The Best Ways to Follow Up your Exhibition Leads

The Best Ways to Follow Up your Exhibition Leads

The real key to securing dates in the diary and potential new customers after an exhibition is to follow up your leads.

So many people give up if their first email is ignored, but a proper follow up strategy will make a difference when it comes to making a sale.

So, what are some of the things you can do to improve your follow up skills and strategies?

Continue reading “The Best Ways to Follow Up your Exhibition Leads”

Why You Need an Annual Marketing Plan

Why You Need an Annual Marketing Plan

You’re only as strong as your marketing plan – it’s the difference between where you are now and where you want to be in a year’s time.

Everything you want to achieve can be outlined in your marketing plan – the exhibitions you want to attend, and the marketing lead up to this, themes for your social media planning and the amount of business you want to see increase.

So how do you go about building a marketing plan, and why is it so crucial?

Assess your Situation

The first step and key benefit of a marketing plan is that it allows you to take a step back and assess the way your marketing is currently performing.

In doing so, you’re able to pinpoint marketing areas that need improvement, and identify strategies that seem to be working for you as they are.

The overall view of your marketing will really help you see how you’re performing as a whole too, and will help you with the next stage of the plan…

Determine your Goals and Measurement

Without knowing what’s currently an issue within your business, you won’t know what needs changing, or how to measure that you’re achieving these.

Once you’ve assessed the areas in your marketing strategy that need to improve, you can outline the main things you want to achieve from this.

For example, if you know your exhibition posts don’t get a lot of engagement on social media, your goal could be ‘double the engagement on exhibition posts on Twitter and Facebook by December 2019’.

You would then aim to measure this by noting how much increased engagement you gain per week or month and set your strategy (to be discussed shortly) to meet these goals.

Focus on no more than 3-5 goals to avoid overwhelming yourself and diffusing your energy away from the main aim of revenue growth, and make sure you have research to back up the validity and possibility of your goals.

Set your Strategy

If we use the goal outlined above as an example, some strategies you could use would be

  • Running a competition on Facebook monthly and announcing this and the results on Facebook.
  • Conduct A/B testing on your exhibition ads to see which perform better for which audiences.
  • Encourage people at exhibitions to engage with you on social media or generate a hashtag to share photos and discussions related to this.

When you have a comprehensive marketing plan, everyone’s next steps are clear. This could be in the form of announcing your presence at a more suitable exhibition for your brand.

Don’t Feel too Contained

It is incredibly important to remember this plan is an outline and isn’t set in stone. It’s a roadmap guiding you, but there’s still always the possibility that you’ve taken a wrong turn or will reach and obstacle.

As long as you keep researching and measuring your goals and results, you will be able to evolve your marketing plan when necessary, be this mid-year, quarterly, or just in time for the next exhibition if you decide a different strategy would produce better results.

You want to make sure your marketing plan is driving results. If you don’t see this being the case, it’s time for a refresh.

Why is it so important?

Whether your business is big or small, your purpose should be revenue growth, and without customers you will never see this. Your marketing and in turn your marketing plan are the key components to attracting and retaining these customers.

The strategic and time constrained nature of a marketing plan really will help you notice whether you’re seeing results with the strategies you use in the time you require.

Social Media trends for 2019 that you can use for your next exhibition

Social Media trends for 2019 that you can use for your next exhibition

2019 produces plenty of opportunities to revamp your strategies when it comes to exhibiting in the coming year. We recently published a blog post with some of the upcoming trends for 2019 in the exhibition circle, and a lot of these involved social media.

Given that this is such a huge element of marketing and exhibiting (sharing your attendance on multiple platforms in advance, running competitions etc) it could never be a bad idea to run through some of the 2019 social media trends that you can incorporate into your exhibition plans this year.

Personal Branding

Every business should know the importance of presenting their brand, particularly over social media. Giving your business a cohesive brand helps immensely in making your business recognisable and can only help further at exhibitions.

Passers-by will automatically form a perception of your company based on your visual identity. If this is recognisable in connection with your social media identity, you have expanded your personal brand to your exhibition.

This can be a huge attraction for some businesses, often people will visit a stand purely on the impression from a business’s social media, but it’s the continuation of the brand throughout the stand and those manning it that encourages people to stay and converse.

