In Exhibiting Soon? Part One, I finished-up by highlighting that getting your objectives straight for the show was very important because your objectives should have a bearing on many of the exhibiting decisions that you make.
If you need a refresher on objectives read this article.
Promote Your Presence At The Show
The organiser of your show will be spending a lot of time and money on alerting your marketplace to the show and encouraging key people to attend. Plug into this activity by promoting your company’s presence at the event.
- Invite your customers to the show and give them good reasons to visit your stand. Let them know about any show offers or special rates that they can benefit from; new additions to the range that they will be able to see etc.
- Advertise your presence on your website (in a prominent place)
- Invite the companies on your prospect list to attend and tell them why it would be useful for them to visit you. Promote any show deals, offers, demos, samples etc. as suggested when you talk to your clients
- Change company email signatures so that they carry a message like “See our new range at the ABC Show, Stand 101
- Submit press information via the show’s Media portal or contact media contacts directly using the list that the organiser provides in the Marketing section of the Exhibitor Manual
- Alert the organisers Marketing team about any newsworthy things that you will be doing at the show so that they can promote and plug these too
- Use your social media channels to engage with your customers and contacts pre-event
- If you have time, you may want to consider using webinars as part of your promotional plan or you could organise one or more as part of your post-show follow-up campaign. See this article for more on this subject
Organised Exhibiting: Lead Management
Given that just about every small and medium sized business that exhibits cites lead generation as their key reason for show participation, this is one area of exhibiting that you really want to get right. The good news is that it’s not hard to do.
- Decide on how you will record your leads. What device are you going to use and how many of them will you need? The organiser can supply lead recording equipment via the registration company handling this side of the show (see the Exhibitor Manual) or you can bring your own equipment. This article could be useful
- Organise the following-up of your leads before you go the show. This means that you agree the process for lead follow-up. How soon after the show will stand visitors hear from you? How will you communicate with them? What will be included in the follow-up? Where will your leads go next? Read this article on data management
- Brief your stand team and your office team about lead management arrangements so that there are no slip-ups in the process while you are on-site
- Do you know the build dates and times for the show? Circulate these to your stand team and any contractors and suppliers that you are working with
- Have you or your contractor submitted paperwork to comply with Health & Safety regulations for your type of stand?
- If you are exhibiting with a shell scheme stand, these requirements will be minimal. For Space Only stands approval of your stand design and the Method Statement for its construction will be required
- Check the timing of all deliveries to and from site (don’t forget the removal of your stand and exhibits)
- Do you have or have you ordered all of the passes that you, your stand colleagues and contractors will need? These can include on-site parking; hall access passes; catering passes on some events. The Exhibitors Manual should highlight the passes that you will need
- Group in one file all of the orders connected with your stand; power, furniture, graphics etc. Bring this with you to the venue in case things are missing or not done as you requested and paid for
- Put a Show Pack together for small jobs that might need to be done on your stand. Things like screwdrivers, sticky tape, sticky pads or velcro are always handy; phone chargers, extension leads, pliers, scissors may all have their uses from time to time
- Pack a first-aid kit and pack your business cards!
- Put together a contact list with phone numbers (including mobiles) and email addresses; people on the list should include all members of your stand team; your contractors and suppliers; organiser contacts; key clients that you have invited
- Book a photographer to take pictures of your stand or bring a camera for this purpose
- When you arrive on-site and on your stand, check that everything is there as expected. The stand itself plus the other services that you have ordered
- If anything is missing or damaged, jump-on getting things fixed or replaced immediately via the contractor Service Desks in the Halls. Bring your paperwork to the desk or quote from your order if sorting things by phone
- When setting-up your stand check that all of your equipment is working and try not to do this last thing on the evening before the show opens as you will have very little time to get a problem fixed
- Collect your lead recording devices if you have ordered from the organiser’s supplier and check that everyone working with you is clear on how to use them
- Ensure that your stand team is familiar with all products on the stand and the geography of the venue – this includes of course any temp staff that you might have employed for the show
- Use social media to show pictures of your stand and team on the last day of build; “Here’s our stand and location..looking forward to seeing you…”
- Hold your stand team briefing meetings (first thing or last thing) each day to get team feedback; to highlight results on leads collected plus any other relevant news
- Check back with your office that your lead management process is working if you have planned to follow-up with stand visitors on the same day
- Be positive during the show both with visitors and your team. Ensure that your team is presenting the best possible impression of your company at all times to visitors. No team huddles, long phone calls and NO EATING on the stand!
- Make time to check out other stands and take notes and pictures of things you like and could apply to another event
This covers a basics checklist of things you can do at short notice to ensure a successful show. Once back from the event you need to record and report your results and you can read an extensive list of things that could be covered in our 15 Steps To Successful Trade Show Participation. If you haven’t got a copy you can download it here.
To successful exhibiting however long you have to prepare for it!