Have you ever thought about using exhibitions to promote your business? Have you been put off by the cost? Have you tried and found it doesn't work?
There is more to getting an exhibiton right than just turning up and handing out a few leaflets. This issue of Scribbles will show you how and tell you about a very different event that's running in October.
Make an Exhibition of Yourself!
Here are some ideas to get you thinking about how to get the best from an exhibition.
Invite your clients and contacts. Tell them when and where you’re exhibiting and invite them to join you for lunch or coffee. Give them free tickets as a thank you for supporting you. Exhibitions are a great place for informal, non-salesy conversations with people.
Business people coming to a business exhibition are looking to do business. They’re searching for clients, suppliers, ideas and inspiration. Make your stand interesting and people will come and talk to you.
How do you make your stand interesting? Give visitors something to do – don’t just hide behind a table or give them a leaflet to read. Ask them questions. Encourage them to ask you questions. Show people what you do by offering advice or demonstrating your expertise.
Collect information. The more interactive you can be, the easier it is to collect information from your visitors. Ask them to fill in a form, or complete a questionnaire. Encourage them to enter a competition.
Why do you need their information? So you can keep in touch with them. So that you can send them your newsletter, connect with them on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. Send a personal note to say “It was nice to meet you.” If you said you’d arrange a meeting, get on the phone to arrange that meeting.
Always follow up. Exhibitions don’t end when you pack up your stand and walk away at the end of the day. You’ll need to spend time following up with the people you met, because it can take time to build up the relationships you need. The exhibition is just the start of the relationship.
The key to successful exhibitions is to do some planning and think about how you can make your stand really stand out. You don’t have to spend a fortune on clever graphics to do this – just get a bit creative!