Exhibiting at trade shows is a great way to get exposure, interact with your target audience but most importantly to gain prospects and increase sales. The whole process of organising an exhibition must start off with clear objectives for your company. Is it market research, prospects, partners, or increased brand awareness you are after? Whichever combination it is make sure you plan ahead for it. Usually this involves all of the above.
Oxxygen has been involved with exhibition since the company’s inception, whether it is hosting and organising the Live@TheCounter show at the National Convenience Show or more recently organising Chopstix Group UK’s very first and successful exhibition at the British & International Franchise Exhibition Show (with over a 100 prospects captured!). There are three stages with organising an exhibition: Pre-Exhibition, Exhibition and Post-Exhibition. To help you out we have listed a few points you should follow Pre-Exhibition phase. Over the next two weeks, we will follow up with Exhibition and Post-Exhibition posts.
Select the right exhibition/trade show
- Research all the relevant exhibition and trade shows for your industry both (national and international if appropriate) and find out who the target audience is for these shows and what the visitor numbers are. You should only select and participate in exhibitions where the target audience matches that of your company and the visitor numbers are high enough to be worth your time and investment.
Negotiate a good deal
- Meet the show organiser and ensure you get the right deal, whether this is the stand, additional marketing, and equipment. Remember the listed prices are never the final prices, push for a better deal! The position of your stand within the show is very important. Ask for prominent stand locations with high visibility and footfall. Stands close to the entrance or high profile exhibitors and feature areas always do very well!
Stand Format & Design
- The next consideration here is the format of your stand, make sure it is appropriate to your business and allows for interactivity with your audience. The design of your stand should be eye-catching as well, make it stand out from the competition! Make sure all the equipment and collateral build is agreed and delivered on time. You do not want to do any of this last minute!
Communications Material and Methods
- Make sure you have plenty of communication collateral such as flyers and brochures prepared, printed and ready before the show. Freebies are a big hit with trade show audiences. To get exposure and create interest write and send out press releases about your company attending the show and make sure to add in points that are relevant and interesting to your target audience. To keep cost low you could contact and email your press release out to relevant industry magazines and journalists yourself as much as possible. If you have the budget you can enlist the services of a press release distribution firm.