By Stuart Hartley @anglestuart
Exhibitions are unique in that of all the promotional tools you have for your business exhibitions are the only one that brings together buyers, sellers and competitors together in one professional setting.
Whilst there are differing opinions on their actual effectiveness one study showed that exhibitions were second only to personal selling as a source of information in the buying process – ahead of direct mail and print advertising. Personally I have had good and bad experiences at exhibitions, partly due to the ones I have chosen to attend and partly due to the seemingly increasing culture of attendees selling to exhibitors rather than the other way around.
There are typically 5 reasons businesses exhibit:
From my own perspective it is the chance to gain information from competitors or potential customers to be the most important. You walk away from a show with knowledge, and knowledge is power. You can keep an eye on your competition, stay on top of trade show trends and take away a fresh perspective of the industry.
Whatever the reasons your objectives should be set and be clear and measurable. This will enable you to ascertain whether exhibiting has met your objectives and been a worthwhile exercise in time and money.
Success at an event will involve some pre even planning and good exhibitors should consider the following points:
- Don’t just rely on the exhibitions marketing efforts to promote the show. Promote to your contacts that you will be there.
- Ensure you have a wide range of products on show – particularly all those that are difficult to demonstrate the benefits of using other promotional media
- The stand should always be staffed and these staff should be well informed about the products or services being exhibited and more importantly the potential benefits of the products or services
- Informative literature should be available
- A seating area should be available for discussions