Exhibitions can deliver real value… but how do you make the most of them?
Exhibitions offer a great chance to make contact with hundreds of people in a short space of time, so spend some time planning before the show, so you can reap the rewards afterwards. Take a look at our experts’ suggestions on how to make the most of your time at the expo:
On the big day…
What about your stand layout?
Sofas and armchairs can make a stand feel homely and look attractive but can often lead to a few people monopolising your time. Is this really what you want, particularly if they’re existing clients? If you’d like to incorporate this, think about how you’ll keep a good flow of people to your stand and ensure you have someone free to chat.
Balancing the social side of an exhibition with achieving those sales leads and targets is important. Remember, not everyone will buy from you straight away – making notes on follow ups while at the event and ensuring you are efficient post exhibition is also crucial.
Body Language is Key!
Be positive and cheerful at all times. There’s no point in being there if you’re going to sit down behind a table with your arms folded or just stand and chat to colleagues.
Be open and think about how you can help others as well as how they can help you. If you feel your energy flagging, take a break or visit other stands for inspiration – the cafe and seminar areas can also be great places to meet people without the pressure of selling.
Above all smile, make eye contact, ask open-ended questions! Most people know this, but few actually do it.
Who are your targets?
Not all of the other exhibitors or visitors will be relevant to you. Spend some time looking at the ‘exhibitor listing’ for each show to find out who else is there.
Ask some clear, brief questions to quickly establish whether they are one of your key targets. If they’re not, take their details and move on.
You can prepare in advance by researching companies online or looking up key contacts on sites such as LinkedIn.
How many targets do you want to generate on the day?
Have a system in place to categorise your leads:
- Ready to buy now
- Ready to buy with some post-event follow up
- Add details to your CRM / send newsletter
- No action required
What to do afterwards?
To reap the maximum benefit from the show, make sure you:
- Chat with you team about what worked and what didn’t
- Measure your success against your goals prior to the show
- Work your way through the leads generated and allocate the appropriate follow up
“Every exhibitor to your stand should receive some sort of follow up after the show – whether it’s an email, phone call or appointment”
- Remember to track the leads generated on the day. Look at them after a month, 3 months and 6 months after the exhibition.
“So many exhibitors generate business 6+ months after a show. Don’t assume that because you haven’t sold something within a week of the show, it’s not been a success. “