While you may think social media is key to a successful marketing campaign (and you’d be right) having a stand at a trade exhibition is also worth considering. Even in this digital age, there is nothing quite like chatting face-to-face with a supplier and seeing what’s on offer.
Choosing the Trade Show
Exhibition organisers will promise you untold success if you book space with them. You’ll hear about their wide-reaching advertising campaign, immense footfall and how the location and dates are ideal. Don’t believe the hype! Plan ahead to visit the exhibition the previous year or get the opinions of several other companies who’ve exhibited with them.
The Right Layout
Look at the event plan and if possible, pick your ideal spot. Corners are usually more expensive, as you get a cross flow of visitors. Check out which exhibitors are near you, as it’s better to be in an area with firms that you know will attract footfall. Size is important and bigger is not always better. Choose a few key products/services, rather than bombarding visitors with every aspect of your company. The space should be as open as possible and a badly positioned board or table will act as a barrier to visitors.
Drawing the Crowds
With thousands of stands in close proximity, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. So how do you attract people to yours? . Whether you choose people who are charismatic and draw people in, or those who spot potential leads and invite them over, it’s important to choose someone who is experienced and skilful in these situations. Many companies use giveaways but if you’re handing out fridge magnets with your logo, how does this help you convert leads? Keep the gifts relevant, such as samples of your work or products. If you manufacture wood flooring, have your fridge magnets made from that; it’s a free gift that also shows off the quality of your goods. Similarly, while a flashy, A4, colour brochure might look impressive, a well-designed A5 flyer can do the same job at a fraction of the price.
Appeal to the senses and choose one or two coordinating colours; not so bright that sunglasses are needed. Font choice and size are important. Ensure titles can be read from a reasonable distance. Any text should be optimised so that reading glasses aren’t required. Don’t spend more time than you need setting up, so opt for . Ideally, use both sides of the boards and position them so they can be seen from several directions. Adding an audio-visual element can also increase footfall but keep the infomercials succinct. Although visitors will tend to zap your virtual business card (barcode) it’s still prudent to make a hard copy available.
Planning ahead and taking the time to do the necessary research can really improve your chances of having a successful, trade show experience.