How to Plan for a Trade Show or Exhibition

Taking your business to trade shows, expos and community networking events can be a great opportunity for business development. These events are designed to bring potential clients and companies together for networking and finding solutions to existing problems. I’ve recently been assisting a client to plan for an expo being held soon and it inspired me to write this blog.

When attending exhibitions, you want to make sure that you are prepared to meet with as many interested people as possible. You should look to hold conversations full of information about your business but also showcase your personality to build trust. Since exchanges at these business exhibitions can be quick, the more tools you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to make an impression with a customer.

Having been brainstorming recently and planning for an exhibition, here are my suggestions to make your stand, stand out from the crowd.

  • Have Signs that Announce You’re There

Having the right trade show stand displays and signs can make a huge difference.  Visitors should be engaged by your stand always, absorbing your marketing message.   Your company logo should be on your display.  That’s a given.  You may opt to display information about your services, a recent campaign or promotion. Consider that your signage should help to create an atmosphere that will encourage engagement.

  • Bring Plenty of Business Cards

It’s vital you take plenty of business cards with you.  It’s a good idea to give more than one to each person as this means the opportunity for them to share it.

  • Free Branded Giveaways

There are many unique giveaway ideas that people will find interesting at first but will end up throwing in the bin on the way out so make sure you consider your giveaway items carefully. Giveaways provide a great opportunity for you to engage stand visitors and ask questions.  From treats such as cupcakes and sweets for visitors to enjoy whilst they browse your marketing collateral, to branded items that they take away, the variety of giveaway ideas really is endless.

  • Run a Competition to Win a Prize

A competition can be a great way to attract visitors to your stand.  People love to win and even if a visitor’s main reason for visiting your stand is the competition, once they are there you have the opportunity to pitch your business and your products to them.

An interactive competition is a great idea, instead of simply asking visitors to put their business card into a raffle.  Contests as simple as; guess how many sweets are in the jar or guess the weight of an item provide an element of fun that will engage visitors more and may become a talking point.  Announce the winner on your social media channels to encourage visitors to connect with you.

  • A Variety of Marketing Collateral 

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your collateral.  You want to ensure you have a variety of business cards, brochures, copies of articles and other items so that visitors can browse while visiting your stand.  Consider what are you looking to achieve with your marketing collateral and who is the target audience?

  • Have a Tablet on Display

Laptops or tablets are useful tools at business expos if you have a website, App or software that you’re keen to showcase, or if your company is active on social media and want ways to engage and interact with visitors at the expo using your online presence.  A tablet can also be a useful way to gather contact information.

  • Be Positive and Be You

Running a stand at a business expo can be a daunting idea but it’s essential networking for any successful business owner. The most important thing to remember is to be positive and stay energetic and friendly throughout the day.  Find out the wants and needs of visitors to your stand and discover how your business could help them!

Will you book a stand at the next expo being held in your local area? What are you waiting for?!