We are still in the midst of the COVID 19 crisis and many exhibitions have been postponed, with a bit of extra time till your next exhibition here are some ideas so you can maximise the benefits for the next show you exhibit at.
Postponed Exhibition – Communicate with your visitors
Keep at the forefront of your clients and prospects minds by staying in touch with them until the new exhibition date comes around.
Email your network if the exhibition you were attending has been postponed – give them the new date. You could include a picture of your stand from the last show or a visual from your intended exhibition.
Did you intend on running a promotion at the show, can you offer it by email?
Call your clients and prospects, give them the update and check they are ok in this time of crisis – communication at this time is key.
Set up virtual meetings with the visitors that intended on coming along to the exhibition to answer their questions.
Update your email signatures, website and social sites with the new dates.
Keep the communication there with your network, always answer your clients and prospects questions via the content you share. If you need help with content writing I can highly recommend Morton Waters https://www.mortonwaters.com
Define your marketing / exhibiting goals
Review your marketing to plan to look at the COVID-19 time and beyond, as I am sure like most companies now directions may have changed, therefore marketing plans will change too. Exhibitions will come back, stronger than ever – people thrive off face to face interaction so plan how you can positively engage with your network. Your forthcoming goals may include:
Launching a new product / service
Virtual meetings with your clients and prospects
Launching a rebranded
Drive more sales for your business
TIP: Take the time to look at the shows you want to attend once this crisis is over, call the organisers and speak to the attendees of past shows to see if the show is right for you.
Warm-up cold leads
I shared a stat on LinkedIn the 4 out of 5 exhibitors did not follow up with leads from exhibitions. Increase your ROI from previous shows you have exhibited at by reigniting that communication with the leads you obtained so that when they are ready to buy they come to you.
Email contacts regularly, answer their pain points and questions via the content you share.
Connect and engage with prospects on LinkedIn and other social sites giving them useful and informative content.
If you need LinkedIn training, I can still help. Connect with me on LinkedIn and drop me a note. TIP: Make sure you keep up your email marketing when the next exhibition comes around - Facetime provides a great email marketing guide for exhibiting do have a look here https://www.facetime.org.uk/__media/FaceTime-guides/facetime_email_guide.pdf
Use a CRM (Client Relationship Management) system to keep track of leads
Carrying on from the point above - If prospects say come back and say come back to me once we are out of lockdown, you must not forget this action, use a CRM system to keep on top of your leads. Stuck as to what CRM system to use, there is a list here https://uk.pcmag.com/cloud-services/67398/the-best-crm-software-for-2020 (I use CapsuleCRM– it’s a simple but effective CRM system.)
Staff – The face of your brand
Keep your team engaged through this time and give them new skills so that what we are back you are stronger than ever. You could provide training for your team so that they excel as exhibition staff once you are back. TIP: Think about who are your most client-facing members of staff and who is most personable and attentive to your customers’ needs. These could be the best people for the job. For personalised exhibition staff training, please contact Stephan Murtagh, he provides a 2-hour workshop on the “7 Steps to Exhibiting Success” email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Engage an exhibition design and build company
In my experience when working with a new company it takes time to create a stand you are happy with. Get ahead of the game and finding a company (or two) you are happy with is a great task to do now while you have time.
Create mood boards of exhibition stands that inspire you
What is your goal for exhibiting (see above)
Compile any brand information your designer might need
Set up video meetings to give you a feel of the company you may want to work with
TIP: An initial briefing meeting should take place at least 4 months before the show happens
Thank you for reading I hope you found this article useful, I am Jade Pluck the MD of Holdsworth Designs Ltd an award-winning exhibition build and 3D design company. I took over in Jan 2020 after working in the company for almost 10 years. I have pulled together knowledge of my previous roles to help you through this time and get you to make the most of your first exhibition after COVID-19. Contact me on email@example.com