4 Ways to Make the Most out of an Exhibition
After a positive experience at eComerce Show North last November, Hopewiser was keen to return to EventCity for Marketing Show North. Exhibitions are still an ideal way of networking, despite the digital transformation that the world of B2B has undergone. Traditional face-to-face interaction that exhibitions offer is still very much the “in thing”.
Showcasing your business in an exhibition environment allows you to gain a thorough understanding of your prospects’ needs. That said, there are a number of things you must do in order to maximise the opportunities that these events offer. Follow these four ways to make the most out of an exhibition.
1. Find the Right Exhibition for Your Business
Make sure you do plenty of research to find the right Exhibition for your target market.
Think about what sort of customers you want to attract and what value your products will add to their business. Take Hopewiser, for example. We have been writing data cleansing software since 1982, therefore, we wanted to attend an expo with businesses who could really utilise our solutions. The cleansing of company databases is vital in the marketing industry, especially these days where data protection and regulation is paramount. Therefore, attending Marketing Show North gave us the opportunity to network and engage with key prospects that would be able to incorporate data cleansing into their operations, thus adding value to their own business.
2. Stand Location is Key
Selecting the location of your stand is another very important aspect. When you book your place at a trade show, you’ll be provided with a floor plan so that you can choose your pitch strategically. Remember, the location of your stand will highlight the difference between an average expo and a profitable one, so make sure you choose wisely.
According to Relevance, the best locations to display your business are on corner stands, near drinks and lectures theatres. These areas attract larger volumes of traffic. Hopewiser always opt for a corner stand which helps us show off our artwork.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Walk Around Other Stands
Just because your business has a designated stand doesn’t mean you have to remain there for the entire show. Walking around the exhibition arena will have a number of benefits. Before you dart off make sure your area is covered by another colleague. An empty stand will appear unprofessional.
Whilst browsing, hand out some company literature to other exhibitors as another way of generating leads. Also remember, research shows that 50% of people view a company in a more positive light when they receive a promotional product from you. Pens, product leaflets, mugs, you name it, they all help you become remembered.
Additionally, weighing up the competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you’ll be able to compare their stands etc to your own. Not everyone gets it right the first time, so it’s always useful to pick up tips from others to help improve your business’s presence.
4. Capture Data in a Compliant Manner
Data capture plays an important role at exhibitions, and the integrity of said data is a major KPI for your business. Important changes in legislation, such as the GDPR, gives both consumers and businesses more control over how their data is used.
In order to make the most out of an exhibition, you need data to serve a whole range of purposes. It’s only natural that you’ll want to know who is attending the event, and you may find your inbox filling up with emails from companies selling attendee lists. Whilst this may look very appealing, you must be wary of buying third party data as the records may be non-consented or not matched correctly. If you do decide to purchase third party data, do your research prior to doing so and make sure you only buy from reputable sources.
Additionally, you must gain the consent of visitors and exhibitors at the event itself before taking their details. Some exhibitions provide data scanners at an extra cost alongside barcodes with individuals’ pre-inputted details to enable the quick and easy capture of prospects’ data. If you decide against scanners, people that are genuinely interested in your products and services will more than likely divulge their contact details willingly.
, updated 1st August 2019.