How to Make Money and Earn from your Exhibition Stand at Tradeshows
How to make your Exhibition Stand Work for You
Whether you have a pop up displays stand, roller banner stands or the most expensive bespoke stand, what matters is that you and your company earn from your exhibition stand at trade shows. Too often, first-time exhibitors are unprepared for the hard work of making a success of an exhibition stand, they arrive with their shiny new display and set their wares out in front of the world and wait for business to happen. Well it won't! You have to MAKE IT HAPPEN! Planning is vital, not only planning which Exhibition is right for your company to exhibit at, but also the theme of your stand, training staff, give-aways and the most vital of all, your method of data capture so you can maximise the potential from every lead you collect. Exhibiting at Trade Shows is not an exact science, there are too many variables, but if you practise the art of exhibiting, you will succeed and your company will make a good profit on the investment involved in having an exhibition presence whether you have inexpensive X banner stands or have spent thousands of dollars on your trade show displays.
To Exhibit - or not to Exhibit? That is the question!
Whether you are involved in Sales and Marketing in a small or large Company, whether your Company is just getting off the ground or is a long-established one, the question as to whether taking an Exhibition Stand at one of the Trade Exhibitions in your industry sector is one that needs a great deal of careful thought - especially in these times when it is vital to make the most of every penny in the budget.
Whether or not Exhibiting at Trade shows should form a main plank of your marketing plan must surely lie in what you are trying to achieve and also, the expectation of the market sector. Even these two reasons may be at loggerheads. For example, a car manufacturer such as Ford is expected to be at the Motor Show but their achievement may be limited to meeting the expectations of the Public without necessarily hitting their sales targets. A direct mail campaign with free test drives and possibilities of winning a car might well be a far better value for money option. On the other hand, a company in a business to business environment, such as a company specializing in antique pub fittings may well find a greater appreciation of its product and a far more rapidly building database (and subsequent sales) from displaying at Exhibitions.
Over a career in sales and marketing spanning many years, a former boss of mine told me that he had seen the most elaborate and expensive stands, with poorly trained staff, destined to produce very poor results. On the other hand, he had seen “home-made‟ stands with innovative methods of attracting people and recording their details which will have produced outstanding results for the companies in question.
He also reported that he has seen some stands with their frontages blocked and others so open that one has difficulty in understanding what their product is. He has seen people standing with hands in their pockets, arms folded, smoking, drinking, eating, lounging and stands manned by salesmen with no means whatsoever of attracting visitors or recording their details and others who look as though they are suffering from a hangover. Directors of these companies are likely to be the same ones who tell you the following year that they are not bothering with an Exhibition Stand or Exhibiting at Trade Shows this year, they were a ‘dead loss’, ‘we never made anything out of them’, ‘total waste of money’.
Planning and running a successful exhibition stand is not about having a large or expensive stand, but is about happy, well trained staff with the tools to carry out their job and who will have fun whilst they are doing it.
Here are some top tips for making your next trade show stand a big success!
1. Choose your Exhibition carefully. Get a list of category of visitors and numbers from last year's show from the organisers - see how closely this list matches your target market. Have a look at last year's Exhibitors from companies in your sector - see if they are Exhibiting again this year - if not, why not?
2. Don't choose a stand right by the entrance, this sounds a good place to be but visitors are just getting in, putting their tickets and so on back in their bags and generally need to refocus their eyes and settle into the Exhibition.
3. The majority of visitors turn left when entering an Exhibition, try to choose a stand in that area if it is a small Exhibition.
4. Don't blame the show organiser for poor traffic to your stand, publicise it beforehand to your customers, your prospects, advertise on your website, in trade press and so on that you will be at the show, which stand you will be on, what your special offer will be on the day - bait the hook!
5. Have a clear theme for your stand, try to introduce an element of fun. I helped organise the trade stand for many years for the company I worked for (a laundry company). We had an amazing man called Luigi Spotorno to do Napkin Folding Demonstrations - he would turn up in frock coat, red sparkly waistcoat, bow tie and a top hat - he was an amazing crowd puller (please see my napkin folding hub for Luigi in action!).
6. Train your stand staff. Most important and fundamental to the success of your stand. Make sure that they understand the golden rule that the person in front of them at any one time on the stand is the most important person in the world. Never mind if he only has a small amount to spend with you, don't let them be looking over his shoulder for a better prospect whilst talking to him - you will end up with nothing!
7. Gather information about your visitors. Whatever method you use, don't waste the information gathered, act on it immediately with staff back at the office to do mail-outs, phoning and so on, the day after that person has visited your stand. Have a concerted effort after the show to gain business.
8. Look after your customers. Treat customers visiting your stand with as much, if not more, interest and courtesy than you are giving to your prospects. Talk to them about their business, new products. If they voice a problem get your Customer Service staff back at the Office to make sorting this out a priority!
Want To Find Out More About How To Earn From Your Exhibition Stand?
Find out more about the different types of Pop up Displays available
Pop up Displays are the most cost efficient, practical and portable way for any company new to exhibiting to get a stunning exhibition stand that can easily be updated by means of changing graphic panels as required. You can use pop up stands as an addition to your existing stand to utilise every square inch of exhbition or trade show space available to you. In this case you can use Pop up Displays to promote a show offer, new product or service or perhaps a competition or attraction on your stand in order to draw in more visitors.
My site Pop Up Displays Guide will help you find all the information you need - use the link at the beginning of this article to visit the homepage, or the link above to visit the pop up stands page.
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