Exhibitions can be very profitable events for many businesses. If you are successful you will come away with sales, contacts and the promise of your company name being passed around from one potential customer to another, all under the costing of that single exhibition stand fee.
We have put together some easy to follow tips, perfect for helping you to make the most of your time at an exhibition event.
This may seem obvious, but it is vital to be seen at the most relevant exhibition for your company. It will preferably need to be one that specialises in your line of work, or at least has firm dealings with it somewhere along the way.
It may be an exhibition that you have attended as a visitor before, which will give you a good idea of how they set themselves up. Ask around for any recommendations of good events to attend and check industry websites and magazines for details of exhibitions that you may not have known existed. Once you have found your preferred event, be sure to book early, as spaces may fill up fast and the earlier you book the better pitch you will be able to secure.
Getting the word out that you will be at an event is very important, it will give people an incentive to go and will allow you to pre-book some appointments with potential clients for the day.
Social media is the perfect way to let people know where you will be and best of all it is free to do. You can also make up posters to put up in key locations where you may gather some interest, simply display them neatly and smartly in poster pockets or snap frames in order to maximise the impact. Don’t forget the power of the word of mouth, tell as many people as you can and they will hopefully pass it onto someone else who might be interested.
You will need to make your exhibition stand look inviting and interesting in order to gain maximum visits. Look at it as though you are dressing a shop window, with elements that will catch the eye and make people want to stop to find out more. Think about what will make you stand out, such as posters, displays, samples and actual products that you can sell on the spot. Be as creative as you can!
Make sure that you dress correctly, so smart and tidy, with no jeans or trainers (unless you are a fitness company in which case trainers are expected!) Stand front and centre of your exhibit, don’t hide at the back as you won’t be able to encourage people to stop and talk.
Exhibitions are long and tiring days, so don’t try to go it alone. You will need a team that includes someone who is excellent at sales talk, encouraging people to buy what you're selling. Have a person that can take bookings and payments and someone who can walk around the event and hand out leaflets to other potential clients.
Train everyone on what body language they should use and make sure that they are all up to date on what the company is offering and with what benefits to the customer.
Even if people do not commit to buying from you on the day, try to collect as many email addresses as you can, in order that you can contact them at a later date, perfect for when you have new offers or wonderful new products. Follow up any leads as soon as you get home, so that the person does not forget about you and lose interest.
Sometimes an exhibition is a chance to build new contacts with other businesses, finding areas where you can help each other or even to purchase something that they are offering. Carry business cards with you as you work your way around so that you seem professional and can hand over your contact details without needing to find a pen or come back later.