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How to succeed at an exhibition

Business

How to succeed at an exhibition

2019 is upon us, which means it’s time to set new budgets and create revised business plans to ensure you’re able to capture as much of your market as possible. Now is also the time you’ll be looking at what events you should not only attend but exhibit at to maximise your exposure.

Exhibiting at trade shows, conferences and other industry events is a great way to network with prospective clients and reinvigorate your marketing efforts. But, in order to make the event a success it’s vital you create a well thought out strategy. Having a well-designed stand is just the start of it as busy events with hundreds of businesses competing with one another can cause such a great deal of “noise” that it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.

To ensure you succeed at your exhibition, here’s what you should consider:

Choosing the event

Choosing the right event to exhibit at is critical. You may be tempted to just give any event a try, but if you’ve not done your research, you could be missing a trick and pouring money down the drain.

Be sure to do your research. If you’ve not exhibited at an event before, it’s worth attending as a guest beforehand. If you work directly with other businesses, specific B2B events may be a good route to look in to, however, if you work in with specific sector look at industry specific events – Events whereby the attendees and guests will be your prospective clients.

Once you’ve selected the event, ask if there’s the option to choose where your stand is located. Around the outer ring is often a good place to start but avoid corners if possible.

Stand design

So, you’ve selected the event you’ll be exhibiting at and know what space your stand will have. The next step is to design a stand that will get you noticed. Use flat backdrops where possible rather than pull up banners or curved 3D banners to maximise the space you have. Design something that is colourful and decide on a theme. It could be anything from a sweet shop, bar, or clinic, for example. This theme should be carried throughout – Whether that’s on a landing page on your website, printed materials and the various other objects that make up your stand.

Promotional merchandise

Promotional giveaways are always a big draw at shows. The best idea is to have something small and portable that won’t weigh visitors down. Other than the standard business cards and leaflets, think outside of the box. If you’ve gone with a sweet shop theme, offer out personalised sweets, tins with your details on, if it’s a clinic, you might want to consider syringe pens with your branding on.

Also consider what people will want or need. They’ll likely be carrying around a lot of other promotional material, in which case personalised bags work wonderfully and they’ll get you noticed around the event too. Another great item to utilise is USBs. You can personalise these and add content on to each device that’s relevant for your target audience. This content or data can even be locked, so even though they’re reusable, the user will never be able to delete the content you originally added. You can find out more about this here >

Calls to action

Always have a call to action, create a sense of urgency, provide an offer and a reason to get in touch with people following the event. You may want to offer a free review, consultation, demo etc. Having a dedicated landing page on your website or creating a survey for visitors to fill in is the perfect way of capturing information and adding this to your CRM for the sales team to follow up on after the event.

Other opportunities

Be sure to speak with the event organisers to discuss other opportunities. They may have speaker slots still available and there may be the option to have your promotional merchandise included in the gift bags attendees will receive upon entry.

If you get all these elements right, the only other things to do are to put those phones away, smile, and prepare for the doors to open.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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