Setting up a stand for your business at an exhibition or trade show is one of the most effective ways to get your name out there and initiate some great networking. Unfortunately, it’s also a lot of work and can often be extremely stressful. While making yourself visible at exhibitions has the potential to be a massive leap forward for your business, it also has the potential to be an utter waste of time. Here’s a little advice for getting the most out of it.
Never Go Alone
Image from Wikimedia
As you can imagine, running a stand at an exhibition needs to be a full-time job, and your company’s stand should never be left with no one attending. Every minute that goes by without someone attending the stand could potentially be a missed opportunity, meaning that you’re not going to be making money on the investment you put into your stand. Obviously though, you’re going to need to take some breaks throughout the day to maintain your sanity, and a fresh face for potential clients and partners. Even if you’re a freelancer or sole trader, you should never go to a trade show alone. At the very least, get a trusted friend or family member on board, and try to teach them as much as you can about the business and who you’re trying to attract. Even if you don’t get a single lead, it will be nice to have the company!
Get the Display Right
Image from Wikimedia
Obviously, it’s your business and your stand; you’ll have your own ideas about the best way to present your brand to prospects. Having said that, there are certain general rules which you should be following to make sure your stand remains professional and presentable. One of the major ones is removing all clutter. Old newspapers, half-drunk coffees and sandwich boxes don’t exactly scream professionalism! You need to make sure there’s a clear, straightforward focus on what your business does and what you can offer your target market. Too much detail can simply become distracting noise. If a prospect is interested, they can get to all the details in their own time. Professional and eye-catching displays are another important factor, so look into some custom banners and exhibition lighting to really draw in passers-by.
Prepare Your Follow-Up in Advance
After a long and grueling day at a trade show, you may be pretty tempted to go home and take some R&R. I’m afraid you’re not quite out of the woods yet though! The period right after a trade show ends is where you need to be working on converting all those leads into real sales. To make this easier for yourself, make sure you’re preparing all your follow-up messages and materials in advance. You could have the best-looking stand at the show, and rack up countless great leads while you’re there. However, if you’re not prepared for the follow-up, it could all be for nothing! Wasted investments should be every business owner’s worst nightmare, so make sure you have a plan for keeping the pot warm long before the show date.