Why is it Important to Find out About your Competitors Before a Trade Show?

Why is it Important to Find out About your Competitors Before a Trade Show?

In any industry no matter how big or small, there are going to be other companies that you’ll be competing with for awareness, customers and market share.

Competitor research should form a key part of your marketing strategy, alongside your own market research.

This shouldn’t be any different when it comes to exhibitions and tradeshows.

What is a Competitor Analysis?

This is a structural analysis of the competing companies in your industry on a similar level to you. This will help you understand what their strengths and weaknesses are to help benefit your own business.

Identifying these areas, especially their weaknesses, opens the door to opportunities for your business to effectively try and perform well in the areas that they perhaps don’t as much.

Analysing other companies identifies their unique selling point (USP), and how this compares to your own business.

In effect, competition analysis provides you with business development ideas, allowing you to fill the gaps in your marketing and brand visibility.

What Should you Include in your Analysis?

In order to conduct an effective survey, there are a few prime areas to focus on, and these are relatively easy to assess. Here are some of the key areas for analysis:

  • Products and services – How are these different to what your company offer, and do the company have any specialities or best-selling products? An important area to consider is pricing and how this relates to your pricing strategy.
  • Marketing – What are their marketing and advertising methods? This will help you identify if they’re up to date with the latest marketing trends and whether they have any strengths or weaknesses.
  • Customers – Who are their target audience, and is this the same as yours? If they’re aiming their services towards a slightly different demographic, this gives room for opportunity for your company.
  • Location – Where is the company based, and are they close to you? If they’re located close to you, this could prove more of a challenge as you’re effectively competing for a similar group of prospects and clients. If you have a physical store, this is particularly crucial as you want to draw in customers to your shop, over others.
  • Unique selling point – What makes the company stand out in the crowd? Every brand has a focused area of branding or marketing that’s different to everyone else, so finding this out will show their company strength.

How Can this Help Before an Exhibition?

Having an exhibition stand is all about visually representing what your brand is about, expressing why you’re different from other companies, and why visitors should choose to invest in you.

Your competitors will have similar concepts in mind, in terms of their stand and promotion, so this will help you come to a decision of how you’re going to set up your stand for success and what you’re going to promote to draw attendees to the stand.

Whether you’re intending on having a stand at an event or going along as a visitor, you’ll be able to talk directly with competitors and asked questions based on what you’ve found in your analysis.

Are you going to run competitions? Or maybe you’re looking to offer limited-time offers and discounts for the event only. These are just a couple of the promotional strategies that will make visitors want to come to your stand, over the many others.

Goals and Objectives

It’s important to set goals and achievements that are going to be achieved realistically.

Instead of trying to transform all your weaknesses in one day, at one exhibition, create a strategy in your team of what can be accomplished the best through exhibitions and events.

When comparing your company to others in the industry, highlight your key weaknesses and work on these first.

Segment your strategy into stages to help breakdown how you’re going to best achieve your goals. Your objectives will all be achievable on a different timescale, so determine the time frame for each area and when you’d like to start seeing improvements by.

Considering the geographical aspects of your goals is important as the location of customers, potential marketing events and product manufacturing will all contribute to the outcome.

A financial structure should also be laid out to discuss what effect your strategy is going to have on your budget and how much this is going to increase.

 

Are you looking to ensure your exhibition stand is one step above the rest? 200m2 would be happy to help! You can contact our team of our experts here.

 

 

 

 

How Can Instagram Help You at Your Next Exhibition?

How Can Instagram Help You at Your Next Exhibition?

Instagram is increasingly becoming one of the key social media platforms for businesses alongside Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Previously there has been a question mark over Instagram in terms of how useful it actually is for businesses, but with new features like on-app shopping and swipe links, it’s one to watch.

So, how and why should you be using Instagram for your next exhibition? We have the complete run-down for before, during and after the show to ensure you’re getting the most out of your stand.

Before the Event

There is so much to do and organise before you attend an exhibition, so social media may be the last thing on your list, but it’s actually one of the first things that you should be doing.

Little things like announcing your attendance can make all the difference and help raise awareness of the event to your audience. Remember, your social audience isn’t just your clients and you may have a prospect ready to buy amongst your followers.

Use Instagram stories to help encourage people to buy tickets, you can add a swipe up link directly to the event page. Stories work really well because it’s bitesize information which makes it so much more digestible for consumers and therefore more effective.

The event organisers will likely have set up and be using a hashtag to promote the event, jump on this and start tagging your posts and stories with this. This will help you reach a wider audience of attendees and other exhibitors before you’ve even step foot through the door.

Hashtags are also a really good way to scope out who will be there, this could be other exhibitors (remember these people are also business owners and could be looking for your service), or people attending. You can start interacting with like-minded people, or companies who are in your target market.

During the Event

You’re going to be busy at the exhibition, but make sure you bring a good team of people with you to help with this. However, just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you should forget about Instagram.

You’ve been working hard to raise awareness and get involved in the event community so don’t miss out on the opportunity to reap the rewards of this work.

Keep your followers updated with stories throughout the day, they will take you minutes to create but using the right hashtags could double the footfall at your stand. If you have any competitions, exciting news or even just a really good USP, make sure you’re posting all about it.

Encourage the people who visit your stand to follow your Instagram to behind the scenes content and top tips from your expert team. You could even announce the competition winner or provide VIP access to a new product for your Instagram followers.

After the Event

The hard work must be over now, right? Well, not quite, there is still more that can be done!

If you’ve attended your fair share of exhibitions in the past, you may have heard the phrase “follow up is key”, and it’s true. However, following up with prospects and clients from the event doesn’t have to mean a phone call.

