If you’ve ever met the TwistKey team, you’ll know we love a good exhibition – the colourful stands, the give-aways and the smell of freshly printed brochures really gets us going! (And there’s nothing like the joy of sitting down when it’s all over…)
If you’re also a regular on the exhibition circuit, you’ll know that doing well at an exhibition is about far more than giving away a free notepad or handing out dozens of leaflets. Yes, you might be getting them into the hands of your potential customers, but the hard bit is being remembered once the stands have been packed away.
So how do you make sure that you stand out and make it worth dragging the sales team away from their desks for two days? Below we give our top tips for exhibition success:
1. Be picky
There are literally hundreds of exhibitions in the UK with anything from 1,000 to 4,0000 attendees per event, spanning all industries and interests. So don’t rush to buy a spot at your local event, take some time and do your research – chances are you’ll find something that fits your target audience. Check out http://www.exhibitions.co.uk, which provides a handy directory of exhibitions.
They say preparation is the key to success, and exhibitions are no different. Do your homework before the event: arrange meetings with some prospects, find out who’s attending and look them up and brief the team on what to expect. The better prepared you are, the higher your chance for success!
3. Give strategically, not just generously
Giving away food or drink might seem like the easiest way to get traffic to your corner but there’s a simple flaw in this approach: it’s over quicker than your pitch. Your takeaway (no pun intended) should be long-lasting, stand out from the crowd and contain something your visitors can refer to later on – how about a branded USB beautifully presented in a case with your images and messaging? (hint hint!)
4. Follow up
The buzz of having a list of sign ups as long as your arm can diminish almost as soon as you get back behind that desk. Attack it quickly and efficiently to avoid it hitting the bottom drawer and gathering dust. Even better, think quality over quantity when you’re at the show. The aim isn’t to gather as many names as you can – the exhibition game is won by the person with the most real connections, and is able to follow them up afterwards.
And we don’t just mean at the Exhibitor’s Bar (although post-exhibition socialising is a great way to interact with prospects!). Social media and exhibition marketing go together like a name badge and a lanyard. It’s not just about the conversation going on in the venue itself – find out what the hashtag is and get tweeting, instagramming, Google Plus-ing, LinkedIn-ing… you get the point.
While it may not be the cheapest form of marketing, exhibition marketing is highly effective because at its core it is interactive and personal. Opportunities to interact face-to-face are few and far between in an online world, so make sure you are grabbing them and getting your brand the notice it deserves!