Exhibition information to help you plan and implement the most rewarding and effective exhibition stall for your company.
Exhibitions, whether trade or consumer, have the advantage over other forms of advertising as they can deliver all key marketing objectives in one hit.
• A guaranteed highly targeted audience.
• A pro-active platform, where the buyers come to you.
• An ideal opportunity to demonstrate existing products and launch new products.
• A chance to answer any questions concerning the product
• Face-to-face customer contact, which is the best way to build on relationships and form new ones with potential customers.
• Market research for product development.
• A means of generating positive media coverage.
Exhibitions can produce excellent results for your company with a good return on investment, if planned and implemented well.
It is essential to plan ahead when preparing for an exhibition.
Items that need to be considered are –
1. Time scales – Planning ahead will make everyone’s life easier, so ensure this is taken into account. Allocate the responsibility of key tasks to the appropriate individual or department together with deadlines.
2. Budgets – The budget for your exhibition needs to be distributed between stand space, sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
3. Staffing requirements – All staff need to undergo some form of training as often the success of the show will be determined by the skills of the people on the stand.
4. Publicity – Publicity is essential. It is important to think about visitor promotion, mailings and adverts. Invite the people you want to meet there.
5. Space requirements – Know how much space is available and design the best and most eye-catching stand possible.
6. Services – Reputable stand builders, graphic designers and photographers will be needed. See our resources link for a list of services.
7. Visitor statistics – Visitor statistics for the show, including visitor profiles, buying patterns, job titles and spend are important to research in order to help you target your audience more effectively and ensure you get the best possible return on your investment. 8. Criteria for display stand and graphic design – It is important to know your market and cater appropriately to ensure the best results possible.
9. Measure your success – Some tangible return must be proved. Set your targets and measure your performance against these.
10. Follow up leads – Work doesn’t stop after the show. Follow up all potential leads; these may convert into more customers. For effective exhibiting, it is essential to combine a great looking display stand with trained and motivated staff that can approach potential customers, engage them in conversation about the products on display, secure their custom and follow up this lead.
The Right Exhibition
Target the most appropriate events for your company with our show search page which gives details of sites that list major exhibitions and their organizers’ have a clear idea of each exhibition that you’re considering it is important that you contact the show’s organizers and clarify any details that will assist you in producing a more effective exhibition leading to a higher return on investment.
Points to establish:
• Proof of attendance and the type of people that the show attracts. Knowing your audience will provide you with a clearer idea of how best to cater for them.
• Publicity – Is the event well advertised in trade magazines. These magazines chosen by the organisers should also give you a clearer idea of the show’s suitability for your products or services.
• Is it an established event or a new event? If new, how long has the organiser been established and what are their credentials?
In depth research into the most appropriate exhibition show for your company is as important as planning the stand while exhibiting there. No matter how effective your stand is it will not work if you target the wrong people.
Making a Stand
Having a competitive advantage at exhibitions is crucial for your company and thestand is an important factor.
• Booking space – For an ideal site, book early. Look out for columns, switch boxes and height restrictions. Also, consider an island or corner site as they offer more open sides and therefore more opportunities for you to attract the visitor.
• Bring your company to life – exhibitions are unique as they are the only sales medium able to engage all five senses.
• Exhibitions allow you to touch, taste, see, feel and hear the products and services on offer. As an exhibitor, bringing your service or product to life is guaranteed to have a higher impact on your visitors.
• Reams of text will go unread and probably unnoticed. Powerful graphics, however, will attract visitors. To keep these visitors think about how your staff can interact with those features. Maybe, with the aid of gimmicks, uniforms and sales patter. Think about the use of turntables, lighting, video, and clever graphics to demonstrate what you have to offer. Free refreshments, competitions, incentives, bonus offers andgive-aways all have their part to play.
Successful exhibiting isn’t as easy as having a good stand. Although, obviously, having a smart display stand is vital, as that is your corporate image on very public display. Research has shown, however, that 80 per cent of the success of your show is down to your stand staff. Exhibition visitors are not only serious but also very receptive; after all they have chosen to come to you, therefore as an exhibitor you are in a good position. It is important that all visitors are treated with attention. Directors and senior managers attend these events, to meet new companies with whom they can work. Potential customers will also be visiting and it is up to the staff to turn these into customers.
Exhibitions provide an ideal opportunity for the buyer and seller, the staff and visitor to meet face to face. Staff training is essential in order for them to acquire the skills necessary to make the most of this opportunity and turn the show into a success for their business. Pre-event sales and marketing activities will aid the success of the show. Contact all your prospects, lapsed clients and minor prospects and give them a good reason to seek you out at the show. Call your hottest prospects and invite them to see you personally at the show.
Research into who is likely to attend the exhibition will help in deciding what to exhibit and the best way to put the most appropriate message across. The organizers of the event should be able to give you an idea of who visits the show, which will assist you in knowing who you can aim to attract.
Consider carefully the products that your visitors will be most interested in and target them accordingly.
To assist in working out the cost of exhibiting, make a comprehensive list of the major expenses, including:
• Cost of space
• Cost of electrical, water and waste connection
• Stand design and construction
• Show linked promotions
• Staffing costs
• Catering / hospitality
• Furniture hire
This should give a fairly accurate budget as most items are fixed costs.
Follow Up – ruthlessly
If you go to all the effort of organizing your company’s participation at an event and then neglect to follow up leads attained while there, then the exhibition will be less effective as you have essentially thrown away potential customers. Before the show takes place, plan dates to follow up all leads.
Make the most of the event. A lot of time, effort and expense will go into organizing the show, it is essential therefore to approach the time spent at the exhibition with enthusiasm and a willingness to talk to visitors in order to gain good results. If you want the exhibition to work for you and your company you have to work at it