With updated health and safety regulations in place and vaccination programmes gaining traction, there is (cautious) optimism for the return of trade exhibitions from late summer 2021 onwards. Have you got a previously postponed event pencilled into your diary or are you considering taking the plunge and booking event space either for this year or in the more distant future? If so, what do you do now? Below are just a few of our top tips for ensuring your live show is a success.
1 Preparation is everything
Start with a plan – preferably several months in advance of the show. Make lists, discuss budgets, logistics and stand design… by being fully prepared, you’re already on the way to a successful show.
2 Brief your staff
Make sure that team members picked for event days are chosen for their knowledge of and enthusiasm for your business. Brief them on why you’re attending this particular show and what you expect of them, ensuring everyone is clear about what they’re doing.
3 Set goals
What are you hoping to gain by exhibiting at this event? Are you there to raise your profile and increase brand awareness or to generate sales? By setting realistic and specific objectives for the event, you’re more likely to achieve them.
4 Be eyecatching
In a busy exhibition hall, you only have the briefest moment to attract a visitor’s attention – and in that moment you want them to realise that you are exactly what they need. Professionally designed graphics are imperative to ensure your stand design is eye-catching and engaging. Be bold, be vibrant, be eye-catching and inventive. Make sure your stand is the one everyone notices.
5 Who is your target audience?
Figure out who you are trying to attract. Tailor your pre-show marketing to let this audience know you will be there, what you will be promoting and importantly, the location of your stand within the hall. Make use of your social media platforms to drive visitors to your stand – engaging them with hints and teases, competitions, reveals – anything that you think will increase engagement.
6 Location, location, location
Be it a house or an exhibition stand, the same is true. Location is key in a busy exhibition hall… you don’t want to be tucked up a corner, away from the action. Consider your position in relation to entrances, exits and catering facilities – as these areas often have the best footfall. Whose are the stands around you? Where are your competitors located?
7 Does size really matter?
It does indeed matter. The bigger the better when it comes to exhibitions – but do not fall into the trap of buying a huge 10m x 10m stand, when you only have a £10,000 budget. You are much better opting for a smaller space (eg 7m x 6m) and using your budget to make it look fantastic.
8 Lights on
Make sure your stands shines brightly amongst your competitors by ensuring that everything is well lit. Use spotlights, back lighting, shelf lights etc creatively to bring attention to your brand or a particular product. Coloured lights can complement your brand colours or create atmosphere, whilst light boxes make a spectacular change to flat graphic walls
Put simply – good illumination allows your visitors to easily and see what needs to be seen and read on your site but it can just as effectively used to convey mood or highlight specific areas and images.
9 Everyone loves to win
Competitions, giveaways and games are often great ways to attract people to your stand. Instead of business based prizes, offfer personal “treats” as an incentive – potential and existing clients will think of your positively as a result.
10 Follow up your leads
90% of business generated from exhibiting comes from leads gathered rather than on the spot sales. Always collect visitors’ contact details – engage them in conversation and find out what they are interested in – then let your sales team do their thing.
Here at plus we’re raring to go and so excited to be potentially designing and building stands again. If you need any help with getting exhibition plans off the ground or rescuing stalled projects just fill in the contact form, email [email protected] or call 01782 264110 and one of our advisors will be happy to help.