5 things I have learnt from exhibiting, Part 2
Part 2 of 3
2. Fix Up Look Smart!
We invested in a new stand last year to reflect the venues rebrand and also with updated bold images of our rooms. Of course it is important that the stand looks appealing to buyers and sends out a clear message about what and who we are, but also in more practical terms the variety of room set ups in the images has been very helpful for referring to during conversations with clients.
The stand also has to be welcoming and open and without furniture creating a barrier preventing guests from wanting to come and talk to us! We like to keep it simple with just a poseur table and chairs with plenty of space either sides. This means that we have a location for our ipad and to lean on whilst taking notes, and chairs for the meetings later in the day when the clients (and us) are happy to sit down with a cup of tea for a chat!
3. “When it comes to business success, it is all about people, people, people” Richard Branson
It has been great meeting new clients at exhibition and showcase events, but our meetings with people can be brief and therefore we have to ask the right questions to find out as much information as we can at the time. This makes it so much easier to have meaningful and relevant conversations and to be able to offer solutions to the client’s requirements. There is absolutely no point in rattling through a well-rehearsed presentation about all of our 19 rooms and capacities when the client is only looking for one room for 300 for a dinner and our Assembly Hall is the only one that is suitable!
What I have also learnt about exhibitions is that it isn’t just about finding new clients and starting relationships. Building on existing relationships with current clients and getting back in touch with some old contacts is also a very valuable exercise. The events industry can be fluid and old contacts move around and can be great sources of new business!
Expanding my network of contacts has not just been limited to the clients that we meet at the shows. Exhibitions have been a good opportunity to meet other venues and suppliers. Developing relationships with neighbouring venues has been incredibly valuable as we can refer business between each other and work together.