In all honesty, the only reason you should ever spend money on exhibition marketing is to meet potential new clients. We’ve covered a few areas to consider including objectives, but the endgame should never be anything other than building your business.

Targeting your marketBut if you go to a trade show are you just interested in selling to anybody and everybody who turns up? The answer is probably no, not everybody who turns up is going to be a particularly ideal target client for you and your business. So what can you do to try and minimise the time and effort spent on those who don’t meet your customer criteria?

The first thing you could look to do is to use your stand design to pre-qualify those who would be in your target market. A good way of doing this is to highlight the kind of business you are interested in and pitch something very specific at them.

A good example could be a question such as: “Working from home and can’t afford an office?” if your business is providing affordable office space to small businesses. This would then be of specific interest to those who meet that criteria of working from home. It pre-qualifies those you’re likely to talk to, and also means that those who don’t fit this bill are less likely to waste your time.

So, your mission is to come up with a compelling message that appeals directly to your target market. This means that you’re going to need to identify who is in your target market and what it is about your product or service that would appeal to them.

In many ways, it would help you and your business in the long term to come up with this information and apply it to all of your marketing.

First identify who your ideal target client is (you should do this anyway). And then work out a message that would directly appeal to that potential client.

Now this may sound very simple, and it is, but it’s far from easy. The benefit to you is that it will clarify almost all of your marketing communications so you’ll spend less time and less money marketing to those who don’t meet your target market criteria.

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