Top 10 Tips: Dare to be different at exhibitions

Top 10 Tips

Richard Manby

1. Consider your objectives: What are your reasons for exhibiting and what do you want to achieve? Who are your target audience and what are your key selling points?

It is also useful to have measurable objectives and to write them down prior to exhibiting, for example 50 sales leads.

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2. Work out a realistic budget – don’t forget to include travel, accommodation and living expenses – these are the types of things that are often forgotten about and could catch you out.

3. Plan well in advance. Ensure you meet deadline dates to take advantage of early booking discounts. It may also be beneficial to visit an exhibition at the same venue.

Don’t be shy to quiz the organiser to ensure the location is relevant, the demographic of visitor fits your customer base and if possible check how many of your competitors will be there – this will allow you to make the most out of the show.

4. Take advice from the official service supplier and ensure you order the right socket outlets - these are rated and you need to ensure you order the correctly rated socket for your equipment.

5. Think about how to optimise your stand’s impact whilst still meeting your objectives.

This can be done through effective use of graphics, logos, colour themes and lighting. Dare to be different! People will look at your stand for roughly 30 seconds before they decide to visit or walk on.

6. Ensure your stand looks inviting, don’t overcrowd it. Give your customer space to converse and feel comfortable.

Storage - for marketing materials, product and even bags and jackets - is very important and can be overlooked. It is not only about making your stand inviting but also how you interact with potential customers. Try and engage in conversation by asking open-ended questions such as ‘What are you looking for today?’ rather than ‘Can I help you?’ - as the answer to this will, in most cases be ‘No’!

7. Confirm all arrangements and double check your bookings are correct and what you have ordered is actually what you need. Remember to complete your risk assessment and method statement.

8. Make the most of the event’s press office PR and advertising opportunities. Use traditional, online and social media - tell people what you’ll be doing at the event and why it will be worth their while to visit you.

9. Ensure all stand staff are properly briefed, motivated and ready to go. Training all staff is essential. Obvious no’s include eating at the stand, looking at your mobile phone, sitting down or looking uninterested.

10. Make sure you record all of your leads and take details. You will need this information to follow up after the exhibition.

Do this quickly, within a couple of days before the trail goes cold to optimise your return on investment.