Video Content

Video has proven itself over and over to be one of, if not the, most popular and engaging pieces of content. According to Forbes, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.

This goes to show that video content has a huge impact in how people will receive you and your business. Incorporating videos of product demonstrations for example, into the display of your stand could be a great persuasive feature to encourage people to request more information or indeed make a purchase.

Of course, sharing these videos on social media beforehand will also help create a buzz for your product, potentially encouraging people to visit in person come exhibition day.

Podcasts and Live Streaming

Another video-based element that could work wonders and is set to hold its popularity in 2019 is live content. Podcasts and live streaming saw a huge increase in popularity in 2018 and were harnessed by several businesses.

Live streaming a competition win or Q&A from your exhibition stand could pull in a lot of visitors both online and in person due to the intrigue this creates. When coupled with hashtags related to the exhibition, this could catch the attention of exhibition attendees that previously wouldn’t have visited your stand, but now are due to this association.

Instagram and Facebook stories are also a good way to promote the ‘in the moment’ action focused part of an exhibition.

This could produce a great amount of traffic for you both on site and online.

Focus on UGC

UGC, or user generated content, is content produced or posted by users of online platforms. It’s already a popular form of content generation for a lot of businesses in their social media plans and can be harnessed for use during an exhibition too.

It can be as simple as displaying a slideshow of Tweeted reviews, or as complex as inviting users to become part of your stand or exhibit through programs reminiscent of the Christmas “Elf Yourself” phenomenon, or by creating something to display on your exhibition stand.

UGC is great because it really emphasises an engagement between brand and customer, rather than just customer to brand.

These interactions harness social media strategies to use in coming exhibitions and help promote a brand as customer friendly.

Influencer Marketing

A tried and tested technique proven to give results, influencer marketing is great since the collaboration can help intrigue a completely new audience and invite them to interact with your company.

This does not just have to be done online – bringing an influencer you work with to an exhibition could have a great effect on attracting a new audience on the day, leading to more visits from previously disengaged attendees, and therefore more opportunities to sell.

The integrity of influencer marketing could be saved by this – whilst fake accounts are an issue for the trustworthiness of influencer marketing currently, you cannot turn down or dispute an in-person appearance

If you need help designing a stand or strategy to help align with these social media trends and make 2019 your best exhibition year yet, please get in touch with 200m2 today!

Exhibition Show Trends for 2019

Exhibition Show Trends for 2019

With the year drawing to a close, it is only necessary to predict and dissect what trends will be coming up in regards to exhibition shows in 2019.

To stay on top of the game and make a stand an attention grabber in an exhibition full of new tech and innovative ideas, take a look at our breakdown of the top exhibition trends to note in 2019.

Selfie Walls

Social media is still in its prime when it comes to marketing and trade shows. It’s a great place to share photos, create social media content for your own brand and attract a range of visitors to your stand.

Selfie walls are a great addition to a stand – passers-by will love the opportunity to pose for a photo in a designated and attractive space, while businesses can benefit from the exposure online, especially if you ensure your wall has some kind of branding on it!

You could even run a social media competition with a selfie upload tagging your business as their entry – people love incentives and it guarantees exposure for you.

Bring funny props or create an amazing background – there is so much you can do with this idea!

AR and VR

  • Augmented Reality (AR) – the ability to merge our own lives with the digital world is a tactic to be harnessed for 2019. Whether it’s used in the most professional form, for example scanning a barcode and an AR business card is presented, or in a fun and interactive form such as an AR treasure hunt through various stands, AR has the ability to completely redesign the way we interact with exhibitions and the stands within them.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) – the integration of VR in an exhibition show could completely transform the space within which a stand resides. VR promises to take people to other places and creates a unique and dynamic presentation. Take an interior design company – tell someone to come back in half an hour and they could have designed their perfect bedroom – and transported them right into it. The possibilities for VR are endless and its power to transport attendees outside of the conference hall is unrivalled.

Multi-Sensory Exhibits

Exhibitors usually rely heavily on sight and don’t take a second thought to all of our other senses. Well, they could be missing out on a trick here…

It’s all very well having a beautiful stand, but if it doesn’t suit a business’s product or goals it might not have the intended impact.

