Trade fairs and exhibitions offer your organisation the opportunity to network, increase brand awareness and generate quality leads. It is essential to consider your actions before, during and after the exhibition in order to maximise investment.
Here are five essential elements to consider when planning your exhibition stand to maximise return on investment.
1. Remember the exhibition stand essentials
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the more obvious and visible elements of your stand – such as the audio and visual equipment – however it is important to remember the basics that will help you maintain the visual quality of your stand. Tape, pins, cable ties and scissors are useful to have at hand in case any materials need cutting down or damage occurs to the stand.
2. Bring the right products and materials
It is important to inform prospective visitors the benefits of attending the event. The stand itself should look clean and professional and it should be clear what the company does without passersby having to enquire. The materials you use to inform potential customers should be clear and engaging and products (i.e. ‘freebies’) should be available to lure people in. It is important to beware of ‘freebie junkies’, who are not actually interested in your product at all, and to ensure time is spent with those who are.
3. Have the right staff
You need to ensure the staff manning the stand are knowledgeable, friendly and professional. Consider which of your employees have the right personality for the event – for example, those that are effective at selling face-to-face and enjoy talking to new people. Also ensure your staff have the knowledge to talk about the company’s products in detail. It may be beneficial to hold a training session before the event.
4. Promote the event before, during and after
Create a buzz around your appearance at the event beforehand through your website and social media. Send tweets to the exhibition’s account to encourage retweets and engage with potential attendees through browsing the account’s followers and utilising hashtags.
Continue to use social media during the event to encourage visitors throughout the day. Post updates and pictures of the stand, tempting attendees with your stand’s offerings. Continue to tweet the event’s accounts for further retweets and engagement.
After the event post pictures from the day to communicate your success to current and potential customers – this can be an effective talking point to network with visitors and other exhibitors even after the event itself is over.
5. Follow up on leads
It is important to follow up on leads in a similar tone to how the stand itself was run. A good idea is to use the employee who generated the lead, not a member of the sales team. This gives the employee the opportunity to create a relationship with the potential customer by discussing the event and following on from the initial conversation.
This post aims to offer an overview of the main elements that need to be considered when running an exhibition stand. Ensuring you have the basics to ensure your stand always looks in top-shape is essential – as is bringing along marketing collateral that will attract potential customers.
An effective stand requires employees that are knowledgeable and forthcoming, who can educate visitors and generate leads. A process should be in place to enable employees to follow up on the leads after the event in a way that builds on and develops the original conversation.