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How to exhibit at events

Cutting through the ever increasing number of digital communications to promote your products and services can feel like an ever losing battle. As a result, it’s important to balance your marketing with a mix of channels, and live events can be a great place to start.  

Exhibitions are now one of the most effective places to establish and maintain relationships, generate sales leads, launch new products and build brand image. In an increasingly digital age, and with their carefully targeted audiences, they’re the only place where your organisation, your audience, and your services physically come together – creating a highly cost-effective sales and marketing platform.

However, it’s not always easy to know how to get the most out of an exhibition stand so here’re some top tips…

1

Know what your aims are

How many contacts do you want to make? What do you want people to know about your organisation? What do you want to know about them? Knowing the answers to these questions will ensure that you make the most of your exhibition stand.

2

Plan how you will achieve your aims

Start to set targets for your staff and think of data capture mechanisms such as incentives, give-aways and competitions to encourage people to visit your stand.

Make the best use of any printed promotional materials at the event – if you have the opportunity to put some text into an exhibition programme make sure this is specific to the event you’re exhibiting at and always invite people to visit you at your stand.

3

‘Get out more’ and don’t be afraid to start talking to people

The most effective way to make the most of exhibiting is to use your stand as a base and don’t expect people to come to you.

Make sure you get out from behind your table, off of your chair, and away from your cup of coffee so you can mingle with attendees in a much more approachable and engaging way.

Once they’re interested in what you’re telling them, invite them back to your stand to gather further information.

4

Employ the right staff

Having the right personalities on your stand can make all the difference. Make sure they’re personable, friendly and approachable – the kind of people that make you feel welcome at a party and will include everyone.

A good brief goes a long way too. Make sure they know what the targets are and their responsibilities for the day. 

5

Do your research

The delegate list is often available before the event, so make sure you’ve made time to research who will be there, what they do, and engage with them before-hand via LinkedIn and any delegate forums that have been set up for the event.

At this stage don’t go in too hard with the sales pitch, but let them know why you’re exhibiting and why you’re looking forward to meeting with them.

6

Follow up the new contacts you make

Using the notes from their business card, send them a personal email after the event. A simple gesture of saying that it was nice to meet you so they have a chance to follow up the conversation can go a long way.

Also don’t forget to continue to engage with the online social media platforms. The more impressions that you can make, the better!

7

Most importantly…

Remember that everybody at the event is there for a reason and will always be interested in what you have to say if you can find out why your organisation or products are relevant to them.

If you keep these top tips in mind you’ll find exhibiting is a highly productive and efficient marketing tool.

Further information

Sarah Porter contributed to this guide.

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Page last edited Feb 04, 2016 History

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