Don’t choose the wrong event.Do your research on the event long before you sign up to exhibit, there’s plenty of information out there to explain who visits the show, the buying habits and so on, all available on the exhibition website and in sales brochures. If possible, you could even visit the show the year before you exhibit, to get a feel for the event and be fully prepared to exhibit yourself.
Don’t leave planning your stand until the last minute.Designing stand for exhibitions can be long sometimes! There will likely be a timeline of deadlines available in your exhibitor manual, to help you plan your time in the run up to the event. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to plan and book all elements, and bear in mind some elements like graphics and branded items of furniture will have a considerable lead time – anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month before the show. The better planned your stand is, the smarter it will look to visitors and potential customers.
Don’t rely too heavily on one element.If you over rely on technology, on-stand competitions or giving away freebies then you run quite a high risk if something goes wrong with that element. There’s a chance of malfunction with any element of a live event, especially technology, so always have a back-up plan if your main event goes south!
Don’t eat at your stand.There’s research to show that this small action can put visitors off, so make sure there’s enough representatives manning your stand to allow each to take a reasonable lunch break and breaks throughout the day too – exhibitions can be long, after all!
Don’t forget to follow up with all leads after the show.Everyone you interact with at the show should be contacted after the doors close, even if you think they’re a cold lead they could heat up over time, you never quite know. Don’t miss the potential for the lead to develop over time by forgetting to follow up with them at some point in the week after the exhibition closes.
Don’t forget to brand your stand.Bright colours attract visitors and can even influence mood, however the plain white foamex walls of a shell scheme will do very little to help you grab attention! You’ll likely have spent time, energy and money planning your exhibition strategy and purchasing the stand space, but don’t forget to put your stamp on the space with innovative designs and make it stand out from your exhibition neighbours.
Don’t blow your whole budget on freebies.Yes, we do talk a lot about how good quality freebies can help you linger in the minds of visitors after the exhibition closes, but a great pitch and follow up email can also achieve this goal – for free! As long as your reps are friendly, personable and memorable then you needn’t blow a big budget on branded freebies.
Don’t forget to advertise!Running a social media and email campaign for your customers in the run up the event can have a big impact on the overall success of the show for you. If you can make appointments with visitors in advance of the show opening this will give structure and bolster your day.
Most importantly… don’t forget to have fun!Visitors are most likely to come and talk to smiling, chatty representatives. It can be hard to keep spirits high during long exhibition days, especially if the show is more than a couple of days long, so consider sending different representatives on different show days, to keep them fresh and excitable.