Five tips for successful exhibiting
Exhibiting can be daunting, especially because it can be one of the more costly marketing options for your business. However its Return On Investment (ROI) can be equally high, as the power of face-to-face interactions exceeds every other marketing medium. To make sure you manage the process properly, and see this ROI, I recommend you follow these five simple steps:
1. Find out if the exhibition is relevant to you
Who else exhibits there? What is the visitor profile, and numbers? It is in the organisers interest to make sure you align with the profile of their show, so don’t be shy to keep asking questions until you know it is where your business needs to be.
2. Know what you want to achieve at the exhibition
And this means picking at the very most three objectives. Why? Because the fewer objectives you have, the better able you will be to achieve them.
If you have too many goals, they will start to compete with each other and you risk undermining your efforts. For example, a brand building exercise won’t fit well with a new product launch. Leads generation is another popular objective at exhibitions, but this requires that you interact with as many visitors as possible – so the stand shouldn’t be a space to have private meetings or a space to communicate a lot of detailed information.
3. Consult stand builders asap
They can offer you advice about which stand space to book to best meet your objectives. If you are going to get a walk-on-package, still consider talking to a stand builder for assistance with graphics or display products to make your stand more appealing. You have invested a lot to be at the show, so you need to make sure you are noticed and can connect with your customers.
4. Train the staff who will be on your stand
They need to know your goal or goals (as discussed in 2), and what they should do in order to help achieve your aims at the show.
If you are launching a new product, for example, they need to understand it, and be able to describe it, operate it and/or answer questions about it. And of course, everyone should also be a brand ambassador for your company, and be able to describe what you do in simple but positive terms.
5. Make sure you follow up
Once the show is over, there is still a lot of work to do. You need to capitalise on any leads or publicity that came out of the show. Follow up with your contacts promptly – send them more marketing materials, set up a meeting, or simply send them a thank you email.
If your objective was brand building and not to meet new or existing clients, send a press release and push your presence beyond the time constraints of the event.
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