The Avantis stand team running through a last-minute team briefing before bett opens
After 25 years plus in the sales and marketing world, it still surprises me what a good exhibition can do for the business soul.
I’m also surprised by how many companies still make obvious mistakes when they exhibit.
That’s despite all of the helpful information around about this subject online and at hand.
What do I mean by a good exhibition?
Well, that is indeed the key question.
How does a marketing director/events coordinator or indeed an MD for an SME business judge results after a trade show?
The corporate among us would say judge the results according to the KPIs that were set.
Sales Directors would be judging by significant additions made to the sales pipeline.
They will want to know how many potential new customers have been identified as a result of participation.
Marketing directors, on the other hand, want brand exposure.
They will look for high-quality PR, social media and other forms of brand coverage. They would look for measurement around those values.
Personally, I think it is simpler than this.
That’s why when I am asked about event success, I refer to what I call “the soul of a business.”
What am I talking about?
I know after many years of experience and after many trade shows in many different locations that …
A happy, motivated, events team with clear objectives stands the best chance of meeting everybody’s KPIs.
Those objectives should be pre-set in a meeting before the exhibition.
The meeting should be led by a strong, motivational and cheerful stand manager.
One who can both rally the team to the cause and also excite them about the challenge ahead.
A typical events team is usually a mix of sales, technical and marketing people.
Make each member of the team feel respected.
Ensure that they know what they are expected to do.
Make everyone feel of equal importance to that particular event.
Do these things and your team will perform above expectations.
How do you make the stand team feel loved?
It’s not difficult or that expensive and comes under the usual rules of team management.
The problem is those rules are so often ignored in a blind push for sales or when personal egos get in the way of the job in hand.
Or when budget cuts are implemented and one or more of so many other reasons that can affect the morale and effectiveness of a show team.
Inexpensive team care and attention just takes a little thought but it can yield such big rewards.
The build-up team should have well-prepared product demonstrations to set up.
They should have access to food and drink during the day to keep their energy levels and motivation at a maximum.
A selection of drinks, sandwiches, biscuits and chocolate are not expensive in the grand scheme, of an event budget but they should be on hand when needed.
Why should your colleagues have to go wandering off the stand to find water or something to eat after a long journey to the venue?
Likewise, the sales and supporting technical team need the same level of care during the show.
They also need a safe place to store and access laptop bags, handbags and other items of kit they may want to use during the long days of an event.
Look after your team and support them and they will support you back.
More importantly, a happy team will let the soul of your business shine through to the people you want to be doing business with in the future.
It’s all basically common sense, but isn’t that usually the way with business!
About the Author
Annette Tarlton has been a hands-on, 25 year plus marketing director organising exhibition stands of all sizes across Europe.
From the ubiquitous 8 day, CeBIT with 2 storey stands to 6m x 3m self-builds in Dubai for a multinational POS printer manufacturer.
Despite running an international marketing team, Annette is an unusual hands-on senior level marketer with an eye for practical necessary details. She runs her own successful consultancy, ATCO Marketing Ltd.
Annette can be contacted via LinkedIn.