The dos and don'ts of exhibiting
- Avoid the traps!
- Plan and prepare
- Set realistic objectives
- Be effective
- Generate business
- Get a return on their investment
- Enjoy the event and return next year
- Exhibitions are expensive and unproductive
- I have to be there because my competitor is
- I have to have the biggest possible stand
- Unless you are at the front no-one visits your stand
- I don't need to be there, everyone knows us
- Planning? That's the organisers' job!
- We don't need to do any extra marketing
- Exhibitions provide more leads than any other medium, at lower costs!
- The buyer comes to the seller
- Decision-makers visit shows
- New prospects attend shows
- The contact is face to face
- Visitors can see, touch and try your product
- Exhibitions reinforce your image
- Exhibition visitors are responsive
- Your stand becomes a stage
- Business ambience is enhanced
- Test marketing is meaningful
- Exhibitions are effective in the Middle East
- In Europe, companies spend 25 per cent of their marketing budgets on exhibitions. Why? Because they work!
Exhibitions As Part Of The Marketing Mix
- Exhibitions should be only one part of an integrated marketing strategy
- Define clear objectives for shows that can be measured, as with any other media
- Plan media to coincide with the show
- On all ads, mention your stand number
- Capitalise on the PR value of shows to reinforce products and services
- No advance planning
- No objectives set,
- Too small or large a stand
- No pre-marketing
- Products not working
- Boring display or bored, ineffective staff
- No training of staff or rehearsals
- Technical staff not present
Yet More Traps
- No prospect qualification
- Poor lead-taking
- No follow-up of leads
- Poor stand management
- Last-minute build-up
- Poor stand layout
- No staff rota system
- No handouts or examples
- No show budget
Plain In Advance
- Set your objectives early
- Decide on which products to promote
- Identify and book the stand
- Produce a budget and timetable
- Design the stand to the products and budget
- Appoint a stand manager for the show
- Produce a marketing plan
- Brief PR and ad agency for creative ideas
- Space rental
- Stand design, build, signage, fittings, etc
- Stand services
- Transport, storage and handling of exhibits
- Staffing costs
Examples Of Objectives
- Launch a new product
- Generate 'x' number of new prospects
- Reinforce company image or re-launch the company image
- Sell product
- Locate new agents or distributors
- Carry out market research
- Maintain/increase market share
Choosing The Right Stand Design
- Is it functional?
- Produce a written brief
- Design within the available space
- Keep it simple
- Choose a central product or theme
- Stay within your budget
- Control costs
Exhibiting Your Products
- Are the products in good working condition?
- Do you have the necessary technical information?
- Do you have handouts or samples available?
- Are the exhibits and products clearly visible?
- Can visitors try the product or is there a demo?
- How can you gain an extra advantage?
- Is the lighting carefully planned?
- Is the signage clear and easily read?
- Are people attracted to the stand?
Running The Stand
- Use your best people
- They must be trained
- Sales and technical is the best mix
- Have a rota system
- Keep the stand tidy
- Have at least two staff members on the stand
- Wear company badges
- Provide refreshments but not too much
Prospecting From The Stand
- Wear suitable attire
- Hold daily sales meetings
- Opening conversation is important
- Qualify the visitor,
- Take their details
- Be professional
- Know your product
- Let him or her know you will follow up the visit
Finding Potential Buyers
- Be pro-active; attract them to the stand
- Identify prospects from the simply curious
- How interested are they?
- Identify what needs they have and then match with a solution
- Don't ignore journalists
- Look for PR opportunities
- Look out for the spy
Advertising And PR
- Understand the media plan for the show
- Link your campaigns to the organisers'
- Advertise in advance, mentioning your stand number
- Use direct mail tickets to the organisers
- Plan a PR campaign to build interest in advance
- Make sure you place PR packs in the press office
- Get your sales people to issue personal invitations
- Place show or event posters in your office reception
- Plan onsite demos for valued clients
- Advertise on the website for each show
Following Up On Leads And Measuring The Response
- If you can't measure it; don't do it
- Follow up every lead immediately
- Contact all the visitors as soon as possible
- Address questions asked by visitors
- Arrange further visits to clients
- Have a sales meeting at the end of each day
- Do a post-show debriefing with all staff
- Evaluate your results against the objectives
Ask the organisers for a list of opportunities including: registration, staff uniforms, 'Agents Wanted' boards, banner sites, road-hoarding sites, shuttle buses, balloon sites, 'You are here' signs, and video walls.