Trade fairs and exhibitions are one of the most effective means of establishing and maintaining relationships with existing and potential customers. Thus, if you have participated in exhibitions like ACETECH exhibitions, CPhI India, ITME 2016, etc. these are a few best practices for participating at an expo as an exhibitor that must be considered, to avoid setbacks for your next exhibition.
Top 10 Tips while planning an Exhibition Booth
1. Set clear goals for your trade show exhibiting opportunity
Your marketing materials should be focused on your messaging and your banners and exhibits should clearly display who you are and what you are offering. Start the show marketing early with good pre-show promotions
2. Don’t design your booth without planning
When designing, focus less on the size, and more on the layout. Do your booth colours represent your branding accurately? Will it give out the impression you have in mind? Your exhibit leaves an impression on every attendee who visits it, and a poorly designed booth is sure to be remembered (as is a remarkably designed one). An experienced design company with unique stand design ideas will know the best way to get you noticed – for all the best reasons.
3. Make it interactive!
Offering information, giving away little quizzes, providing tip sheets, can be a great way to keep the visitors interested. Be unique and engage your audience, and they certainly will have something to remember about you, your brand and your exhibition stand. And in turn, you will learn more about them which will help in your follow-up.
4. Exhibitions are essentially all about networking
Speak to other exhibitors and not just with show visitors. Sometimes the best strategic advice and potential sales leads come from the most unexpected sources. Fellow exhibitors, trade associations and sponsoring media are not necessarily always on your side, but they too are there to do business, and if you are in the right place at the right time; it can work to your advantage.
5. Remember to annotate your leads as you go
Don’t hand out brochures or giveaways without getting information in return. You do not assume every prospect to be a sale on the spot and don’t try too hard. Take time to retrospect and then build relationships. Make notes on the back of the visitor’s business card or in a separate diary key points of your interaction for reference which will be handy as a reference for post-event communication.
6. Don’t assume that your staff knows everything
It is always better to train or have meetings in advance to let your staff know the do’s and don’ts at the exhibition. Anticipate typical questions and practice answers with them. Also don’t forget to reward your staff for a job well done. Sometimes, a little goes a long way.
7. Motivate and train your stand staff
Most marketing experts know the golden rules of exhibiting: don’t eat on the stand, don’t seem too eager, ask open ended questions, obtain as much information as possible to determine if the person you are speaking to is a prospective customer and so on. At shows spanning over 2 to 3 days, have daily meetings on what is and isn’t working. Keep your team’s morale up!
8. Don’t forget
Trade shows are about putting your brand, products and services into substantial form for customers and prospects. Don’t let your people focus only on the products or services they know. Make sure they know who to refer a prospect to, and how, for best results. Keep everything consistent, professional and on track with your show objectives!
9. Don’t waste time on time wasters
An audience of buyers not time wasters is vital. Previous visitor statistics will give you a good guide to the type of visitors you can expect to see. The focus should be on quality audiences.
10. Monitor and Measure ROI
How will you know if the exhibition was a success? How do you intend on measuring the ROI (Return on Investment) for your trade show event? How will you keep the score? It is essential to speculate to accumulate. Securing sales are usually the primary goals of exhibiting, however there is a lot to be said for simply getting your name known and spreading the word. Planning in advance can help you focus and track results.
Also very important is to work with the right partner to help execute your exhibition strategy effectively. A good execution partner can be the moat between you and your competition when it comes to designing and setting up an exhibition booth.