To get the most out of an exhibition, it’s good to have a clear strategy in mind.
To give you some guidance, we’ve created 7 simple steps for you to follow and gain a better understanding of the exhibition world.
1. Do your research and get to grips with the show guide
Be prepared and not surprised. Read up on all documentation relating to the show. Usually, this will be in the form of an exhibitor pack where you will find all information relating to the show, your stand, the audience, prices, rules and regulations and what’s required from your marketing department.
Don’t underestimate the cost of exhibiting, budgeting never ends! Be well informed of the costs in advance and pre-book accommodation in advance. Your biggest outgoings will be on the floor space and the design and build of your exhibition stand. Other costs include staffing, travel and entertainment, promotional materials and free giveaways.
3. Planning, planning and more planning
The more you plan the better the results. Each show requires the approval of each stand design, risk assessments and method statements for the build, show and breakdown. There is also a lot of prep before, during and after the show and don’t forget to check access times/parking permits.
4. Identify your goals, have a clear marketing plan and make sure your messaging is clear
Once you have identified the right shows to attend, it is important to outline your objectives and set yourself some SMART targets.
Make sure you are clear on your messaging and that your reasons for attending translate from your marketing plan, right through to the stand design. Think about pre-event, live-event and post-event marketing and how to best engage and communicate with your target audience.
Email campaigns are a great way to target your existing client base, but you should also be targeting prospects. Send out correspondence well in advance and incorporate an email footer for all internal staff. Follow the social media accounts and hashtags for the event and join in the conversation.
Don’t forget to promote on the day, this is key!! You should be sending out tweets about what’s hot and what’s happening. If you attend a workshop, be sure to tweet along and join in the conversation, this is a great way to get noticed and connect with other attendees.
5. The power of design
Your stand is your shop window, it is how potential customers will judge you. Make sure you dedicate enough time and the right expertise to design and build your stand. You should also consider how to engage with your audience to create a memorable experience.
6. Make sure what you give the customer has an impact
Company literature and giveaways are important and one of the only things customers will take away from your stand. Ensure your literature communicates the right messages, informs the customer of how to get in touch and consistent branding.
The average exhibitor spends around 30% of their budget on floor space, you can use this figure to put together a rough budget for your show experience.
7. Evaluate success – create realistic achievable goals, capture data and record ROI
Outline what you aim to achieve from the event. How will you capture the data of prospects and follow up on leads? How will you measure your success? Have a plan in place so that you can hit the ground running when you return.
By following these tips, you’ll be more than prepared to attend your next exhibition. The key is research, budget, plan ahead, and design for your audience, communicate, interact, engage and don’t forget to measure your success.