Apart from online events, things have been a little quiet on the business exhibition front due to the pandemic. However, with the UK’s plans to slowly exit lockdown now in place, it looks like things could be back to normal as soon as 21st June.
Of course, this means that business exhibitions will once more be able to run, and therefore knowing how to achieve standout success at your next trade event is a valuable skill. The good news is you can read all about how to do this in three simple steps, below.
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail, as they say, and nowhere is this more relevant than when it comes to a business exhibition. Indeed, with your time being limited once the event is in full swing, you must do all you can to ensure success beforehand.
Possibly, the two most important things you can do before the exhibition begins is to ensure your stand is kitted out as impressively as possible, and that your team is well briefed on the goals of attending the event.
When it comes to ensuring your stand is as attractive to as many attendees as possible, there are some critical points that you need to cover. The first of these is to make sure you invest in professional branding and signage. A hand-drawn banner and an old table cloth from home just aren’t going to cut it in this situation! To that end, locating a reliable, high-quality provider like Aura Print can be hugely beneficial. Especially if they can produce multiple products such as brochures, business cards and PVC banners to be used at your event.
Next, remember that you need to provide a reason for event attendees to approach your stand and talk to you. Otherwise, you run the risk of them walking right by and onto your neighbors and competitor. Now, many businesses rely on the personality of the people they have on their stands for this, but it is far more effective to combine affable, knowledgeable staff with other incentives such as product trials, demonstrations, discounts, and competitions. Also, adding an interactive or IT element such as VR or AR can work well here too, particularly if your product isn’t one that can be shown off to its best advantage in an exhibition setting.
When it comes to briefing your team, they must understand both the aim of attending the exhibition and the cost of doing so to your business. Indeed, it may be beneficial to break the numbers down into a potential monetary value for each lead they gather, something that can be very motivational and ensure the targets are both clear and attainable.
In particular, make sure your staff is well aware of your business’s USPs and the benefits of your product. Remember the more clearly you can point out the benefits of purchasing a potential customer, the more likely they are to buy.
During the event
Once you have your preparation completed it’s time to put all of your energy into the event. Energy is what you will need too, as talking to potential leads and staying enthusiastic and helpful all day can be a challenge.
With that in mind, be sure to take more enough staff to take care of your stand and any other functions you need to complete. Then you can make sure that everyone gets regular breaks which will ensure they stay refreshed and effective.
Be sure to use the right type of questions when dealing with potential customers as well. Open-ended questions work best when approaching new leads as they will provide enough detail to strike up a conversation with attendees and build a better rapport.
However, to make all that effort count you will need to ask them for their contact details at some point. Probably the fastest way of doing this is to ask for a business card and give them one of yours in return. You can then store these cards and use them to follow up after the exhibition has ended.
Another must that needs to happen during the event is the qualification of leads. That is whether the person whose details you are taking has a high, medium, or low chance of converting into a real seal after the event.
Of course, more sophisticated questioning techniques come into play here as well. Therefore, it’s vital that you go over these with employees during your preparation stage, and that they are put into practice during the event.
Giveaways and freebies
One of the things that people most look forward to and that have the biggest impact at business exhibitions is freebies and giveaways.
In particular, the items you give away for free at your stand need to be a mix of useful branded objects that will help raise awareness of your business, and brochures and leaflets that provide your contact information and USPs.
After the event
Finally, once the event is over, it’s time to complete the last aspect of the work associated with a business exhibition. This is what is known as the follow-up, and it’s where you and your team get to chase up the potential leads you gathered at the event and turn them into real sales.
Indeed, if you do not complete this step thoroughly you can miss out on a great deal of the ROI associated with a trade or business exhibition. With that in mind, be sure to have a clear follow-up policy for your staff to follow. Where possible, have the person that made contact with the lead at your stand call them to continue the conversation. After all, you will have already invested in this personal connection, so it makes sense to capitalize on it.
Of course, your call will have a sales focus, but it’s also best to approach the client cautiously in the beginning. Instead frame the contact as a continuation of the conversation started at the event or a follow-up on issues or specific questions they may have had.