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Free tips and advice to make your exhibition a success

Before the event
  • Make sure you choose the right exhibition. Learn about the target audience and ensure it fits your business' target market. Many event organisers can provide you with a list of previous attendees to analyse. You should also check which events your competitors are exhibiting at.
  • Define clear goals. With any marketing exercise, the goals should be realistic and trackable against a set of tangible targets such as orders taken or new customers signed up.
  • The earlier you apply for your stand, the more chance you have of getting the size, shape and position that you want, all factors that can have a major impact on your success at the exhibition. Location is key, check high traffic areas or areas near entries.
  • Decide on which products and/or services you are going to promote. Less is often more, as an overfilled stand can easily confuse your customers. It is better to have a clear message that you can further build on after the event.
  • Establish a good working relationship with an experienced stand design company like ExpoDirect. Make sure you set a budget and get the best possible stand for a price your business can afford.
  • Market your participation in the exhibition to both existing and potential customers. Do this early for interstate or overseas companies so they can plan a trip to see you. Repeat it for all customers a few weeks before the exhibition. Don't forget to include your stand number as it makes you easier to locate in a large convention centre. Add details to your email signature and web site.
  • li>Invite your press contacts.
During the event
  • Don't bring people for the sake of numbers, only experienced customer service/sales staff should attend. Too many staff can also be daunting for customers.
  • Staff must be well trained and know your business. Make sure they are clear on the goals for the event and how these are to be achieved.
  • Visit the stand with your team before opening and discuss how to best utilise the space without blocking the graphics from passing traffic.
  • Wear branded clothing that fits with the look of your stand.
  • If possible have a special offer for the exhibition and some suitable marketing material and give aways.
  • Record each visitor to your stand carefully. Much of the sales driven by the exhibition will be made in the few weeks after it through good follow up.
  • Stick to your goals and don't be tempted to waiver. Many customers will spend the early days of an exhibition considering their options and return late in the event to place an order, its better to maintain your message from start to finish.
After the event
  • Follow up every single lead within the first few weeks after the exhibition. Trade fairs can be intense and tiring due to the number of exhibitors, customers who sounded only mildly interested can often turn into good sales following the event.
  • Analyse your exhibition participation carefully and honestly. Try to learn from your mistakes and make notes about other exhibitors who seemed very successful. It never hurts to learn from others.
  • Remember that if you are a new company, your first exhibition is only the beginning. Many companies have noted that the more times they appear at exhibitions the stronger their brand grows. This will also be reflected in your orders taken.