Does your business regularly exhibit at relevant local and industry exhibitions? Has your approach to gaining new contacts and promoting your business gone a little stale?
You’ll have no doubt seen the ‘new team, new venue, new vision’ marketing collateral for the new Let’s Do Business Brighton exhibition, but it isn’t just the event branding that’s been revitalised.We think a new Brighton exhibition calls for a new approach, so at PRG we’ve compiled some ways in which you can refresh your tactics to make sure you get the most out of your investment.
Create an exhibition marketing strategy
Be completely honest – how much do you usually plan ahead for an exhibition? It can seem like extra work to plan how you’ll market your business before the event, on the day and after the expo, but you’ll reap the rewards of a little forward thinking. Send out email marketing communications and social media posts before and after the show and remember to have all the printed collateral you need ready for the big day, including any brochures or flyers.
Focus on one area of your business to promote
Often exhibitions can be quite overwhelming for visitors if all exhibitors have a lot of information about what they offer to give out. That’s why at this year’s Brighton exhibition, if you have an area of your business that you’d like to drive sales for, it’s worth tailoring your stand and sales pitch to that area and thinking about ways you can make this a focus. It doesn’t mean you can’t still speak to people about other aspects of your offering, but having a discount or offer available on a specific service or product can help you to make the most of your day and track your results.
Quality over quantity
Are you guilty of trying to speak to as many people as possible and then finding you don’t have time for meaningful conversations? It can be tempting to cover a lot of ground and try and get your business card out to as many people as possible, but try and remember it’s better to go for quality over quantity.
Find out who will be exhibiting and plan who you’d like to speak to and about what – set yourself a target like you would for other areas of your business.
Hold back on the pushy sales
Sure, there comes a point during a networking conversation where you need to get down to business and discuss a sale or an agreement. It can seem like you’ve failed if you don’t close a deal on the day, but think long term.
People don’t like to feel like someone’s being pushy with the sales patter and only wants to talk to them to see what they can get out of it. Taking the time to get to know people and show interest, then following up after if necessary, will make the contact more valuable in the long term.
Make people talk about your business – for the right reasons!
There’s a famous saying – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While this certainly rings true for many things, your exhibition appearance isn’t one of them.
A new Brighton exhibition is an opportunity to think outside the box. If you’ve always had a stand that clearly displays your branding and has stood you in good stead over the years it can be tempting to stick with your tried and tested design. Your stand however, is an opportunity to get people talking to you without the need for pressurised sales tactics. Consider designing a stand that makes people talk and gives your staff an easy conversation starter
Introduce new faces
If you regularly have the same staff members on your stand talking about a particular area of your offering, consider introducing new faces too. Naturally, some staff members will be more comfortable with selling your business at the exhibition than others, but if your team are happy with it, bringing along other team members can help to offer a different perspective on your offering and give visitors another team member to get to know.
Have a clear event marketing strategy
Going to an exhibition with a clear marketing strategy can help you to measure your results and ensure you’ve made the most out of the new Brighton exhibition. Think about how you’ll showcase your appearance in advance – which of your marketing platforms are your clients most active on? Perhaps you find success with them engaging on social media, or maybe your e-shot open rates are strong?
During the exhibition, make it clear to your team who is responsible for marketing which area. Perhaps if you have someone in your team who loves to tweet, they could look after your social media on the day, pushing for people to visit your stand. Once they’re there, maybe your business development employee will sell your services? Having a plan ensures everyone can focus on one area that they enjoy or are good at.
Post exhibition, think about how you’ll follow up with any leads and keep your company at the forefront of visitors and exhibitors’ minds. Maybe you’ll email them; perhaps you’ll arrange face to face meetings for warmer leads. Either way, having a plan in advance of how you’ll categorise leads and what actions you’ll take for each area can help you speed up the making contact process.