Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Exhibition stand 101 - how to market yourself effectively at trade fairs and exhibitions.

So you've just booked your first ever stand at an industry exhibition have you?  Well here's a few things that it's worth you knowing....

Mark your territory!
The most important thing to do first is to claim the small amount of space you have on your stand and brand as much of it as possible.  Roller banners are great for displaying graphics and you'll only need a couple for a small exhibition stand.  This company in Ipswich makes great banners for all budgets, tell them Andrew Laws at Web Care Takers sent you to them - BMS Imaging of Ipswich.

A standing/ leaning table is also useful as focal point for talking to people, although it's not essential.  When delegates walk past your stand you only have a few seconds (or even just a sideways glance) to attract their attention and draw them in, and if you have no focal point near the front of your stand you risk scaring people away, nobody likes to intrude!

I'd recommend displaying the five reasons folk should use you on one of your stands, and a flashy logo graphic with clearly visible web address on the other.  It's NOT a good idea to print product photos on roller banners though, it's far more impressive to have a huge glass bowl (or something) of samples that folk can take away with them.  It's best to use samples branded with your own logo, but other samples can be used as long as you tape them to your business card at the time you give them to people. Delegates at these events carry around bags crammed full of free crap that they won't look at until they get home, so a business card and a sample becoming separated from each other is no good to them or you.

We will be a very small fish in a very large pond at your first event so it's important to capitalise on things that don't cost anything, like being dressed incredibly smartly, being ultra calm and genial, and above all be collected and professional.

What are your goals?
There are two goals you need to try and reach with as many people as possible:
  1. Make a memorable impression
  2. Get a card and/ or sample into the delegates bag
I'd recommend printing up some double sided business cards specially for this event, print the standard contact details on one side of the card, and the same bullet points that you have on your banner on the other side.  Your job is to create a joined up full frontal charm attack, based on what you have decided are the strongest selling points of your company before the event.

The absolute best advice I can possibly give when manning an exhibition stand is to HAVE FUN, personality is a stronger seller than any amount of flashy graphics or expensive give-aways.

For more advice try a dedicated company like http://in2mktg.co.uk/ again, tell them I sent you!