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Exhibitions are one of best opportunities to promote and sell your brand, products and services. Once you have found the ideal event for your business ensure you maximise this glorious opportunity by avoiding these all too easy mistakes.

1. Poor marketing prior to the event

You cannot rely on your existing or future customers simply stumbling across your stand at a show. Any decent sized show will be a maze of exhibitors and if your competitors are doing their job properly then it is all too easy for your customers to get side-tracked and distracted, even if they had every intention of seeking you out. Exploit social media to broadcast your attendance. Schedule in regular social media updates, keeping your audience up to speed with what you team are doing to get ready for the big show. Include your stand number and location on all email signatures at least three months before an event. Don’t forget your existing customers and be sure to invite them to your stand for a catch-up and coffee during the event. 

2. Making savings in the wrong places

Exhibiting does not come cheap and often companies try to make savings by using budget stands, displays and graphics. The result – you’ve paid a small fortune for a floor space where your customers can view your business in a less then desirable light. Budgets are budgets and if you need to make savings there are other ways to cut the cost of exhibiting without making your set-up look amateur. Book early and negotiate well to get a reduction on the floor space cost. Speak to your exhibition contractor to see where savings could be made on the stand design. Scale down your stand size so that your floor space is cheaper and you can afford a more compact, but high quality stand instead of an expensive floor space with a poor quality display. Consider hiring some or all of the exhibition stand components to reduce costs. If buying a new stand, explore whether you can recycle your old exhibition stand to create a permanent display in your showroom/reception. This will not necessarily save you money at your next show, but will get more value from your previous stand investment. View an example of this in practice here

3. Taking the wrong people to the event

Once you get a possible lead at your stand it’s crucial that the sales team you have know how to maximise the opportunity. With their communication skills under the spotlight, they need to be knowledgeable, passionate and sincere. They have to strike that difficult balance of being driven and focused, without being overbearing or worse still, annoying. Make sure the different characters compliment each other and that everyone is clear on the game plan, will work well together as a team and have the tenacity to chase the sales even at 5pm on the last day of the exhibition.

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