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.

Pop-up Stands vs Truss Stands

Pop-up Stands vs Truss Stands

Whether you’re a first-time exhibitor or an expo veteran, you’ll need an exhibition stand to wow the crowds and attract people to your stand.

Both truss and pop-up stands have their advantages, but what kind of stand is best for you and what actually are these stands?

Here’s our beginner’s guide to portable pop-up stands and truss stands to help you decide which is right for you.

Truss Stands

Truss stands provide a professional and eye-catching solution for any exhibition. You may know this type of stand as a gantry stand, these are modular stands usually made from plastics or metal.

The rigid structure creates a temporary framework which can be altered and changed depending on your space and the purpose of the event.

Creating a visual impact at an exhibition is an important part of having exhibition success. A truss stand not only achieves this but it also reusable.

So, what are the benefits to using a truss stand?

  • Durability – Considering they’re designed to last from one exhibition to another, using the highest quality materials possible ensures your stand will see you through a number of
  • Versatility – Truss stands are designed to be modular, this means that you can rearrange the layout of this stand, whether you want a huge tower or a really small stand. Truss stands provide the versatility you need to use them in any space.
  • Return on investment – Truss stands can be used again and again, with no problems. Due to the versatility and the strength of this stand, it can be repeatedly used in a whole range of different spaces.

The truss stand really does provide you with the tools that you need to create your perfect vision and attract visitors to your next stand.

If you want more information about our range of truss stands, visit our page for more information.

Pop-up stands

Pop-up stands are portable and lightweight exhibition stands, usually made from a plastic frame covered in fabric.

These stands are great if you’re travelling between exhibitions with very minimal space. However, they are not the most durable of stands and need replacing far more frequently than a modular truss stand would.

The fabric stands can be printed with your branding and the information that is unique to your company, however, because of the nature of these stands, you may blend right in with other exhibitors.

These stands are extremely popular with exhibitors, but you pay the price for this by not having a unique or particularly eye-catching stand.

But, what are the benefits to having one of these quick, pop-up stands?

  • Easy setup and take down – Pop-up stands simply fold and unfold – they are readily assembled as soon as they’re removed from their containers.
  • Easily transportable – The nature of these stands means that they are able to fit into small spaces and are stored in a fairly small bag, this means that transporting them from show to show will be no problem. You could even take them on public transport easily!
  • Low cost – For some, the disadvantages in the durability of this stand will be made up for with the low price. It has an extremely low initial cost and compared to more professional, durable stands there can be a big difference.

So which stand is best for you?

Deciding which stand is right for your business may be the easiest decision you’ve made all day (we know that we pick durability and professionalism over cost any day), or it could be a bit of a hard decision.

One of the keys to having a successful exhibition is standing out from the crowd, catching visitors eyes and overall looking interesting and engaging.

Are you going to be able to do this if your stand is the same as 100 others in the room? Probably not, but will you do this if you have a large tower and stand that fills your space? Well, that one is up to you.

Both of these stands are completely portable, with the truss stands packing down into a few large bags and the portable stand fitting exactly back into its case. If it’s down to transporting the stand there is very little in it, maybe just the size of your car.

The banner and decoration capabilities of truss stands allows for a high rate of interchangeability and it is easy to change said decoration, making this an extremely cost-effective method of promoting your stand and your business. Whereas, with the pop-up stands you are tied into your original banner design.

If you want to know more information about exhibition stands, why not have a look at our favourites here. 

What you need to know if you’re attending an overseas exhibition

What you need to know if you’re attending an overseas exhibition

Exhibiting at overseas events can be a great way to promote your products and generate international awareness about what you do. The exposure to the broader audience overseas exhibitions give can be essential in breaking into foreign markets and securing export business.

As with any trade show, there are opportunities for issues to arise, but more so with exhibiting abroad due to quite often heavy expense and long distances they involve.

For some though, this slight risk is worth the huge potential reward. So, what do you need to know about attending an overseas exhibition to produce great results?

Proper Planning

Before you begin to plan your stand or journey, you must assess whether the venture and cost of your trip will mean success for your business.

There is no point in spending thousands of pounds to attend an exhibition to only find out it was unsuitable for your business and gain a few hundred pounds in revenue from unqualified leads.

Do your research and ensure that the event not only looks ideal for your business, but really is. Contact the organisers and request floor plans, visitor demographics, and exhibitor and speaker details to really assess whether the clientele could become assets to your business and will become invaluable contacts to you later on.

It may even be a wise decision, if circumstances allow, to register and attend other exhibitions abroad to simply assess the conditions – make connections to help you when you exhibit, see how the competitors measure up, and discover innovative ways to make your marketing stand out.

Preparation checklist

The preparation for an exhibition is not done overnight. You’ll want to be planning almost a year in advance in order to stand the best chance at having your exhibit run smoothly.

  • 6-12 months before – do your research and look at funding options.
  • 5-6 months before – book your space (try and get the best space you can!) and begin promoting your appearance at the event.
  • 4-5 months before – book your transport and hotels, and make sure your marketing materials are ready (print, freebies etc).
  • 3 months before – have your vaccinations and check travels documents (passports etc). Read the exhibitors manual and familiarise yourself with any pending deadlines.
  • 2 months before – plan the layout of your stand and ensure you have all the necessary equipment like lighting. Consider and finalise your equipment transportation options (freight, shipping options and delivery etc).
  • 1 month before – ensure you have a list of price conversions for your services as you’re selling in a country with potentially a different currency. Organise your finance for your trip and ensure you have changed currency. Create a packing list and gather equipment.
  • 2 weeks before – Ensure you have all necessary documentation like travel documents and exhibitor passes.
  • 1 week before – double check arrangements and pack your suitcase. Research any cultural considerations and implications and make sure you know this in order to make a good and respectful first impression.

