Tips for exhibiting success

Sector selector
Ensure you research the audience for your tradeshows – for example if you do not want to target consumers ensures that the visitors are purely B2B.  Take a look at visitor demographics so you have an idea of the country of origin – some tradeshows may only bring local visitors!  A very good way to find out if you should be exhibiting is your competition.  If you see them on the exhibitor list it could very well be an event worth researching.

Location, location, location
You could spend a small fortune on space but be tucked away at the back of the hall – not ideal especially if you are a first time exhibitor.  You need to look out for the main isles, refreshment areas and entrances – all key areas where visitors congregate.  A good event management company will be able to assist with location selection.  
Make sure you utilise the free promotional opportunities the exhibition organisers are offering, include a full profile and your website address with your online and hard copy profile.
Have a Twitter account with hundreds of potential clients?  You can’t beat a tweet!  Get the hashtag for the event you are exhibiting at and make your presence heard.  Visitors will also follow the event on twitter, if you are looking for distributors why not tweet to the event followers, you could just find your perfect partner. 

Stick to a plan
Set targets to ensure you see a ROI.  Exhibiting is not cheap and will swallow up most SME budgets.  Have a strategic plan in place will enable your team to be focused and understand the challenge ahead.
Having worked on and visited tradeshows across the globe we know all too well how a grumpy face and someone sitting behind a desk with their head in their phone can make you feel uncomfortable.  You want to encourage visitors to you stand and engage in conversation, they could be the contact you need to make the exhibition worthwhile!

Stand out from the crowd

Something that Creative Forum ensure!  Working with an event management company who know how to make you stand out from the crowd is one of the most important pieces to the exhibition puzzle. 

Stand out graphics with easy to interpret words and comfy seating is a must.  If you are demonstrating a product make sure you have interesting displays and interactive areas where potential clients can see your product in all of its glory.  Your literature will fly off the shelf, make sure it is up to date, easy to read and has a clear call to action with your telephone number, email, website and any current offers you are running.

Giveaways are always a hit.  You can spend a fortune on products that have no relevance to your company so think wisely before you go for a flashy looking item that will of course go as everyone loves a freebie!  Some items to consider -branded pens, memory sticks and post it notes. Stress balls are always seen at tradeshows; why not get a custom one!

The follow up
Many exhibitors use data capture scanners at events that allow them to scan a badge and collect full data for visitors – this is exported into excel and saves a few hours once you are in the office!

The follow up email is probably the most important email you can send.  Make sure you start off thanking them for visiting your stand – if you remember a conversation that you had drop that in also – it’s always nice to keep it personal.  Push for a follow up call/meeting or demo of your product. 

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