Make the most out of your exhibit at industry conferences, tradeshows or roadshows to maximise your return on investment. With the right preparation, exhibitions provide an excellent platform for building brand awareness and generating sales leads.
Success comes from planning! Here are some of our pre-event strategies when it comes to exhibiting.
- Evaluate and select the event you participate in carefully, consider if the attendees are likely prospects for your business.
- Design an open and inviting booth, if space allows design your booth so it provides comfortable seating to encourage guests to linger. Use provocative headlines, interesting graphics and marketing strategies to entice prospects to stop and learn more.
- Set measurable goals to determine the success of your exhibit. Establish why you are exhibiting and make your goals specific.
- Create a key message for your exhibit, remember it is more effective to communicate one major and clear message.
- Develop a plan for your exhibit, ensure you include a schedule and designated responsibilities for each task.
- Train your staff before each show to ensure they know what the key objectives are, clarify roles, expectations and provide detailed information on any new products, services or other news being announced.
- Identify key prospects and invite them to meet you at your booth. Negotiate free exhibit passes from the event organiser so you can provide them to your guests. Remember to contact your guests prior to the event in order to remind them to stop by your booth, be sure to spark interest by letting them know why they should drop by (this will be your key message and marketing strategy that you convey).
- Design a custom lead form, be sure to include questions designed to qualify your prospects by determining the immediacy of their needs, purchasing authority, budgetary situation, etc.
- Maximise your presence at an event by combining it with other marketing techniques. Use direct mail, e-newsletters, social media and PR to raise your profile ahead of the event.
Representing your brand is imperative, first impressions count! Our tips for successfully exhibiting onsite are following.
- Create a unique identity for your booth staff. Matching shirts, uniforms or themed outfits if it is appropriate.
- Offer quality merchandise and gifts appropriate to your business or key message.
- Engage with event attendees, live demonstrations are a good strategy to draw prospects to your booth. Remember to deliver a clear message and provide value to the audience.
- Network! Exhibitions, conferences and tradeshows are the perfect platform for meeting key people in your industry along with potential customers. Talk to as many people possible and remember to take the time to learn about their business.
- Use an exhibition event as a live research session – ask people for their opinions of your brand, products, sales pitch and marketing material. Face to face marketing can be invaluable!
- Remind booth staff to record all prospect information, one of your primary objectives should be to generate leads therefore it is imperative you encourage staff to record everything they can learn about a prospects needs and expectations. Obviously it is essential to capture names, phone numbers, email addresses etc., most events will provide RFID lead retrieval systems and if not we recommend looking at implementing a system at your booth so you can capture prospect information and quantify them.
Post show follow up is an integral part of exhibiting and determines if you will obtain a return on investment, some of our post show exhibition tips include.
- Send requested information, materials and quotes immediately. We suggest having packs prepared so you can easily email or post upon completion of each show day.
- Incorporate an effective subject line on your email (or envelope if posting) to get past your contacts personal assistant. Be sure that your subject line conveys that the information is requested so it is not treated as SPAM…… often a simple subject line of “Requested information from XXXXXXX Expo” is suitable and ensures your email doesn’t succumb to the delete button.
- Provide a strong call to action and help your prospects take the next step.
- Follow up! Build key relationships with prospects. Be sure to follow up and stay in touch.
- Tracking your leads from enquiry to sale allows you to determine the return on investment and provides useful information for management when considering which exhibition conferences, tradeshows or roadshows to invest in.
- Completing a critical evaluation after each event allows you to review what worked, what did not and determine what changes need to be implemented. Don’t forget to critique lead quality so you can maximise effectiveness for future events.
Want to maximise your event return on investment? At eventful projects we are passionate about producing creative and unique event solutions. Our innovative approach to event management delivers remarkable and lasting experiences that captivate audiences.
For information about your next event contact Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0422 053 013.