So, you've chosen the exhibition you would like to attend but what do you do next?
We have put together a list of the top 10 questions you should be asking yourself before your exhibition.
Our main message of this blog, is PLAN!
1. Where in the floor-plan would you like to be? Researching the venue and the prospected floor-plan is a must! You want to try to position your stand or space in a high traffic area. This could be near food, seminar or workshop areas. Visitors will gather in these places and provide the perfect opportunity for you to engage with them.
2. What is your stand is going to look like? Shell scheme stands are mainly used at exhibitions however, space only is another great option that may just set you apart from the crowd. We do understand that budget does play part here, however, you have one opportunity to meet hundreds of potential customers/competitors even suppliers, you want you and your business to be looking your best. Need some inspiration? Check out our portfolio - https://redblugraphics.co.uk/portfolio
3. How many openings will your stand have? If you have a space only stand, you will often be accessible from multiple angles, this should be incorporated into your design. If you are in a shell scheme you may be more sheltered with similar size stands at either side, you will care about visitor's front view. If you have a corner or end of an aisle shell scheme, you may choose to have two or three sides open. It is imperative you use this space wisely. Don't clutter, but fill the areas aesthetically, include book shelves, counters, pop up banners or seating areas. Check out our stand configuration page on our website - https://redblugraphics.co.uk/designs.
4. What message do you want to communicate with your potential new customers? Your message on your stand is the first thing they will see. Keep it simple! What are you looking for out of the show? Tailor your message to benefit your goals. Think beforehand how many clients are you hoping to convert from the show? Use this to measure your success, this is how to tell if your message has been received.
5. What are your graphics going to look like? We are 100% behind reusing graphics you may have had before, however do yourself and your business a favour and get them out before the show and make sure they are doing your business justice and conveying the correct message you want to get across. If they are stained or curled, clean them up or buy new ones. First impressions are everything! If you have a shell scheme and put graphics directly on to the walls, you will see the shell scheme posts in between your graphics. If this is not the look you are looking for think about pop up roller banners (make sure they fit your stand perfectly) or apply graphic seamless panels. Get in touch with exhibition stand companies (like us, hi) and get quotes and designs. We would love to help you - https://redblugraphics.co.uk/.
6. Who is setting up your stand? If you are using a shell scheme your stand will be built for your arrival, you will then have to dress your stand, you should already have decided on what you want it to look like. Our advice would be to set it up at home/work 2 weeks before to double check you are happy with your design and have everything you need, including electricals. If you are thinking of having space only and need stand builders, research the companies before you pick one. Make sure they come recommended. Be a part of the design process. With this service, you are aiming to arrive on the day and everything is exactly how you wanted it and all you need to add is your promotional content.
7. What is your attraction system? You now have your stand booked, know your design, but what could make it better? An attraction system - an element of fun that is going to keep your visitors engaged and provide you with their contact details. Food is always the most popular choice; however we would suggest you think outside of the box and relevant to your business. Everyone loves a freebie however you are looking to attract your targeted market to your stand! What is going to attract them? Make sure they will remember you!
8. How are you going to collect customer data? Think of engaging content for clipboard questionnaires, use technology, some exhibitions even supply apps for CRM that work without Wi-Fi. Remember to always have check boxes to ensure you will only be sending content they have consented to receiving, helping to keep you and your business right. This question is probably one of the most important you should be asking yourself. You will be generating leads at the event and you will need to follow up on them. Add questions into questionnaires that will help filter the potential customers who are genuinely interested.
9. What is your follow up plan? Set aside time now for after the show to contact the people you believe to be potential prospects. You have paid money to go to this show and you need to ensure you meet the goals you set back in step 4. It could be you are looking for exposure or the most obvious, more business. Hand out your business cards, leaflets and encourage people to connect with you on your social channels. Plan to have your captured data in your CRM system and contacted within a week of the show - don't let your leads go cold.
10. How many people are going to be on your stand? This is also one of the most vital points of this blog! 2 people will not cut it! Exhibition hours are long. You want to make sure when visitors come over to talk or when you encourage them to come over and talk that everyone on the stand is firing on all cylinders. Fatigue cannot play a part in exhibition days. You will need lunch and break change overs and as many people engaging as possible. Energy needs to be high from start to finish. Think of how you are going to engage, prepare questions that will get people to interact and remember you. Know your conversion numbers. It could take 50 interactions to generate 1 customer. These 50 interactions may take one hour. You have an 8-hour window and need to speak with a many people as possible. With 3 to 5 members on the stand (depending on stand size), you have a larger reach. Create a crowd, this will make more people want to stop and talk to you.
We hope this has been a helpful blog and will inspire you to think of your answer to all of these questions. There is a lot of planning that needs to go into exhibiting, please don't underestimate how useful an exhibition can be. You are dealing with people, the right people for your business will engage if you speak to them directly and provide a solution to their problem.
One last note! Enjoy the day, where else do you get to encounter with so many people and make lasting connections?
Exhibition companies like ourselves can help with all the above and more and tailor solutions for your budget.
Get in touch today! Forward planning is the key!