Exhibitions and trade shows, if used well, can be immensely potent marketing and sales tools for your business.

Choosing the right exhibition to participate in and doing the basics right will help you raise brand awareness, meet prospective clients and customers, network with other businesses, generate good enquiries and even find investors for your next brilliant idea.

Ensuring success at an exhibition depends a lot on how you prepare, plan and strategize well ahead of the event. In fact, more work is required before the exhibition than during it.

Here are some quick tips to help you make your exhibition a success:

Set clear objectives

What do you hope to accomplish at the exhibition? Do you want to be seen and known or do you strictly want business? If you set realistic and measurable objectives before the exhibition, it is more likely that you will be able to evaluate success later.

Make a game plan

Participation does not just include having your stall and staff at the exhibition; you need to have a plan of action for various aspects and scenarios, and then you need to have backup plans too. Expert tip: make a checklist and re-enact the exhibition before the exhibition. Consider questions like:

  • Is your budget set, or is there a degree of flexibility?
  • What will make people visit your stand at the exhibition?
  • Are you exhibiting to create general brand awareness or showcasing a specific product or service?
  • Do your prospects and existing customers know you will be participating in this exhibition?
  • Do you have your marketing material and offerings tailored for this event?
  • Are there ways you can leverage this event to create bigger opportunities and greater exposure?
  • Do you have bonus giveaways and added benefits for visitors?
  • How have you planned to create pre-event buzz on digital and social media?
  • Do you have all the resources to manage all this in-house or will you be contracting agencies?

Have the right team present

The staff at your booth represents your organisation and it is important to ensure they are knowledgeable about your brand and products / services while also being friendly, courteous and engaging. It is advisable to have well-trained promoters and hostesses on the ground who can promote your brand in addition to answering queries / providing information.

Create the setting

Your exhibition stand has a huge impact on how visitors perceive your organisation and interact with your staff present at the event. A welcoming, open and visually appealing stall will obviously attract more visitors. It is always a good idea to have the stand or pavilion designed by an expert stand builder.

Marketing is paramount

You can never do too much marketing at an exhibition. Right from publicising your presence though customer and prospect invites, website, social media and PR, to designing and printing event-specific branding and marketing collateral including business cards, brochures and uniforms – event marketing is one area with immense scope for your brand and you can get creative with it. Providing added value to visitors is also essential as it amplifies word-of-mouth marketing; this includes contests, opportunities to win prizes and giveaways. In essence, exhibitions are more about marketing than sales.

Of course, every business has unique requirements and every exhibition is different. That’s why GEM provides bespoke solutions to organisations for their exhibition needs, right from promoters and hostesses to exhibition stand design, from marketing and social media to PR and media coverage, and from sponsorships to complete event management solutions. Talk to us for more information.

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