Taking a stand at an exhibition or trade show is a great way to promote your company. Since you are likely to be investing a fair proportion of your marketing budget in the venture, it's vital to get the most from the experience. Careful preparation before the event will ensure everything runs smoothly.
There is no point in spending money on a stand if you are unlikely to reach new customers. Make sure the attendees are the type of people who fit the profile of your target market. Reserving a spot as early as possible will give you the most choice of location, although sometimes there are discounts for late booking if there are still spaces available. Study the floor plans and pick a spot in a busy part of the exhibition. A space near the entrance, the catering or even the toilets will ensure high levels of traffic. Alternatively, choose a spot near a large company that you know will have a popular and busy stand to hopefully pick up some of their passing trade.
If there is an exhibitor manual, make sure you read this thoroughly. It will contain logistical details of everything from furniture hire and parking passes to how to order your shell scheme and fascia. Filling in the appropriate forms in good time will make things run more efficiently. If you have a large exhibition space, don't forget that adding in a seating area can attract more visitors to your stand. Design and produce all banners, brochures and promotional products that you will need. Look into any potential sponsorship opportunities to maximise your presence at the show.
Working on an exhibition stand can be tiring, as the days are very long. Wear smart clothes and comfortable shoes. Ideally, there should be at least two people working on the stand so each has the opportunity for breaks. Have snacks on hand as the catering stands will probably be very busy, and don't forget to drink lots of water as exhibition halls are typically quite warm. The main purpose of exhibiting is to make new business contacts, so don't forget to collect as many contact details as possible. Larger trade shows often offer electronic lead-retrieval systems that scan attendees' badges – this is a quick and simple way of gathering information for your client database.
Exhibiting is a fun and effective way to target new customers. Ensure you prepare thoroughly, choose good promotional products as giveaways and you will be on course for a successful event.