Exhibitions and trade shows can be either be a fantastic money maker which grows your brand and generates leads, or it can be a colossal waste of time and money. Either way, they are generally very expensive to attend, and you want to make sure you have taken every step you can to maximise your ROI.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to make your next exhibition or trade worth your while. Good luck!
Regardless of what else you do to make your show a success, there is one thing that you will absolutely have to spend time on; preparation. Just like with a wedding, you will have to spend a significant amount of time and resources preparing for it if you want it to be a success.
Firstly, make sure that you know what exhibition you are attending. Being present at the right exhibition will make sure you are reaching the correct audience: there is no point in turning up if no one is going to be interested in your product or service. You wouldn’t turn up to a car show to sell mops, for example. You need to focus on both the right industry and location.
Secondly, make sure you take the time to perfect your exhibition materials and strategy. All of the things that we are going to discuss in the rest of this article aren’t going to happen by themselves, they require effort and, again, preparation.
Remember that everyone is turning up for the exactly the same purpose. You would struggle to find a more competitive environment. Some people think the best way to combat this is to be pushy and force your brand on customers. However, generally people do not want to turn up to be annoyed by salespeople.
Instead, provide an exhibit that grabs their attention. You want to tempt your customers over to you; you don’t want to drag them. Make sure all your physical exhibit looks professional and eye-catching.
You might think this has to cost a lot of money and that you will not be able to compete with bigger companies, but this is not the case. Consider one of our fabric booths which are incredibly cost-effective and are hard to ignore. They can also create a relatively private space for you to sit down with potential customers – something that can be quite difficult to achieve in a busy trade show environment.
When all said and done, in all likelihood the service or product your brand offers is going to be fundamentally similar to many other stalls at your tradeshow. After all, if there was no competition, you are probably at the wrong exhibition. The trick is to be creative so that you stand out from your competitors.
There are countless different ways to be genuinely creative. You could come up with some form of game or task for your visitors to take part in or perhaps you can have a funny or interesting sales pitch (remember, the less intrusive, the better!).
By all means, hand out a pen, this is undoubtedly an effective and reliable technique (by the way, we print pens too!), but don’t hinge your whole exhibit on a free ballpoint. Things like that are something you just need, but not something that will make you excel on their own. You want people to remember your brand and keep talking about it – exposure is why you are here.
What is the point in investing all of that time and money if you aren’t going to follow up the leads you gain? Exhibitions can take up a significant portion of your marketing budget, so make sure it is worthwhile.
It is all well and good to display a fantastic exhibit and get one hundred potential leads, but if you haven’t prepared a proper post-show plan then it could all be wasted. Make sure you follow up on all of the potential customers you gain and turn all that money you spent into a real return on investment.
Your exhibition materials will be absolutely essential here. It is all well and good to impress people while you are there, but we all have a short memory. Handing away some impressive, professional and well-designed booklets and paraphernalia will keep your brand fresh in the minds of your leads. Get in touch now to discuss what premium printed products we can offer you, or to inquire about our exhibition package.
This tip is another example of why preparation is so important. The information you can gain is fundamental to be successful in the future. Track every single piece of information you can. Even if your first exhibition isn’t successful, you won’t learn if you don’t practice.
At the very minimum keep a record of how many people visited your booth and how many leads you generated during the event. Afterwards, make sure you work out your conversion rate by working out how many leads, as a result, turned into business.
To go beyond this, try and get as many opinions regarding the exhibit you have presented as you can. What worked, what didn’t work; what you should double down on, what you should give up; whether customers were interested at all or were they there for something else.
As a print and marketing company we are in a uniquely privileged position to help your exhibition really hit the mark. With a team of in-house designers, we can do anything from putting your logo and details on a business card to designing fully bespoke booklets and fabric booths.
To organise a job, give us a call now on 0141 429 2942 or click the ‘get a quote’ box on the top right of the website to make an inquiry.
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