With the exhibition season getting into full swing, we wanted to share with you some simple techniques to help you get the very best return on investment (ROI) from a business show.
Make your presence known – It may sound obvious, but many companies miss out on the opportunity to get their brand in front of their target audience prior to the event. Make sure you let your regular customers, top prospects and partners know you will be in attendance and where to find you on the day. Advertise your presence through conversation and networking events, in your email signature and via social media.
Join in the conversation – Find out the hashtag exhibitors and visitors will be using when they talk about the exhibition on social media. Get involved with conversations across platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter before and afterwards. This will help you gain maximum brand exposure, make new connections and even generate some leads to be followed up on exhibition day.
Set up early – Plan to arrive at the exhibition early and if possible, set your stand up the day before. There is nothing worse than getting caught in traffic and arriving at the last possible moment, then having to set up quickly to be ready when visitors arrive. Setting up the day before means that you can mingle with other exhibitors and start picking up leads even before the show opens.
Take at least two people – If possible, take at least two people to help you manage the stand. This way you will be able to join in seminars, speed networking events and visit the other stand holders without leaving your stand unoccupied. It will also allow you to maximise your investment in a busy show by ensuring you get to speak to as many prospects as possible.
Use innovation to engage prospects – Competition at exhibitions can be fierce, with multiple stands competing for attention. Try to think of innovative methods to attract your target audience to your stand and enable them to engage with you.
Check your marketing collateral – Check that you have all of the marketing collateral required for your stand well beforehand to ensure that you can order any print, merchandise or attractions that are needed for your stand in plenty of time. Make sure that all materials are current and presented in your current branding for consistency.
Align your communication channels around the exhibition – Ensure that you make full use of social media, networking, print, press releases and telephone calls to support your exhibition presence and follow up afterwards. Ensure your communications across all these channels are joined up and provide consistent messaging to your target markets.
Ask and document communication preferences – It is not only best practice, but courteous to ask prospects and new connections how they would prefer you to maintain contact with them. Obtain permissions and document communication preferences at the exhibition and ensure that you follow up using the preferred communication methods of your prospects
Set aside time to follow up – Sadly this is where many of us fall down in terms of reaping the rewards that can be gained from exhibitions. Much time and financial investment is placed upon preparing for the big day, but all too often leads are not followed up promptly once back in the office and back to the daily grind. Plan some time in your diary to follow up with leads and new contacts from the exhibition promptly by connecting on social media, email and telephone.
If you are struggling to find the resources in-house to prepare for an exhibition and follow up afterwards, why not let us help you? Lightning Transformations can help you to nurture your new prospects and leads through engagement on social media, email marketing campaigns and telephone follow ups. Click here to contact us today.