Many businesses attend trade shows and business fayres as part of their on-going marketing strategy. These events can prove valuable in attracting new business for your company.
There can, however, be a lot of preparation and cost involved in attending these events – here are some aspects you should consider in regard to exhibition services, when planning your next trade show event:
A trade show isn’t just about showing up
When you paid to rent your space at the show, that’s ALL you paid for – the space and entry into the event!
Having a presence at the show doesn’t automatically mean that you will do great business and the leads will flood in – it’s when the real work starts! Design your exhibition stand thoughtfully and appropriately, train your staff and create a promotion that will attract your target market.
Trade shows are hard work and aren’t glamorous
Some may look upon a trade show as a bit of ‘a jolly’ – an opportunity to get out of the office and maybe stay in a hotel somewhere on company expenses. The reality is very different – trade shows are hard work!
They can be stressful from start to finish, juggling the different parties involved, the set-up, the hosting of the booth, dealing with potential clients, right through to the deconstruction after the event. Be aware of the time and effort involved in attending a show.
Setting up your stand can be expensive
From paying someone to erect and set-up your exhibition stand to connecting your required lighting and displaying your signs, the costs involved for trade show labour and exhibition services can be high – especially if setting up over a weekend!.
Think about this when it comes to your exhibition stand design – using an experienced and reputable exhibition stand builder will help, as they can advise on the best materials to use and schedule the set-up times for the cheapest rates.
Plan well and plan early
Like anything else in business, plan well and plan early. If you make your trade show arrangements (show costs, travel and accommodation etc.) early, then you can greatly ease your budget. The more shows you attend you will understand better what essentials you will need for your exhibitions and be able to budget accordingly.
Distribute responsibilities and ensure everyone participates
You may find that when you announce in work that your company is being represented at a trade show, that there are a lot of immediate volunteers to contribute. Everyone likes to do the ‘fun’ things – get involved in the design, the colours, images and content – but you won’t witness the same enthusiasm AFTER the event, for following up on any leads generated, although that was the main purpose of the event.
Ensure any staff involved in the trade show have specified jobs and responsibilities for the whole event – not just the fun bits!
Pack your marketing materials aware carefully
There is always the temptation that, when the show’s imminent closure is announced over the loudspeakers, and you’ve been stood in your booth for two/three days, to immediately start packing-up and get out of there, either back to the hotel or home.
Resist this urge – as we said earlier, exhibition stands can be an expensive marketing overhead and you should ensure that everything is dismantled and packed away carefully and properly. This is equipment that will need to be used again and can be costly to replace.
Have a professional and measured approach
When your exhibition stand first opens and visitors enter the venue, it is easy to get carried away with trying to immediately attract potential clients to your display. Whilst you should show enthusiasm, you should also have a professional and measured approach – remember, these people have paid to attend the trade show, and many are shopping specifically for solutions to their business problems, so don’t want a perfect stranger wildly approaching them face-to-face.
Give the audience a chance to consider whether your company’s products or services are a possibility for them, and then engage with them on a professional basis.
Trade show and exhibition planning checklist
If you plan your trade show events properly, they can be a very effective marketing vehicle for your business. We’ve put together everything you need to know in our planning checklist.
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