You know how it goes – every year there’s an annual ‘must-attend’ event – an event for which you create super shiny brochures, sharply worded marketing materials and nice-looking banners. Yet attracting those attendees over your threshold seems to get tougher every year, without fail. And even where you speak to your target market en masse, the new business that you ultimately secure feels a little disappointing.
As designers of kick-butt backdrops and creators of emotive exhibition environments, we get it. You need to stand out, and stand out in a way that’s meaningful to those attendees who could otherwise pass you by. So we’d better get to work – here are six unfailing ideas for ensuring that your stand, stands out.
- Put in the groundwork beforehand
- Create a bit of intrigue about your stand – use social media to be cryptic about what will feature
- Put on a social media Q and A session for your followers – this form of digital interaction can be an invaluable first point of contact to warm leads in their tens, hundreds or even thousands, prior to the big day
- Offer something for free – if our team (a web and marketing agency) were to exhibit, we could offer a free website analysis, for example
- Send out a few personal emails to your contacts to let them know where to find you, and provide a little incentive for them to pop by (in addition to a freebie, an alternative could be the running of a competition)
- Ring around your closest contacts – find out whether they’ll be attending and what their plans are (ensuring your stand has a decent starter base of footfall can attract newbie passing footfall as they clamber to see what the fuss is about)
- Know thy fellow exhibitors
You don’t have to be stuck to your stand. In fact, you should be out there networking – visiting other stands and discovering what others may have to offer you. In this instance, you should take the time to review the exhibitor map before the event, and undertake a little research as to who your fellow exhibitors are.
As well as a business card, you should also have a flyer to hand to direct them to your exhibition later in the day.
- Get inventive with tech
Tech can be your friend when it comes to tackling plenty of timeless challenges when exhibiting, namely this could include:
- Showcasing a product that’s unfeasible to demo in person
- Completing visitor surveys
- Collecting details
- Collecting visitor competition entries (that can later be used for marketing)
- Create non-intimidating, non-pushy interactions with your brand – through a web page created especially for exhibition attendees
- Don’t scrimp on your exhibition backdrop design
Think that it’s enough to create backdrops and staging that’s on point when it comes to your brand? Unfortunately, just looking good isn’t enough – a truly inviting exhibition stand speaks to your target market. It provides impetus to step over that imaginary threshold of yours, and creates an emotional environment that sets the scene for business winning conversations and lead gathering. Suffice to say that exhibition design is a job best left to the professionals. Any good design agency will also suggest a backdrop to serve as a quick pick up and go – for footfall that may pass by and collect a brochure, business card or other marketing material to refer to later on.
- Make friends with your neighbours
Upon arrival introduce yourself to the stands that are immediately around yours – you may even want to swap marketing materials if your businesses are a good fit with one another.
- Go social and reconnect, quickly, with event attendees
1 week – that’s the time you have to touch base with those you’ve spoken with during the exhibition. Whether you send emails to those who left their business card, or call the warm leads that you’ve already spoken with, timely post-event contact is an essential to move things forward. As part of this you could wrap up the event with a post exhibition blog post – complete with pics of fellow businesses (and leads).
Forget novelties, gimmicks, sneaky tricks and going for the cold (or hard) sell. Come that industry event of the year, next year is going to be your best yet – and we’ll be ready with your backdrops and a cleverly crafted environment. So, maybe we should talk through some ideas.