You’ve done your customer research and you know who you want to talk to, but now the really hard work begins.
If you’re in the marketing world and are considering an exhibition, knowing who your customer base is, is just the beginning. From here on in you’re on a countdown to get your stand, your material and your staffing just right.
It might seem like there’s a checklist as long as your arm and that might well be the case, so take a look at our guide to getting your exhibition marketing strategy just right and take some of the pressure off of yourself.
Assemble Your People
The success of any large scale venture is to have the right team in place. We’re not just talking about people you enjoy spending time with in your team, your friends, but instead people who will be able to deliver the best results, work effectively as team members and who can be trusted to get on with their work unsupervised.
You might want to create an electronic task list for everyone to use, so the whole team can see the project moving forward as and when tasks are ticked off.
This brings us to the next point: pre-exhibition tasks. What do you need to be focussing on and what should you do first?
The work really begins behind the scenes and the first thing you’ll need to do is take a look at the venue itself. You’re looking for a number of elements here. Is there good access to the site, both for exhibitors and for visitors? How easy is it to get to on public transport and how easy will it be for your clear-up team to drive on to the site and load up their vans?
Once you’ve got these basics covered you can turn your attention to the layout of the hall. Does it seem crowded or is there room for your display stand to fully flex its marketing muscles? At this point, you might want to ask for a list of fellow exhibitors so you can best determine where your stand might be placed.
You may not want to be right next to your industry rivals but at the same time being in the same half of the hall might be beneficial to you in terms of keeping an eye on them and attracting some of their footfall to your stand.
Then it’s time to get your media in place. Take a good look at your media boards and banners. If they’re looking a little tired around the edges and could do with freshening up, then get that done in plenty of time. Now is not the time for a re-brand but you might want to get tatty boards replaced for a fresh, dynamic look.
Other material to consider is your print flyers and business cards. Ensure that you take enough with you for as many days as you are there but don’t overdo the amount of paper that you’re giving away.
Finally, you’re going to need to consider your promotional merchandise and the dynamic gift you’re going to give away to customers who visit your stand. Reward your customer with a gift that they find interesting and useful. It’s hard to find the balance between an instantly forgettable novelty and a gift that stays in someone’s pocket or laptop bag for months afterwards. You know your customer best and you know if they would be more likely to pick up a cap, t-shirt or something more technical like a fish-eye camera lens for their phone, bike lights or other options. Just make sure you find something they’ll pick, walk away with and keep rather than dump in the trash on the way out of the venue.
Creating an exhibition isn’t easy and as we said up post, the hard work is really done way ahead of the event itself. On the day, everything should be in place for your team to achieve their goals whether that’s creating a database of emails that they’ve captured or giving away 1,000 business cards over several days. Whatever the goals, make them clear and achievable and easy to monitor.
Get your branding on point, make sure your team members are easily identifiable. Make your promotional material as attractive as possible and you’ll be well on your way.
Your exhibition stand could put your brand on the lips of a whole new set of customers, if done well. Make it work and boost your business.