Making the most out of exhibitions

Apr 14, 2016 12:48:05 PM

Exhibitions Marketing Events Marketing Week Live Sales Innovation Expo

Exhibitions may be one of the most expensive methods for us marketers, but this doesn’t mean they should be left out of our campaigns. Exhibitions can ultimately provide us with a unique marketing advantage, the ability to meet prospects first hand and engage in face to face marketing on a large scale.

Make sure you have researched the event and know it is relevant for your business, the right exhibition can open the doors to the biggest opportunities. Here are some points to follow which will guarantee the success of your event:

Plan:

Organisation is so important. From your stand, your promotional materials, your staff and your approach. Make sure your stand is designed and your materials are organised before event day. One thing that companies often forget is to take enough take away literature for prospects. If your stand is lucky enough to be so busy you can’t speak to everyone, you must have something that your prospects can leave with, so the opportunity isn’t entirely missed.

It is true that we live in a culture where we just love FREE THINGS and exhibitions are usually freebie central. This is the perfect opportunity to attract people to your stand. The usual is sweets, stationary and tea or coffee. To really attract people, why not come up with something a little more creative? Something your stand can offer that no other stand does?

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Promote your attendance:

It is important to make sure everyone knows you’re there, and maximise your presence at the event. Make sure your stand is unique and stands out in comparison to others. Prepare your social media posts and make sure you update your followers with where your stand is located, how they can find you and what the key parts of your day are. This could make a difference in whether people visit your stand or not.

Market around the event:

Social media is one way to market your event, but we can’t forget the other ways in which we can let prospects and existing customers know you are going to be there. Boosting the profile of your company beforehand with email campaigns, company newsletters, content media, all catered to the theme of the event can make a huge difference.

Also remember to document the success of the event internally and externally, there is far more to exhibitions than just attendance.

Take a strong team

A happy, approachable team would be the first stand I would walk up to. Make sure your team understand their responsibilities and requirements for the event. Whilst exhibitions are a great place to learn and have fun, your staff must be using every opportunity to maximise the attention to the business. Whether this be their approach when talking to prospects, how they’re dressed and how they are acting when away from the stand.

Make sure your team look happy, confident, know what you’re talking about and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Build Relationships:

Time at events must be used wisely, talk to as many people as you can, talk about your business but also remember to listen to what your prospects have to say too. There is a fine line between explaining what you can do and just talking at people and risking boring them. Make sure you take the time to find out what people need and what approach they would like to take before you bombard them with your “sales pitch”. The more you learn about a business, the more you can find angles in which you can help them. Make sure you don’t forget to take peoples contact details as this will help you stay connected after events when you follow up the leads you have created.

Measure your success

Just because the event has finished, it doesn’t mean the hard work has. Your need to keep your business at the front of people’s minds so firstly, send all your prospects an email to say it was nice to meet them and wish them a safe journey home following the event. Once all the data you have collected from the event has been properly logged and categorised your sales team can begin to follow up on the leads and create appointments. This should be easier than a normal lead as your sales team will have the advantage of already understanding the prospects needs.

Make the most of it.

It’s understandable, you have paid for a stand, done hours of prep work so you want to get the message about your business out there. Although this is the ultimate priority, exhibitions can provide so much more than that. Take the time to walk around the show, get a feel for the competition and see if you can learn a thing or two.

MarketMakers will be at Marketing Week Live on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th April and Sales Innovation Expo on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th May.
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