Exhibiting at a trade show is one of the most effective ways to make new business contacts, promote your company/products and expand into new markets. Exhibiting successfully however, requires more than just committing to the floor space to get good results.
Here, I share my my top 10 tips to prepare you for exhibiting so you get the most out of your exhibition participation:
1. Complete orders for show services by the date given. By ordering on time, you will usually qualify for an advance rate.
2. Schedule any labour for straight time hours and make certain you and your materials are ready on time, as unnecessary delays can cost you money.
3. Check if the official contractor offers any booth packages. These can vary from a basic furniture package for your booth, to a fully equipped shell-scheme booth. Ordering a package instead of all items separately can save you money, so look out for these in your exhibitor manual.
4. Avoid changing your orders on-site or waiting until you arrive to place your orders, as higher rates will apply and you may not get your first choice.
5. Consolidate your freight into one shipment. This will quite often work out cheaper than paying material handling on several separate shipments. Ask the official drayage contractor to give you quotes for both first.
6. Stay at an official partner hotel to get preferential rates, and don’t forget to book early to avoid disappointment, because the closest and best hotels usually sell out quickly.
7. Ensure your staff are adequately trained and motivated so they are proactive about getting visitors to the booth and can answer any questions confidently.
8. Engage in pre-show marketing opportunities. Most organisers offer many additional and quite often free-of-charge marketing opportunities for their exhibitors. Participating will promote your presence at the event and drive traffic to your booth. Also look out for the paid advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
9. Chase up your leads straight after the event – you’ve spent the money on exhibiting, and now it’s important to establish a relationship with the people you’ve met and convert leads into deals!
10. If you have the budget, then go for a unique stand design with eye-catching signage that will instantly draw visitors towards your booth.
Finally, remember to implement the 4 Ps…
- Plan in advance
- Be Proactive
- Promote your presence prior to the event