Tips for successful exhibition experience at Tradeshows you need to know

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Divas of Colour

A brand attends to prospects at Divas of Colour 2015

Divas of Colour

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A brand attends to prospects at Divas of Colour 2015

I have been in the events industry for over 4 years now and I can tell you first hand some of the big mistakes exhibiting brands make and how you can avoid it. So many small businesses go to exhibitions with the wrong mind-set, under prepared and not tuned in for the day and they end up upset and view the entire experience as a total waste of time. Some, in fact almost all go as far as blaming the show organiser for their unsuccessful outing.
But this article will help you wrap your head around it and perhaps gain insight on how to make it a better marketing opportunity for your business.

Exhibiting at tradeshows is only a part of your marketing strategy, one that is almost a must especially for start-ups and small businesses. Even large scale businesses need to exhibit at tradeshow every now and then. The understanding that this is an essential part of your marketing will put you in the right frame of mind. Yes, creating a brand and a company is expensive. Marketing and sales are also expensive. Exhibiting at events are only a part of the jigsaw you must give a go. Remember, you never know what’s going to be a big hit with buyers.
Whatever your past exhibition experience, this article will help you make better decisions on your next exhibition with the follow tips. But before we dive into that, here are some eye opening statistics for you.

Event ROI/ROO: Source – CERTAIN

56% of Directors of Marketing view exhibiting positioning on sales floor as most important to maximize ROO/ROI
Only 34% of marketers use new referrals, quality of leads, deal closure, value of sales, and cross-sell/upsell opportunities to measure event ROI
32% of marketers report being dissatisfied with how they can measure Return on Objectives (ROO)
44% of marketers experience a 3:1 ROI from event marketing
14.70% of marketers say that the most common metric to judge event ROI is amount of media exposure generated
15.22% of brands do not have a way of measuring their events

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1. Know your why, who, what and where before you book your stand.
So many brands simply join the bandwagon to exhibit at events without first setting their objectives for exhibiting, not understanding the concept of the event and who the show carters to, where is the event and how accessible it is.
Your decision to register to exhibit at an event must be guided by these details. Check that your market and the market the event targets are in equilibrium.

2. Get your priorities right when setting your objectives.
Exhibiting at an event isn’t just for the purpose of selling products on the day. It is an opportunity to bond with existing clients, allow prospects put a face to your brand, opportunity to answer prospects and existing clients questions, meet your competitors to see what they’re doing right that you’re not doing, and above all an opportunity demonstrate how your product can benefit their lives and ultimately to sign up new clients to your services.
Whether you have a product or service a trade show is a day to get yourself and brand out there for interaction, booking and more. If you only target to sell on the day you miss the whole point.

3. Early registration:

Once you have decided you would be exhibiting at an event, it’s only reasonable for you to confirm your registration on time. The benefit of early registration can never be over emphasized. This gives you opportunity to prepare ahead of time. Gives you maximum exposure using the organisers platform. You stand the chance of gaining more media attention an even gain bookings and or sales prior to the event. Gives you opportunity to tune in to the event itself, establish a great rapport with the organisers and have your brand in their mouth at all times. You’re more likely to send early registrants referrals than those who register at the last minute. Early registration also helps everyone towards having a well planned show that eventually transcends to great execution and success.
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Divas of Colour

4.Publicity and promotions.
It’s not enough to register to exhibit at an event and then you go and sit down hoping the organiser will fix everything for you. No! