So you’re thinking of exhibiting? You’ve most likely seen the local business exhibition and wondered if it’s for you! You’ve never stepped foot at an exhibition and find it daunting for that first event, but feel somehow you’re missing out by not being there… are you?Whilst we’re normally focused on exhibition printing services for our customers, finding out whether an exhibition is actually right for you is a very important step! So here are 9 things you might not want to hear about exhibitions.
Exhibiting your business shouldn’t be a must – it needs careful consideration before handing over your money. So for the first article in our exhibition season, we’ll focus on the things you don’t want to hear or the things people won’t normally tell you.
Thing 1 – Showing up isn’t half the battle.
Don’t think just because you’re there – you’ll be successful at exhibiting. A lot of preparation and planning needs to go into your exhibition, especially if it’s your first.
Thing 2 – Quality not Quantity
Remember, just because you’re at an exhibition with hundreds of visitors and possible leads around, you still need to qualify those that you speak to. Don’t forget though, if you have stand visitors and they’re not interested in your products or services then have a tactic to quickly move on from the conversation and onto the next. Your competitors will no doubt use the exhibit to learn more about you as well, so be sure to know who they are at the show.
Thing 3 – Big is not better
If this is your first exhibition then be careful about splashing out on your stand and items to go with it. You could end up spending thousands on stands, printing & promotional merchandise, but is it for you? Think carefully about it.. don’t just have pens on your stand because everyone does – you want to be different don’t you? Think what your ideal customers use or would be relevant to your market!
Thing 4 – What’s your purpose?
It’s easy to get swept away with exhibiting just for the fun of it! You’re there for your business and ultimately for one result, whether that’s to get more leads, to sell a product, to establish or launch your brand or to meet specific delegates you know are going. So long as you plan this important step, you’ll be fine.
Thing 5 – Make sure you have plan b & c!
Things don’t always go to plan so make sure you’re able to cope with whatever happens, power problems, wifi problems, it will all happen at some point. Don’t rely on web forms or sites for things, have paper forms as a back up, or download videos of websites if your stand relies on them.
Thing 6 – Don’t leave things to the last minute!
Sort your literature before the event, in enough time! If you need updated brochures, handouts, business cards or exhibition stands/roller banners for the show, get started on them in plenty of time. Have your objectives & plan communicated to your designer and make sure any themes or products are carried across into these. Last of all, make sure you have produced enough for the show.
Thing 7 – Communication
Make sure your plans and objectives are communicated to everyone involved in the show. If they’re not aware of what you want to achieve from the show, how do expect them to guide you there?
Thing 8 – Don’t just talk! Look, take photos
If it’s your first exhibition or even if its not, make sure you have photos of your event. You can use them for future events, social media, pr and press releases.
Thing 9 – Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Make sure after the event that you follow up with all the leads you have collected at the event, there are so many companies out there that will collect your details at shows, but how many actually follow up? Some of these are your competitors, if they’re not following up with their leads and you are, who will get the business? Make sure you’ve set aside time after the event for following up these leads, whether that’s emails, phone calls or face to face meetings.
I hope these have helped make an event seem not as daunting as before. Exhibitions can be a great way to view your business from another angle, to see it as other people see it. Make it work for your business, but don’t just attend because you think you should, think carefully first whether it will help grow your business.
Maybe you’ve got a few tips to share from your experience with exhibitions, if so, why not add them below.
To help we’ve also produced a few ebooks on exhibitions, to take a look, just click here.