Taking your business to an exhibition can cost a lot of money, so you want to make sure you really make an impact. Here, you’ll find hundreds of businesses competing for the attention of their audience – the people you are trying to target.
Your stand and messaging must be attractive, clear, and noticeable if you want to get great results, and this often means putting in the work beforehand to make sure you are properly prepared.
Here, we’re going to talk about a few exhibition preparation steps you’ll wish you’d taken:
Start Prep As Early On As You Can
Make sure you research the event ahead of time, as knowing what to expect is key to success. You can then get a feel for the type of display that you want to create. You should also have a very good idea of who your audience is, with an accurate idea of their likes, dislikes, and other things that will help you to reach them more effectively.
You’ll also want to determine your budget at this stage, as sticking to your budget can be crucial for cash flow and other things you have to think about within your business.
To determine your budget, figure out:
- The stand display cost (there’s a big difference between the Grasshopper and the Barracuda Banner Stand cost for example – read the review here)
- Cost of the stand space
- Labour costs
- Transportation costs
- Accommodation costs
The costs of these events can really add up, so getting to know your fees and budget in advance will be hugely beneficial.
Get An Idea Of How You Want Your Booth To Look
Make sure you carefully consider what vibe are you going for in your booth. You should also consider how you will organise your products. Remember, less can be more, so you don’t have to fill your booth with as many things as possible to get attention.
Keeping things free of clutter might attract more attention than filling your space with different visuals and items. An open plan set up may also be more welcoming and invite your audience in to look at what you have on offer.
Get Clear On Your Objectives For The Event
You must be clear on your objectives if you’re going to do a successful trade show. What is your main selling point? What do you want to come away with? Asking yourself these questions and similar questions can help you to determine your objectives.
For instance, you might want to come away with new contacts, email addresses, sales, increased brand awareness, etc.
Make sure you are specific and set a target. For example, one of your targets could be to get 50 email addresses. The more specific you are, the better you can come up with a plan to reach your goals.
Use The Correct Promotional Materials
Print marketing materials will encourage people to visit your stand. How you advertise can be key to how successful your day goes at the exhibition.
Things you’ll need include:
Flyers and leaflets – can contain product launch details. Effective as you can fit more information on them than a standard business card. List your incentives to get people to visit. Offer something physical for your visitors to take home with them and remember you later on.
A pop up display – your advertising should be at eye level or head height. It needs to be where your audience can clearly see it. Can provide a great backdrop to your products. Can also act as a lead into your pitch with some information about a promotion that you are running.
Pull up banner ads – you can find a style and size to suit your booth. Can catch your audience’s attention when you position it correctly. You must find the right balance between imagery and wording to get noticed.
Posters – you can have these around the exhibition to gain more attention. There may be a fee to pay if you would like to advertise outside of your booth 10-ultimate-pull-up-banners-tips/so be sure to contact the event organiser if you want to do this.
Ensure Your Whole Team Are On Board
Making sure your whole team are on board is another important prep step for exhibitions. Choose who you are going to take with you carefully, and make sure you clearly define what their roles will be at the exhibition. This way there will be no confusion on the day and everybody can work towards the same goals.
It might be a good idea to have a few meetings beforehand to discuss the sort of things you might be asked and how your staff should answer questions. How your whole team comes across at the exhibition is a must, so ensure you are clear with them about what you expect. They might be the most polite bunch of people in the world, but if they are sitting around on their phones when nobody is at the booth, eating lunch there, or even chewing gum, it can give a bad impression. Set a standard and ensure everybody agrees to stick to it. This is your opportunity to meet potential customers and clients for the first time and you want them to remember your business for all of the right reasons.
Come Up With A Plan For Following Up Afterwards
You should never walk away from an exhibition with no idea on how you are going to follow up with the people you spoke to. You may have left with email addresses, but what are you going to do with them? What about the people who expressed an interest in what you have to offer? Following up helps you to solidify the relationship you created and gives you more of a chance of making a sale or gaining a client. Make sure you know:
- Who’s job will it be to follow up?
- How long is the ideal time to wait before following up?
- How can you be sure that you follow up with everybody?
- What will you say and how will you secure a deal?
Do the above before you head off to your next exhibition and you should notice a huge improvement in results!
If you enjoyed reading our article about exhibition preparation, read our article: 12 steps to accelerate your exhibition stand performance to boost your next exhibition performance.