Top 10 tips for exhibiting at events
In our experience exhibiting at events is a great way to gain exposure for your business, generate sales and network with new, interesting people.
We have exhibited at various events over the years and are continuously trying out different, exciting things to grab people’s attention. Here are our top ten tips for ensuring you not only stand out, but also get a great return on investment.
1. Plan of action
Have a plan. When you sign up for an event make sure you know the audience that will be attending. Then you can work out what you, as a business, want to gain from the exhibition and how to target them specifically.
2. Book hotel and transport (if necessary)
If, like us, you often exhibit at events that are some distance away from your office then it’s always worth booking a hotel. Make sure you do this pretty much as soon as you sign up for the event, this way you’ll avoid the last minute rush and high prices. Oh, and try be as close to the venue as possible, trust me this is important, you (and your feet) will thank me later!
3. Exhibitors manual
Be sure to speak to organisers and try and find other ways you can promote yourself. See if you can get an advertising space in the event guide or a flyer inserted into visitors packs.
4. Social media campaign
Another great way to promote that you are exhibiting is over social media. Periodically post details such as stand numbers and other information. There will usually be a hash tag for the event (for example, The Business Show in London that we attended had #TBS2014.)
Make sure you are ready for the event by having all your printed collateral prepared well in advance. This includes things such as business cards, point of sale materials and product sheets. It’s important to have eye catching branded printed materials to hand out to prospects.
Of course, the most important thing is your exhibition stand. Ensure your company message is consistent – you want to catch people’s eyes and create brand recognition. Think about the five human senses and how your stand can trigger these. On the day(s) of the event, make sure you are approachable and encourage people to come over to you.
Other than product sheets or business cards, is there anything else you can give prospects? Think about competitions, freebies or giveaways e.g. sweets, pens, calendars, key rings, or maybe something less obvious? These can be useful as it will make people notice your stand, and hopefully give you enough time to strike up a conversation with them!
8. Invite customers and prospects
Inviting your current customers and prospects to the event as it can be really beneficial for everyone to attend. It’s a good way to keep them involved in what your company is doing, and it looks really good to other prospects if there is someone at the event recommending your business.
9. Sales technique
Choose the approach you are going to adopt at the event e.g. formal, friendly, fun etc. Usually having an informal approach at events will work, but again, you need to ensure the target audience will respond to this.
Right at the start, set a target of how much you want to spend, and stick to it. Make sure you have an emergency fund too, you want to make a profit, not a loss, so keep an eye on what you’re spending at all times.
This is the first blog post in a three part series I’ll be posting covering tips and more information relating to events, so keep your eyes peeled!