Key Dos and Don’ts of Exhibiting
Exhibitions should be an integral part of every company’s marketing and sales strategy as they provide an excellent opportunity to collect qualified leads, make sales, build relationships, build the brand and also, to launch new products in a creative and innovative way. For optimal show success, we recommend the following dos and don’ts when exhibiting:
Stand out from the crowd
The stand should be inviting and capture the attention of attendees walking by. A show promotion, demo, theme or competition will assist the team that is manning the stand to open conversations and to entice people to the stand. The product or service offering should also be clear.
Standing behind a table at the front of the stand may close off engagement with an attendee as this may make the exhibitor appear unapproachable.
Standing at the very front of the stand, arms folded or hands in the pockets, may create the impression that the exhibitor is guarding the stand and thus, the territory and this may send a signal to attendees not to enter the stand space.
Train your staff
Depending on the nature of the exhibitor’s business, different roles may be required to be filled on the exhibition stand. This may range from technical support to sales personnel and to marketing specialists. It is important to ensure that everyone is adept with respect to the knowledge of the company’s products and service offering and that they have the necessary training such as role playing sessions. Literature for key messages should be available for the team on the stand to communicate to attendees, as well as collateral on frequently asked questions (FAQs). Remember the golden rules of exhibiting which include: don’t eat on the stand, don’t seem too eager, ask open ended questions, obtain as much information as possible to determine if the person you are speaking to is a prospective customer.
Never let anyone turn up to man the stand that doesn’t know why they are there and what their specific role comprises. If attendees are getting mixed messages and differing language regarding the exhibiting company, this may cause confusion later and de-value the company’s brand image.
Create a detailed budget
The infrastructure of the exhibition costs the exhibitor money, as do the sales and operations personnel. Then there is the design component, bespoke or System build costs, the graphics and signage, carpeting and flooring, displays, furniture, décor and elements such as promotional gifts and hostesses, plumbing, Audio Visual and electricity. Creating a detailed budget will assist in keeping track of all the project expenses and will ensure overall exhibition success. Allocating the funds required upfront to cover all aspects of the exhibition is critical i.e. stand costs, marketing collateral, travel costs, personnel allowances and incidentals to ensure that everyone stays within the project budget.
Capitalise on show advertising and marketing material
Apart from linking the exhibitor’s website to that of the Organisers’ website and exhibition catalogue which can generate enquires and leads long after the show has ended, there are other ways to utilise the Organisers’ marketing channels in order to reach potential clients. This could include speaking at a conference at the exhibition or doing an interview with the media, press releases and social media.
Leave Planning for the last minute
Ensuring that a well thought out and detailed plan is put into place as soon as the commitment is made and everything is signed up for exhibiting, prevents any unnecessary stress that may affect the outcome of the exhibition success. The plan should include a relevant timeline, a detailed budget, stand design and outline, as well as an exhibition staff plan.
Ignore visitors or Eat on the stand
The rule of thumb is Engage with visitors during the exhibition and STAY off all cell phones. Leaving a prospect unnoticed because the exhibitor is too busy on their phone or eating on the stand, not only is unprofessional but it could also cause the prospective client to skip the stand altogether. There are allocated areas for exhibitors to enjoy replenishments and catch up on emails or phone calls. Creating a schedule with reasonable breaks for the team that is manning the stand, prevents the situation of an empty stand at any point during the exhibition.
Don’t forget to invite potential and existing clients to visit the exhibition
Proactively driving attendees to the exhibition stand through advertising and personalised invitation, is key. This is also an excellent opportunity to invite existing clients and targeted business to experience the brand at the exhibition. This creates comfort, reassurance in the brand and provides the perfect opportunity to engage and network while sharing the expertise and introducing new innovation and technology.
Implementing the above tips will go a long way in ensuring a positive exhibition and project experience and will contribute successfully towards the exhibitor’s brand and marketing strategy.
Contact our adept and expert team at ConCept G for all your project requirements…going beyond the ordinary.