Having a stand at an exhibition has so many benefits for both small and larger businesses – we all approach the idea of an exhibition thinking of the leads we can gather and will follow up afterwards to bring in new clients. However, these leads aren’t going to simply fall into your lap – you need to work to bring them in and grab people’s attention!
In order to be successful at a trade show it is important to have a plan and a strategy for all stages of the exhibition from first attracting visitors to your stand, then to engaging them and finally following up after the show to try and convert them to a customer.
Here are a few of our tips for the first step in the process – attracting visitors to your stand.
Your stand is one of the things that will give visitors a first impression of your business so it is important to get this right. Make sure you have a professional stand – a table and a roughly printed poster probably won’t cut it.
Show your branding through your stand and your team, if you have a brand colour scheme try and use this throughout your stand; you could even give your staff branded clothes to wear. Include your logo and information on your stand, such as: what it is your business does and who you are. This will give the visitors an idea of what services you can offer and will in turn attract interested people to your stand.
When using text on your stand ensure it is big enough to read from a distance but try to hold back using too much text – use images instead. People love high quality visuals and these can be much more eye catching for a passer-by.
Run a Contest
Contests can be a great opening line when trying to attract someone to your stand. Run a contest to win a materialistic prize or it could even be your services. This covers two goals of running your stand – attracting and engaging. By asking people to enter your competition you are generating leads as well as engaging in a conversation with them. The worst thing your team can do at an exhibition is stand quietly and let attendees pass them by – a competition will help give your staff a reason to make eye contact and engage potential prospects in conversation.
To aid in your lead generation you could get the visitors to use their business cards in order to enter the competition – this way you can contact them after the show. Using your service as a prize allows you to tell the visitors a little more about your business and what you do.
I’m sure we have all had an experience at a trade show when there haven’t been quite as many people as we wanted and we may have felt a little deflated. A key to being successful at these shows is staying positive. You are much more likely to attract visitors to your stand if you are positive and energetic as opposed to looking moody, sat in the corner hunched over a phone.
Trade shows are all about networking and building relationships so it is important to present the best version of yourself. Start the conversations with visitors as they pass by and find out a little more about what they do for a living – this will also help you market to them.
Spread the Word
Don’t rely on the event organisers to promote the show, get the word out to your audience. You could use social media to post about the upcoming event and make sure people know that you will be there – prospects may see this and decide to come along because they need a service you offer and want to talk to you about it.
Don’t forget about your clients either, you can promote the show to them via your mailing list – just because they are your clients doesn’t mean you can’t upsell to them or they may even tell their own customers about it. Personally invite a number of your clients or prospects to come along and see what the show is all about – all visitors give you a chance to get your name out there and network.