Are you making the most of exhibitions?
Events, exhibitions, trade shows, expos (or whichever term you like to refer to them as!) are happening all year round and are an effective way to promote your business, as well as a great networking opportunity.
If you’re already exhibiting at an upcoming event or are thinking about promoting your organisation at an exhibition, here are a few tips and pointers to help you get organised and ensure you achieve the most you possibly can:
Plan: Make a wish list as a starting point – write down everything you can think of which you might want on your stand. Then, just keep adding to this as and when you think of more things. As your planning progresses, you will most likely whittle your list down to just the necessary items.
Exhibition stands: Think about how you want your stand to look and stick to a theme for a professional appearance. Once set-up, ensure your stand is kept tidy at all times and there is always somebody manning your space – leaving your stand unattended not only looks un-professional but you could also be missing out on potential new business opportunities.
Transparency: Ensure your exhibition stand clearly states what your organisation does, has examples of the organisation’s products and/or services on display and tells your visitors why they should come to your stand. Utilising pop-up banners and having leaflets at a convenient place for visitors to pick up, will help you to achieve this.
Literature & merchandise: Ensure you have leaflets and business cards which are easily accessible for your visitors to just pick up from your stand – not everybody will want to stop and talk but may just want to take your contact details away with them. Then of course, branded giveaways are essential! Everyone loves freebies and people will be more likely to visit your stand if they can see you’re giving away some goodies. Promotional products allow you to ensure the recipient will have your details long after the exhibition has ended.
Be a visitor: Attend an event beforehand to see what catches your eye. Which are the best stands? Where are the different components placed? Determine how other businesses have used small budgets in clever ways and take away these ideas for your event.
People: Remember, the individuals manning your stand are the faces of the organisation. Pick the right people for the job; friendly, confident and knowledgeable usually ticks the boxes. Over eager sales people who jump in the face of everyone who passes by will create a negative perception of your business.
Marketing: Once you’ve booked your space at an exhibition, shout about it! Put it on your website, blog about it, tweet about it – utilise all of your marketing communication channels to create awareness and make it common knowledge that you’re going to be exhibiting.
Follow up: To achieve the best return on your investment, think carefully about how you are going to attract visitors, engage them and most importantly, follow-up afterwards. Exhibitions are a large investment; anyone who stops to talk is a potential future customer. Attain their name, number and email address then follow up with an email, phone call or newsletter. Ensure you follow-up your new leads within a few days of the exhibition in order to make an impression whilst the event is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
Here are our top promotional product picks for event giveaways…
Bags: Perfect for visitors to carry everything they’ve collected from various other stands. GO BIG; make your bag the biggest possible. Every other bag they’re then given will be put inside your bag, meaning yours will be the one on show!
Water bottles: Walking around exhibition halls is thirsty work, so branded bottles of water will be well received.
Pens: A cheap giveaway which you can utilise without worrying about expense. Promotional pens are perfect for handing out on mass to create and maximise brand awareness.
Themed items for your industry: e.g. – car shaped mint cards for Automotive organisations or house shaped money boxes for Estate Agents. Items relevant to what you do always pack an extra punch.
Confectionery: Everybody loves sweets and chocolate, so why not give people visiting your stand that much needed energy fix to get them through the day.
Balloons: Bright, fun and a great way to decorate a stand. Why not go bespoke with your own shaped balloons to really stand out!
Branded corporate wear: Make sure you and the team look the part. It can differentiate you from the competition and gives you a uniformed and polished appearance. Utilise items such as t-shirts, polo shirts, embroidered ties, neck scarves and printed name badges.
We couldn’t not also include our top ‘What not to do’:
DO NOT treat your promotional items as purely decoration for the stand; they’re not there to make it look pretty. Pyramids of mugs or fans of pens on the table – the clue is in the title, giveaways are for GIVING AWAY! Have them accessible so that passers-by can easily pick them up and have staff on the stand handing the items out. The more people that receive a giveaway, the more likely you will be to see a return on your investment.
Got an event coming up? If so, you’ll need branded freebies to allow your visitors to take away your details in a memorable way, which is where we come in… Get in touch now for product inspiration, ideas and prices! Give us a buzz on 01200 450 005 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – We’d love to help you make your exhibition a success!