20 FOR 20: TOP TIPS FOR EXHIBITIONISTS!
HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL! How was yours? Glad to have finally eaten up all the cheese? Sick of asking everyone how their Christmas was yet? Well as we head towards the end of the first working week of 2020, settle down with a cuppa as we give you our Top 20 Tips & Tricks for powering up your exhibition campaigns for the roaring 20’s!
There’s more info on some of the points from either our own or our esteemed colleagues blogs – just click the link!
- START EARLY: it’s never too early and we’d always recommend at least 12 months to deliver a really effective campaign – trade shows take time to do well.
- JUST GET STARTED: even if your trade show is next week, or next month, it’s never too late to make a positive impact on the results. Whether it’s a simple tweet, or taking 5 minutes to think about about your opening line, you can always change the outcome. More info here
- SET SMART OBJECTIVES: it’s the only way to be able to measure your success and ensure your team are all aligned around the same goal! More info here!
- PICK THE RIGHT SHOW: with 31,000 trade shows globally every year, which one should you be at? It depends on your objectives, budget, resources but a couple of hours research is always better than wasting time and money at the wrong show! More info here
- SET A REALISTIC BUDGET: and by realistic we don’t mean huge, we mean one that you can afford and that has a chance of getting a return! If your maximum annual turnover could be £100k, why would you spend £150k on a trade show, you’ll never get that back. Trade shows can suck up cash if you don’t plan effectively so get it on track from the start! Click here and here for more advice!
- SENSIBLE STAND DESIGN: the cause of so many headaches, heartaches and arguments and there simply isn’t a right or wrong to stand design! Nailing your budget and objectives is mandatory before you even think about colours, logos and furniture. More info here
- MAX OUT THE MANUAL: the bit so many exhibitors avoid, only for it to contain EVERY bit of info you will EVER need about the show. There is not other advice on the Exhibitor Manual apart from spend a few hours getting to know it intimately.
- LEVERAGE LEAD CAPTURE: the whole reason you’re going to a trade show – to get contact details of prospects but so many exhibitors don’t even think about it until they’re on site. Whether a scanner, an app, collecting business cards or a pen and paper is right for you – it doesn’t matter, just make sure you and your team know how you’re capturing those golden bullets. More info here
- SHOUT ABOUT IT: industry research suggests 16-20% of visitors at a trade show will be in a position to buy from you – so that’s 80% that are time wasters for you. That’s still plenty of new people for you to engage with – you just need to find them! And that’s where pre-show marketing is crucial – be it social media, trade press, personal invitations or the show’s own marketing, make sure you’re on your prospects Must-See list before doors open. More info here
- FOCUS ON FOLLOW UP: only 13% of leads ever get followed up after a show – yet on average over half of visitors do business with an exhibitor after a show. Think for a second about how much business is lost from failure to follow up! And having a plan in place of what and when you’re going to say after a show to match a visitor’s expectation will make execution so much easier! More info here
- SELECT YOUR SQUAD: do you select the people you know are going to give you the greatest chance of success, or are you just grateful for whoever you get? Not everyone is ‘good’ at exhibitions, and many people think they are when they’re not, so don’t let your squad pick you. Assigning roles for your team could help you determine who does and doesn’t get in your squad. More info here
- TRAIN YOUR TEAM: 85% of the success of your trade show is down to your squad, 85%!! So surely investing some time to get everyone aligned on the objectives, clear of the rules and enthusiastic about the rewards is worth it? Click here and here for some more help
- AWESOME OPENING LINES: first impressions count and your squad have seconds to make a positive impact with visitors. Think ‘How’s your day?’ is an effective start – think again! It gives a visitor the perfect opportunity to say ‘Fine thanks’ and keep walking and gives you nothing in terms of insight on their needs. Killer opening lines are crucial for quickly filtering the hot prospects from tyre kickers. More advice here
- ENJOY IT: after all that hard work and effort, it can be easy to get frazzled, stressed and exhausted during the event. But this is your time to shine and reflect in all you’ve achieved so put simply, just enjoy it!
- WHAT TO WEAR: the question we get asked most often – ‘Should my squad be in uniform?’ and as with all things trade show, there’s no right or wrong answer. It depends on your organisation, your industry, the size of your squad etc etc. Here’s a few ideas to help but with the caveat that you absolutely still need to be you on your stand!
- FANTASTIC FILTERING: the all important follow up will be so much easier if you know exactly who each visitor is, why you’re following up with them and what they need from you. That’s where filtering on site becomes so important – but you need to know who you’re wanting to attract and why! More help here
- FOLLOW UP – JFDI: Third time of mentioning it so you know…
- WWW.EBI: feedback’s a gift and the only way to make sure you’re next event is better is by asking your colleagues, visitors and suppliers ‘what went well and even better it’ (www.ebi). Use surveys, team meetings and follow up calls to get as much detail as you can about what worked and didn’t and use it to make the next one better!
- KNOW YOUR ROI: yes you can measure ROI but only if you set those all important SMART objectives right back at the start! It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen the day after the show closes but click here and here to get started on proving the value of exhibitions to your business.
- DON’T EAT ON YOUR STAND: that could have been the number 1 point but it’s regularly quoted by visitors as one of their biggest frustrations about exhibitions – no-one likes getting sprayed with sandwich and the break for lunch will help you re-energise!
So there in a nutshell are the 20 steps we think are most crucial to powering up for exhibition success! We can’t possibly do them justice in a short(ish) blog post so if you’re hungry for more detail about how you can turn these into winning strategies head over to The Exhibtionst Book page and pick up a copy of the book and journal to walk you step-by-step through the generating a better return from your investment!