If someone trades as a business in the food industry it may be wiser to focus heavily on smell and taste – offering free samples to attendees for example.

Electronics companies promoting their new headphones may wish to rely heavily on sound – for example creating everyone who purchases on the day a personalised playlist to listen to with their new gadget.

Of course, every exhibition differs in their regulations for sound limits and stand sizes, but there is always a creative way to play to the overlooked senses to draw people to the stand.

Stand Design

It is thought that in 2019, instead of the flashy graphics and bright lights attracting people to stands, the focus will be more on the customer experience. It’s all very well bringing people to a stand, but if there’s nothing to make them stay, it can equal a lost sale.

Cease thinking in terms of demo stations and square footage and reinvent stand designs to be intuitive and facilitate the common goal – showing the value of a product or service to the customer.

Engagement and interaction enhance the experience for the customer and impact attendees. It’s also important to remember to make stand spaces inviting and relaxing – attendees are on their feet all day and a place to relax may appeal to people more than expected.

With that in mind, it’s time to start planning for any 2019 exhibitions you think would suit your business. For help deciding on or designing your perfect stand to wow the crowds and stay on top of trends in the new year, contact us at 200m2 today.

Top Tips for your First Exhibition

Top Tips for your First Exhibition

For any first-timer, placing yourself in a hall full of established business owners and eccentric exhibitors can be daunting. Whether you’re an attendee or an exhibitor, it’s easy to let your nerves get the best of you at your first event.

To help banish those nerves, there are some things you can do to help exhibition day go as smoothly as possible.

Find out who will be attending

This is your first step to networking at your first exhibition. Discovering who will be attending, exhibiting and speaking at the exhibition can help you decide who might be the most useful to speak to, or who might be able to best introduce you to other people.

Attendee lists or exhibitor lists are often available in advance – find out who might be interested in your company and vice versa. You could try sending them an introductory email reaching out and explaining you would love to meet them.

Having already reached out to a range of people, come exhibition day, you have a point of conversation and a reason to stop by their booth or to encourage them to stop by yours.

Brief your staff

Naturally, the people who come to your booth will be asking questions about the products or services you offer.

Make sure you prepare the people on your stand with the information they’ll need to answer these queries – impress visitors with your knowledgeable answers.

Ensure that your staff are friendly and conversational. They’re the faces of your business for the day, so ensure they are approachable and comfortable asking questions themselves, assessing the needs of those who stop by your stand and turning them into qualifying leads and customers.

Engage on social media

Most of the buzz regarding a trade show happens on social media beforehand. A lot of exhibitions and shows will have a specific hashtag on Twitter in which they encourage announcements and photos to be shared under the guise of connecting likeminded attendees.

Use LinkedIn to your advantage and connect with people before the show to make your follow up process easier and more memorable.

Bring business cards

This is key to any exhibition. How else do you expect people to remember your contact details? A business card presents these in a neat and compact way and is also your time to shine when it comes to design and representing your business.

Make sure to invest in some business cards even if you’re only attending and not exhibiting – you never know what companies might be interested in and want to contact you.

The offering of a business card is an extension of the conversation after the show, where the real deals are made. Don’t be the person to miss out on this opportunity!

Be physically ready

It goes without saying that an exhibition will undoubtedly be a long day on your feet. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep beforehand and don’t drink too much alcohol the night before – you’ll need to be on top form and the chirpiest you can on exhibition day.

Make yourself memorable and memorise others

It’s great when people can remember you from an exhibition. Whether this is due to the way you look, the conversations you had or how your stand was presented, it’s good to be a key takeaway from someone’s day.

When it comes to the follow up, it makes the whole process easier if people can remember you and what you spoke about.

On your business’s side, take notes on your conversations so you’re familiar with who’s who and what they want.

It never hurts to be sure and can result in a following sales pitch being much more tailored, personal and persuasive.

So, there’s our top tips for making the most of your first exhibition and getting the best leads whether exhibiting yourself or attending.

 For all your exhibition needs, stands and services, first timer or veteran, contact us today at 200m2.