How do you approach attending exhibitions and trade shows? Your time is valuable and online research is quick and easy so, do you visit the event with the intention of having a random look around or do you target who you want to meet? Chances are you are among the 76%* who arrive with an agenda but when you are the exhibitor, how do you make sure that your company is on those agendas and that your stand is always busy?
Do not under-estimate how hungry visitors are for pre-show information, so to attract them you must promote your presence beforehand and not rely on passing-trade. Less than 20% of exhibitors conduct a targeted pre-show marketing campaign so you can gain a statistical advantage by including this in the budget.
You can begin simply – tell your existing clients and prospects that you will be at the show. Update your website, have tickets available either in person or by email and adjust your email signature to include details of the event. Sometimes the organisers will offer to do a mailing for you and have a PR service that you can use – these can be brilliant resources. The PR will know practical details like the print deadlines for publications and how to work your story. They will also be able to advise you on web listings and how your details appear in the show guide.
So if you’ve promoted that you will be at the show, what can you do to attract people to visit your stand? It’s great when you have a product to launch and demonstrate or a speaker with new insights and a “teaser” campaign is an effective way to generate interest. Incentives always work well such as vouchers to be redeemed on your stand.
And if you are offering a “freebie” or corporate gift to give away then make sure that they have been ordered. In fact it can be easy to assume that all the promotional materials will be available when you need them but include them in your plan: business cards, brochures, posters and leaflets.
What you do after the show should also be in your pre-show plan. Did anything happen for your company at the show that you can promote? Did you sign new clients or find some interesting research to share or gain valuable customer feedback? Most crucially, make sure there is a process in place for quick and effective follow-up with the new contacts you made.
*All statistics quoted from a survey by Sustainability Live 2014
Holdsworth Designs are specialists in exhibition design, exhibition manufacture, exhibition installation and graphics printing. Please visit our website to find out more https://holdsworthdesigns.co.uk