Many businesses overlook and underestimate the power of participating in an exhibition. This could be due to them never really being involved with one before or never attending one as a potential customer. However, many people (and businesses) like to visit exhibitions, especially ones focused on certain business niches. This is because of the amount of new options available under one roof and the chance to interact face-to-face with experts rather than just visiting a website.
By not having a stand at exhibitions, your business could be missing out on interest from potential customers who could end up going to a competitor. Remember, it is not just those who are purely interested in your business or products that will be attending, and you could generate additional sales from those just passing by.
Of course, to make the most out of the time you have at the exhibition, you will need to ensure you have some vital components in place.
#1 Have an eye-catching backdrop
In order to make your exhibition stands at these events more visible among so many others, you are going to have to provide an eye-catching backdrop. This should supply any onlookers with an idea of what your business actually does – rather than just your business name and logo.
You will find that you will need something to partition your stand from those around you; otherwise, you will risk being lost in the throng of people during the busiest of times. This will mean that any personnel that you have working at the exhibition will have to work that much harder to gain the onlookers’ attention rather than having interested parties approach them about your products or services.
#2 Stock up on literature
Exhibitions are generally exceedingly large, popular events. Therefore, having literature for people to take away and read later is a must. As a memory jogger for your visitors, your literature should feature the same artwork as your exhibition stand.
Of course, the literature your personnel is handing out (or placing around your exhibition stand) should be more in-depth than just business cards. Where possible, have an array of different types of literature available, including pamphlets, brochures (if applicable), leaflets, and flyers.
All, of course, should include your email, website, social media contact information, business address, and phone number. You may also want to include a contact name to make the experience seem a lot more personal to your potential customers.
#3 Have customized swag items to give away
Another way of making sure that your business becomes a memorable brand and that your products stay in the minds of those who visit your exhibition stand is to gift them with company swag items. These, too, should feature your business name and logo, and you should ensure that you have your business contact information on each piece – even if it is on the label of a snap-back cap, for instance, that you could be giving away.
Customized swag comes in various forms, so finding something connected to your business can be relatively easy. However, if you are struggling, the next best thing is to choose something practical and usable for most people. A notepad and pen, for instance, or a mouse mat can be relatively cheap and provide plenty of space to have your information printed visibility in a prime area.
#4 Capture as many interested parties as possible
You may find, however, that there are many people who would like to attend the exhibition but are unable to. This could be due to travel arrangements, personal commitments, or not being able to purchase a ticket due to demand.
For these individuals, offering the chance of attending a virtually could be the next best thing. It may be that the exhibition hosts have already thought about this and are offering this facility to any business enquiring about it; if not, you can provide it yourself.
This will allow your potential customers to speak to your professional team members in person over a real-time video link. As this facility (if you are doing it on your own) will be held on a different day and time, preferably later than the exhibition opening hours, you can promote it while at the exhibition stand.
#5 Advertise your presence ahead of time
However, this virtual event would not be put on with those individuals who have already met you in mind. This means that you will have to advertise the advent well ahead of time to ensure that you get enough interest to make it worthwhile. As those who were not able to attend the physical exhibition could have been prevented from doing so due to working hours, providing an out-of-working-hours virtual exhibition could be the answer to gaining additional numbers.
Choosing to promote your virtual event in specialist magazines and papers, as well as on your website, your presence on social media platforms, and radio, may find that you can reach those interested individuals and businesses that you may not have been able to reach previously.
So, a few final thoughts
When you decide to include your business in a local or regional exhibition, you will have to put some effort in as well as some careful planning. This is because you will need your stand to be eye-catching and let those passing by know what it is that your business does. In addition, you will need to advertise well that your business will have a presence there to drum up interest and have people actively searching for your stall.
You should also make sure that you have enough literature for visitors to take away with them. Exhibitions can be extremely busy and tiring, and it may be a day or two before any visitor to your stand looks through their collected literature. Ensuring that the artwork in your literature matches that of your stand could prove a valid reminder and connection to your personnel.
If you still feel you could miss out on potential customers, you could host a virtual exhibition yourself. Still, for this to work, you will need to pull out all the stops when promoting the event to ensure that the audience you want knows it is happening.