You may want to phone the leads who are ‘hot’ and you want to get a meeting in the diary, but actually following everybody on Instagram and sending them a DM can be useful as well.

You’ll be likely to get a follow returned, so even if they’re not ready to buy now, you’ve got a ticket into their newsfeed. So, when they’re ready to make the purchase, who’s going to come to mind? You, the company that they see on their Instagram every week, who they trust.

 

It may be time to start your business Instagram account if you haven’t already, and if you’re still looking for a show-stopping stand, contact our team of stand experts.

How to Acquire Leads from Your Exhibition Stand

How to Acquire Leads from Your Exhibition Stand

Exhibitions are a great, interactive way to meet new prospects and generate leads. Whilst this is a traditional marketing method, it still acquires great success for brand recognition through targeted conversation.

Are you wondering how your exhibition stand could expand your list of potential leads? Read our blog to discover some great tips and ways to improve!

Promoting Your Stand

First impressions make a huge difference, so creating brand awareness before the event will catch the eyes of potential leads.

Using social media platforms and email newsletters to promote your company’s attendance at an exhibition will encourage even more ticket purchases. This will associate the event with your brand and persuade visitors to look out for your stand on the day.

Short and interesting subject lines will increase the open rates of your emails and clear ‘calls to action’ across all your platforms will also increase engagement.

Another good way to promote your stand is to advertise something you’ll be doing at the exhibition, like a competition, showing you aren’t solely talking about business but instead providing entertainment and a friendly face.

 Your Stand Design

Your stand design should really represent your brand as this is the first thing prospects will see and associate with your company. It should display a clear brand persona, including your logo and any key colours that are recurring across your website and other marketing platforms.

Displaying a clear message is also important to initially show visitors what your brand is about and make them want to come and say hi when they see you.

Ensuring this information is short, snappy and relevant to your company will provide exhibition visitors with the information they need about whether they can benefit from your services. Portraying relevant details across your banners will also encourage your leads to come to you.

Competitions

A key factor in acquiring leads is giving them the chance to win free prizes from competitions, because who doesn’t love free gifts?

This is a great way to interact with potential leads, get to know them and strike up a conversation while they’re getting involved.

Game-based competitions have proven to be a great hit at gaining interest from visitors in an entertaining way. They also encourage prospects to come back to your stand through the day to see if they’ve won.

Follow-Ups

Exchanging company business cards through a competition, or general conversation, allows you to give your prospects a follow-up call to retain their interest in your services and shows you haven’t forgotten about their participation.

Adding your leads on social media will also show a personalised approach and that you care about their company. It is encouraged that your follow-up response is done soon after the event in order to acquire their interest.

 

For more information on acquiring leads from exhibitions and events, contact 200m2! We’d love to discuss how this could benefit your business and what stands could be appropriate for you.

Exhibition Printing for Your Stand

Exhibition Printing for Your Stand

Standing out to the crowd when exhibiting is key to attracting new leads to your stand. What better way to do this than with a quality branded banner to catch their eye?

Exhibition printing is a great solution to representing your brand while showcasing what you can offer to your audience. There are many forms of printing available, each for different purposes.

This blog provides information about the different types of printing services that can be offered and why you should consider these when customising your stand.

Flat-Bed Printing

This form of printing specialises in producing larger graphics that can be printed on flat materials. It is an extremely precise and high-quality printing technique with great durability. This is beneficial when considering storage, transport and dismantling your stand, so you can rest assured that your graphics will stay intact.

The high-quality printing gives users the option to display their banners and sign outdoors, semi-permanently, due to the weather-resistant display. However, this is dependent on the base material – with certain materials, like hard PVC, being the most appropriate for outdoor use.

The inks involved in this process are ‘light-curing’, meaning UV light is used to instantly dry the inks applied to the base, encouraging a longer-lasting product.

Roll Material Printing

A process that involves digital printing, roll printing uses roll materials, such as foils, that can be easily joined together. This is another method for larger printing requirements as it is possible to print an image to practically any size that is requested.

The combination of high-quality inks and digital printing technology makes this another method that is suitable for indoors and outdoors. Printing can also be performed single or double-sided, on many desired materials.

Roll material printing does not require any additional protection in sustaining the graphics due to the use of solvent and light-curing UV, which will resist any external factors that could harm the quality.

Latex Printing

This can also be referred to as eco-latex printing and uses water-based inks to create exhibition graphics.

It is in high demand for wallpapers and is also eco-friendly, so you can rest assured that this is a safe and convenient printing method for your stand.

Ready to use straight from the printer, this form of print is odour-free and extremely durable.

For larger stands, latex printing could be the best option for you as the graphics can be stretched to meet your standards and formatted to any size.

Textile Printing

If you’re looking to include fabric banners or flags to your exhibition stand, textile printing could be for you!

Digital sublimation printing is the process that creates printed graphics onto textiles. This is an alternative and a much higher-quality solution to any other fabric printing process as it features no loss of resolution to your images.

The permanence of the printing quality means that fabrics can be ironed and even washed without impacting the graphic quality. Folding or bending the material also has no effect on the quality and it is even resistant to most weather conditions, including sunlight.

When considering an environmentally friendly printing method, subliminal printing is the best option as it avoids the use of plastic boards and banners as a base material and instead sources the same high-quality images on fabrics.

 

200m2  source a range of alternative printing methods, all providing high-quality graphics and long-lasting results.

 

If you’d like to find out more you can find our printing page here.

For more information on these services, contact us at 200m2.

Exhibition Marketing – After the Show

Exhibition Marketing – After the Show

The key to marketing after an exhibition is to create an effective follow up plan. This is essentially the only way to get the leads you’ve captured interested in your business (if they aren’t already) and encourage people to engage with your products or services. 

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