I will be exhibiting at The Business Show this week, and wanted to share with you some of my experiences. I hope to help you consider exhibiting as a valuable means of building your brand awareness and developing new business connections.
An exhibition is an opportunity to meet, connect and build relationships with people you might not normally gain access. Deciding to exhibit at an industry show is costly in terms of time and money, to ensure the benefits outweighs the cost you have to prepare in advance of the event. There is a great deal of competition for attention, but there are also many opportunities so you will need to make decisions about your reason for exhibiting and your method of execution.
The key to a successful exhibition to decide the primary goal and to plan in advance the process of achieving your realistic targets. Your goal may be to:
• Build your profile
• Generate sales lead
• Promote a new product
• Launch a special offer
• Marketing research
• Competitor analysis
• Schedule meeting with suppliers
• Book meeting with Buyers
• Meet with influencers
• Public relations opportunity
Choose your event carefully, in every industry there are many competing exhibitions, I would recommend you to visit the event before decided to exhibit, and answer:
1. What is the audience the event attracts, is this the right audience for you?
2. Depending on your goal do you have the resources to stock, manage, successfully execute and follow-up on the exhibition event?
If you decide to go forward with the exhibition your sales and marketing operations must run alongside the physical preparations for the event.
Your exhibition stand is your brochure and represents your brand so give some thought of how you are going to display the space. Lighting is as important as the look of the stand, if you have amazing visuals in a dark corner, the image will not be able to convey the message clearly. The position of your stand is also important along with your neighbouring exhibitors. If you are near a popular exhibitor, more visitor will find you.
Create the promotional material will help you to convey your message on the exhibition stand and in the show PR office?
Everything takes twice as long and so start to prepare early otherwise you will spend money exhibiting but will walk away with little to show for your investment.
Do not forget to PR your event and promote your message socially pre, during and post exhibition.
• What one message do you want to convey?
• Is there a call to action focused on attracting your audience to action?
• What attracts your target audience to you?
• What incentives are you offering?
• How are you going to record visitor, through data scanner or collecting business cards?
• How will your staff interact with your audience?
• How will promote your exhibit prep and post event?
Do not expect to get immediate results, but invest in building the relationship post event, this is why it is essential to create and execute your follow-up strategy? This is my flow of exhibition marketing actions:
1. How are you going to follow-up on every visitor to the stand?
2. How can you engage with those within your target audience that did not visit the stand?
3. Will you prepare and send out a postal post event package or call visitors?
Exhibiting is an excellent platform to build brand awareness and to promote your business face to face. It is also an opportunity to reconnect with your previous customers, meet existing customer and develop new prospects and connections. Exhibiting can take the form of business networking, local expos and international trade shows, I wish every success in planning your exhibition.
I am excited to be exhibiting at The Business Show on 3rd and 4th December and speaking in Seminar Hall 9 at 4.15pm on Thursday. Make sure you visit me on exhibition stand No 651.
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