As has been mentioned, before you need to have a plan for exhibiting. So here we’ll see about what you can do to try and get a little more out of your investment.
First thing to remember is that exhibiting is an investment in marketing and all marketing should provide a return on investment (ROI). We’ll be covering marketing ROI in more detail in another article but you need to have some way of monitoring the results from being at the exhibition.
Second thing to look into is what kind of stuff/display you’re going to have on your stand. This is actually a very big consideration and needs plenty of thought since you should be keen on portraying a lively and engaging but professional image that people will see as they look at your stand. We’ll be covering this in a later article but don’t underestimate the importance of this facet of exhibiting.
Another thing to plan for is to ensure that everyone who works your stand knows what the objectives are and how they should be going about meeting them.
One of the biggest frustrations from going to exhibitions is to see great businesses being represented by people who don’t understand what they’re there to achieve and also seem to think that looking like a wet weekend in Scunthorpe is the way to come across as professional.
Consider training and sending people who are lively and outgoing and who can meet and engage with people in a way that brings visitors to your stand.
Time for a quick shameless plug: if you book a stand at the Leicester Business Expo you will be invited to a free ‘exhibition marketing’ training day for you and your team to help you make the most out of your investment.
A very good idea is to try and find something you can give away that stands out from the crowd. The price of promotional materials such as coasters, USB sticks, mouse mats, pens, calendars, diaries and other useful items has plummeted in recent years.
With this in mind it might be worth your while talking to a graphic designer to have a unique and bright message printed onto something that your potential contact will use on a regular basis.
This would then help to keep you in the mind of the exhibition visitor. Something that is often kept by exhibition visitors is the firm inflexible mouse mats, these are very useful and many people keep them and if your message is engaging and bright will be seen every single day by that user.
As has been mentioned in a previous blog post you should definitely consider some targets. This could be a minimum number of delegates reached, names collected, or goodies given away.
Whatever happens you should never do any kind of marketing, and exhibiting is no exception, without some objectives, i.e. what you want out of it, and everything that happens at your stand and in the planning for the exhibition and what happens after the event should be geared toward meeting these objectives.
So, in short, the main two-part question for your planning should be this: “What do we want to achieve and what do we need to do to achieve it?” Everything in your exhibition plan should answer and address this question.