Business exhibitions and trade fairs could be a key part of your marketing strategy, providing you approach them in the right way, and with the right supporting materials.
Exhibitions are a platform to showcase what your business is about, but they also provide plenty of opportunities for networking and for attracting prospects.
Do Your Research
As with so many aspects of business, preparation is essential for successful exhibiting. It is vital to do your research.
What kind of an exhibition is it, and is it in line with your business and, importantly, the kind of customers you are interested in attracting?
Next, think about different types of material you will need. Remember, you will need some kind of backdrop or banner, but also supporting material such as brochures or promotional items. More on this later.
Also, think about your people skills. What will be the way you pitch your business, and have you got it carefully prepared for maximum impact?
You want to be able to market and sell your services, but also attract interest from attendees. Think about your overall brand impression and how it can work to differentiate what you do.
Making Contact and Networking
One of the main benefits of exhibitions is having the opportunity to meet potential prospects and useful contacts face to face, with a large group of people relevant to your business gathered in one place.
However, you should also be sufficiently open-minded to engage with a diverse crowd of people. Sometimes leads and opportunities come from people and situations you would not have anticipated.
Therefore, as well as being strategically prepared, be adaptable.
Most of all, be approachable and sociable.
Analyse and Learn
It is very likely that you will see your competitors at a business exhibition. This is an opportunity to look at what they do, and to analyse and learn from them.
Do not stay fixed to your own stand, waiting for people to come to you. Circulate, observe and look at the products and services other businesses are showcasing.
What are they offering that you aren’t, and what can you do about it?
If there are seminars as part of the exhibition, attend them. Absorb all the useful information you can, and take notes. This sort of business intelligence can be a long-term benefit from attending an exhibition.
Do not allow the exhibition to become a missed opportunity. Where you do make contacts and exchange details, be sure to follow up afterwards.
You should ensure these follow ups are timely, and relevant to your business strategy.
Communications have a key role to play in business exhibitions, before, during and after the event.
You may want to put out information prior to your attendance to alert people to the event itself and that your business will be taking part. You want to maximise your potential footfall, so raising awareness through social media and other channels is a sound strategy.
During the event, as well as having display material, consider what you might wish visitors to your stand to take away with them.
This might be a brochure, catalogue or flyer, but it could also be a branded promotional item such as a mouse mat, mug or memory stick.
A prize giveaway is always a great attraction and a great way to engage delegates.
However, you should not confine printed material to what you make available on your exhibition stand. It can also work as follow-up material, if you have something more detailed to send on to the contacts you make.
In an age where there is so much emphasis on digital communications, it is easy to forget that face to face marketing and the tangibility of print media can play a vital role in winning new business.
Are You Exhibition-ready?
At Corner House Design & Print, we specialise in creative design for marketing, including exhibition material, signage, leaflets, brochures and promotional products.
For more information, please phone 0161 777 6000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org