Exhibitions and trade shows offer tremendous opportunities to grow your business – from generating sales leads to raising brand awareness amongst target audiences. But to maximise your return on investment, strategic planning and execution are required. Follow these key steps to create an exhibition presence that delivers results.
When deciding to exhibit at a trade show or event, begin by clearly defining your goals. Do you hope to generate promising sales leads? Raise brand awareness among target demographics? Launch a new product or service? Outline specific, measurable targets that will determine success, like capturing 100 qualified leads or interacting with 200 potential customers. Tracking metrics versus objectives will reveal what’s working at the exhibition and what needs fine-tuning.
Research the event
Get a lay of the land by researching details on the event’s audience, popular topics, speaking sessions, and competitor participation. Review past attendee profiles, current registration numbers, and program schedules. Visit forums or use surveys to gather insights directly from those planning to attend. This will help you understand how your brand fits into the event, spot opportunities to connect with influencers and prospects and enable more tailored messaging and booth interactions.
Plan your exhibition stand
Brainstorm an eye-catching booth design that reflects your brand identity and aligns with your defined objectives. Consider including interactive elements like product demos, touchscreens, or contests to engage visitors. Experienced partners like Focal Exhibitions can suggest creative ways to stand out on the exhibition floor. Just be sure to balance attracting crowds with having enough space for meaningful conversations.
Promote your presence
Don’t rely solely on foot traffic. Implement a multifaceted campaign across email, social media, and website banners to drive people to your booth. Coordinate with event organisers to be included in promotional materials like email blasts and program guides. Provide relevant educational content or special event discounts to build anticipation. The more outreach, the better the turnout.
Staff your booth
Handpick booth staff who can knowledgeably converse about your company and products. Train them on goals, talking points, competitors, and lead handling processes. Schedule ample coverage for all open hours, with overlaps for lunch breaks. Well-informed staff who represent you positively are crucial for show success.
Execute best practices
Smile, make eye contact, listen attentively, and convey passion when engaging visitors. Ask open-ended questions to understand needs and promote meaningful discussions. Capture lead details on-site for prompt follow-up post-event. Provide relevant takeaways like product brochures, coupons, or content offers. Exude your brand’s purpose and value in every interaction.
Measure and evaluate
Compare exhibition metrics and lead analyses to your pre-defined targets. Visitor counts, sales conversions, email sign-ups, and survey feedback reveal impact. Identify wins to repeat at future events as well as areas needing improvement. Continuously refining your exhibition strategy is key to maximising value over time.
Participating in the right exhibitions can deliver tremendous brand exposure, lead generation, and relationship building. But simply showing up won’t deliver results. Strategic planning and execution are required to make the most of your participation. Define goals, get event insights, design an engaging stand, promote your presence, properly staff your booth, interact purposefully, and evaluate outcomes. By following these best practices, your business can benefit immensely from exhibition presences.