in the hall for the same price. Make the organizers sell you the show rather than you signing up for it.
Make sure you are able to attract visitors into the stand and not just walk past it without noticing it. Don’t blend in the crowd. A visitor should walk up to your stand and then you can take forward from there.
Make sure you do not keep any table or product obstructing the entrance of your booth. You want attendees to enter in your stand and converse with you regarding your product/company.
Engage with anyone who walks on the stand and don’t let them feel you are too busy on your phone/ laptop to even notice them. If you feel you need to take/make a call or need a break, arrange for your replacement at the stall and go for a walk. Exhibitions can be exhausting and everyone does need a break, just, not at the stall
Make sure none of the visitors are standing unattended in the stand as that gives out a negative image to the company. To cover up this point make sure you have enough staff at your stall to take care of everyone who is visiting your stall.
Be aggressive and stay on your toes to meet and mingle with everyone at the trade show. But keeping in mind not to adopt aggressive sales techniques. Don’t just sit and collect business cards, every visitor is a potential customer.
Try out the above mentioned pointers in your upcoming show and you would see the difference. After all, it is all about the ROI, isn’t it? And take my word, YOU WILL SUCCEED.
What am I missing here? Let me know in the comments and I'll add it in!