Exhibition success factors
What makes a good exhibition?
Having just returned from an incredible few days at IMEX Frankfurt and with the calendar looking busy for the upcoming tradeshows this summer, our sales team here at Church House Westminster are certainly being kept busy with exhibition planning!
As many venues and other exhibiting companies will know, a fine selection process is undertaken to determine which tradeshows will best suit our audience and provide the optimal return on investment. Sometimes it’s the smaller, niche shows which bring the best returns but on the other hand, the buzz and excitement of a larger show can pull in some high-end interest. So, other than our own past experience, what’s to say what makes a good exhibition? What should influence our decision to invest in an exhibition?
- Making A Decision
A Pre-Registered Buyers List
If you can, get one! It goes without saying that this will be a good indicator of whether the show is right for you and your established goals for the investment. As a bonus, this can be used as a handy tool for researching and preparing for the show!
If you are not able to get a hold of a pre-registered buyers list, an exhibitor list will provide you with connections and existing contacts that may be able to offer you more information about the show. Talk to colleagues, talk to peers, research in the industry press, and utilise connections to help decide whether the investment is worth it. If you feel like your stand might stick out like a sore thumb, perhaps it is worth visiting the show as a guest before making the commitment of buying a stand.
…geographically and inside the show. Firstly make sure the location will bring in visitors that you would like to meet. Secondly, if you have decided you want to invest in a show, negotiate with the organisers for the best spot within the venue before signing. Booking early will give you the best options to make sure your placement within the show reflects your needs, places you with appropriate neighbours, and gives you a good flow of attendees to your stand.
Being part of a destination stand, like London & Partners, can often make a show more affordable and results can be improved when working as a team with other exhibitors. Data can be shared and referrals can be made! We teamed up with London & Partners at IMEX and for a large event like this, it was essential to have the support of a larger team and stand. At international shows, it is most important to sell the destination first and work as a team in doing this. Visitors were attracted to the impressive stand and we were able to make and receive referrals from our partners, keeping the business within London.
- At The Show
Whilst they can attract buyers to your stand, the giveaway can come at a great expense at little return if not done well. The more your giveaway stands out the better – but it must be relevant, memorable, and branded to market your business. Not to mention it must be something the guest will keep and use again and again as a reminder of your business. A sweet will be enjoyed greatly but your business will only be remembered for about a second after that! The most successful giveaways at IMEX were relevant and iconic of the business or location. Lots of British and royal souvenirs at the London and Partners stand went down well to tie in with the London tourist attractions and the Queen’s Birthday.
Not only networking within the event but making the most of your online social networking as well can provide you with the best results. Make sure your followers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. know where to find you and are kept up to date on what is going on at your stand. Using the right hashtags will make your posts easier to find for those searching the event online.
….and the infamous last-minute visitor
At the end of a long shift at a stand where the number of guests has worn thin and exhibitors around you have started to pack away early, it can often be tempting to leave a show before the end. However, the exhibitors amongst you will know the story of the last-minute quality visitor. Some reports say that exhibitors have found their largest clients and made their biggest deals in the last few minutes of a show. The truth behind this? …I cannot comment but I advise staying till the bitter end in case you miss out!
For more information please do get in touch via our contact form or give us a call on 02073 901590 to discuss your event.