Access and support

If you know a particular show would do wonders for your business but you simply can’t afford it, there are services available to help make this opportunity accessible for you.

The UK government’s Trade Access Programme (TAP) provides funding for those businesses, covering some of the costs of exhibiting at overseas trade shows.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) partners with TAP to confirm a number of shows annually that would provide good business for UK companies and the support from these two organisations allows the grants to be put in place.

The grants available can be anywhere between £500-£2500 provided they do not exceed the business’s own expenditure on things like exhibition space costs and stand costs.

If cost is an issue and this money needs to be allocated to other resources, remember there are always alternatives to the recommended guidelines that could save you money elsewhere.

Consider hiring someone to ship stands to your exhibition rather than renting one there – this can work out a lot cheaper than most people expect.

It is crucial to plan changes like this in advance to help your overseas exhibiting make an impact and stand the best chance of gaining a positive response. Choosing the right exhibition methods for each show will help attract people to your stand and make overseas exhibiting worth it for you.

To browse our range of stands, sort your printing or outsource your exhibition management, visit our website and get in touch today.

The Difference between Shell Schemes and Truss Stands

The Difference between Shell Schemes and Truss Stands

When it comes to an exhibition, you will want to choose a stand design that best showcases your brand and fits the purpose of the event. Two popular styles of exhibition stands include shell schemes and truss stands.

But which type of stand is best for what you’re trying to achieve? Here is a breakdown of two of the most popular stand designs so you can decide which will suit you better.

What are shell schemes?

Shell schemes are a type of booth that include 3 (or less) panelled modular walls supported by a frame.

With this, a board containing your company name can be placed across the top of the frame, and carpet is often used to decorate the floor.

The empty set design allows you to decorate and completely personalise your set design to your needs.

Often, lighting is offered as an extra, as well as the option to add electrical sockets and display equipment.

Sometimes this will be included in the initial cost, but it is best not to assume and contact the exhibition organisers if you have any questions.

How can you use shell schemes?

Your stand is key in helping portray your company and products, so it is crucial for your stand to reflect this.

Wall panels can be decorated with posters, graphics, charts and photos – so make sure to be aware of the stand size before you go printing huge graphics that then won’t fit.

However, it does mean your graphics can be interchangeable, again leading to more customisation opportunities within your stand design.

The space inside the booth can be used as you wish, to include banners, pop ups, stands and tables, but make sure you leave enough space to stand yourself!

Your stand is meant to be inviting and entice people into conversing about your brand, so utilise the space you’re given to your advantage.

Pros and Cons of Shell Scheme Stands

This stand is completely compact and sleek – you don’t use any of your floor space in the construction, and the thinner walls themselves aren’t weak despite their composition.

Shell schemes are often provided by exhibition organisers which is the perfect option for the exhibitors using public transport or smaller cars to get to their exhibitions. It’s a fuss-free way of doing exhibitions and perfect for those of us who want a really quick and easy set-up.

Shell schemes, however aren’t as universal, it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach that can be used, unlike truss stands, where parts can be added or taken away to fit the shape or size of the event.

These stands are widely used at exhibitions so you won’t stand out by using a shell scheme stand, imagine an exhibition full of the same stand but different graphcs – this could potentially happen at some exhibitions.

What are truss stands?

Truss stands are sections of metal or plastic bars forged together to create a lattice of material that fits together to form your stand.

The stand comes in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to fix them together to create a uniquely shaped or heighted stand to suit your needs.

These are completely modular which means extensions can be added or removed at any time depending on your given exhibition space.

How can you use truss stands?

Plastics and resins with thin tubing frameworks are being used by more and more manufacturers, making them more lightweight and flexible in terms of adjusting for space and height purposes, which is brilliant for hanging professional graphics.

 Be sure to check with the manufacturer the load bearing specifications before planning your stand – 200m2 stands come with a light fixing and table, but other exhibitors will have different specifications about what can and can’t be used depending on the material the stands are built from.

Pros and Cons of Truss Stands

One of the huge benefits of truss stands is their flexibility in terms of customisation. There are almost no limits in terms of size, height and shape as parts can be fixed together to build these stands to any requirements.

The durability of the stands is not to be doubted either – they are often considered much better for larger graphics and displays due to their higher load capacities.

This stand will make you stand out from the crowd, in a sea of shell scheme stands you stand will tower over them and attract attention.

The cons of truss are that they are often bulkier, and dependent on material, and you do have to be able to transport your stand from event to event with the space to assemble and de-assemble your stand.

Overall, the type of stand you choose really depends on where you’re exhibiting and for what purpose of your stand is.

Truss stands suit both indoor and outdoor exhibitions equally due to their adaptable nature, whereas crammed inside exhibitions may suit shell schemes more as there is more chance to use the assigned space you’re allocated.

If you need more information on truss stands and what their benefits could do for your company, please see our page for more information or get in contact today.