Have you got a summer full of exhibitions ahead of you? Well, let us help you get prepared so you can smash every show! We are hitting you right in the feels with some of our top tips…
Tip 1 is to plan ahead. Seems obvious, right? There’s a lot more to think about though. As well as planning what you will need to take e.g samples, tablecloth, flyers, business cards… the list goes on, you actually need to plan your time too, plan any projects and make sure everything arrives on time. This will make your time up to and during the show stress-free!
Tip 2 promotional merchandise. Let us dive deep into the world of merch, there is lots to learn! This works closely with tip 1… there is usually a 5-week turnaround for promotional merchandise so being organised prior to the show will be beneficial. You really want to be remembered so be clever with your merch, use eco-friendly and sustainably sourced products to really stand out. Exhibition season allows people to fully embrace the souvenir mentality, people will collect stuff so don’t let your freebies get lost in the huge pile of pens, keyrings and those squidgy ball things everyone loves! Make sure you have a range of merchandise, having something for everyone is super important.
Tip 3 promote that you are exhibiting. This is a biggie, getting the word out will be vital to your success. Social media will be your best friend, use it as much as you can to promote your business, use the appropriate show hash tags. If you’ve got a website, then use it! This is a great place to promote yourselves, allow yourselves to meet existing clients as well as potential new ones!
Tip 4 can you run a competition or offer? This is the perfect way to collect data, people love a good deal or getting involved with competitions! Do you have coupons you could give away at the exhibition? Make them small enough to fit in people’s pockets, they tend to hold onto them for longer! Running a game on your stand such as hook a duck or a ring toss with an incentive will get people talking. They are more likely to get involved if they get something out of it, funnily enough, right? Getting people engaged is important so make it fun!
Tip 5, Stand out, your stand. Your stand will be your home for the duration of the exhibition, you want it to look fresh, funky and presentable. Use fabric stands, roller banners, tablecloths, even deck chairs! Being different is good. It will allow people to say something about your stand. You could ask friends and family on how to promote yourself, how they understand your product. Think outside the box, it’s all about being different. Can you run a demo of a product? Could you use screens to demo your work?
Tip 6, engage. You’ve gone to the effort of promoting your business so don’t let yourselves down. Keep that bar raised. Make sure your smile, it goes a long way. Be approachable, you want people to be able to ask you about your business. Put away your phones and emails, purely focus on YOUR business, that’s all that matters after all! Think about how you will talk to people ‘Have you heard of us before?’ is always a good place to get talking.
Finally, tip 7, follow up. Last but certainly not least. This is probably the most important step, ALWAYS follow up. Set aside a day after the show to follow up everything, you’d be silly not to. Make sure you thank existing clients for coming to see you, maintaining relationships is important. It would be a waste of time and effort if you decided not to spend some time following up. Have you got a simple, easy to understand system for collecting data? Do all your team understand it? Split the workload, get those follow up emails out as quick as possible!
Well that’s a wrap, those are our 7 most important tips to get yourselves ready for exhibition season!