The internet is an efficient shop window for your business, but there is still no substitute for a face to face meeting with clients, and where better to do this than at a trade exhibition? It may be hard to believe, but there are still many industries out there which prefer to shake hands with their business partners and look them in the eye when they make a deal. In more traditional industries, the internet has an important role to play, but it’s not the only place deals happen. If you are able to maximise the benefits of a trade expo, connections will be made and business won. Are you planning an expo appearance to promote your company first-hand to the masses? Then sharpen up your competitive edge and consider these five secrets to exhibition success…
Work Your Look
Unless you are an exhibition stand genius, don’t waste time and money trying to put together a stand yourself. There are experienced, seasoned professionals out there who know exactly what your company needs to stick out from the crowd. Professional exhibition stand businesses such as RAL Display.co.uk will take your brief and work it up into an expo feature that is enticing, compelling and interesting, ensuring plenty of traffic to your stand. Make sure your image is reflected accurately in the stand you choose and that your brand message is clear, positive and professional. With RAL Display.co.uk you will get a comprehensive service that reinforces your company’s brand message with supporting posters, signs, banners and display hardware. In business, image is everything, and if you look the part, people are more likely to stop and listen to your pitch.
Have a Rehearsal
If possible, setting up the display stand somewhere else beforehand can be beneficial. This way you can identify areas for improvement, see what works well and what could be better. Any snagging problems can be addressed before the expo, giving you the chance to prepare in a stress-free way to wow your new leads at the show. Consider how the stand is going to be used in a practical sense – is there enough space, places to sit, refreshment area, storage, where will the tech and promo stuff go, is there a natural ‘flow’, is the branding projecting strongly? Get honest feedback from colleagues, friends and family on how the stand functions and looks – their opinions could make all the difference to sales
Check Out the Competition
Nothing beats some light espionage when you are in need of expo inspiration. Nothing illegal, just a bit of homework and research to give you a heads-up on what the competition is up to. Visit trade exhibitions similar to those you plan attending and make notes, take photos of things you like/don’t like in terms of display stands. These will help as references for when you are briefing your display stand designers later on. Pay attention to details like lighting and ambiance and how different approaches create varied results. Identify stands that successfully get their message across, analyse how they do this and how this could translate to your expo stand.
Make the most of the face-to-face marketing aspect of an expo by staffing your stand with your most engaging employees. A welcoming smile as well as a deep product knowledge and high level of professionalism will go a long way in impressing new leads. Make clients feel relaxed and comfortable enough to browse the stand and ask questions without feeling too pressured. Experienced trade show regulars who are able to talk at length with enthusiasm and expertise about the product can be a charming and potent weapon in the sales war.
Secure the Right Spot
A lot has been written about the various influences on sales that different pitches/positions have. At an expo the last thing you want is to be stuck down a cold, dark, draughty ally that nobody ventures down. Before booking your slot at the venue, ask around other exhibitors for tips on the best pitches. You need to be located in a place where foot traffic is at its maximum, but of course this comes at a heavy price. If your budget is squeezed, consider secondary placements in areas near cafés or on the way to the toilets as these are guaranteed to have passing footfall. It is said that most attendees turn left when they enter an expo hall, so if you aim to catch them early whilst they still have some budget and energy to make purchasing decisions, choose a stand located on the left.
For many businesses, exhibiting at a trade show is the only way of physically displaying their wares to a wide audience. If you manage your expo appearance well, with a fantastic display stand, great promotional staff and solid after sales support, new leads, bigger sales and fresh connections are assured. Go on, channel your inner exhibitionist and see how much attention you get…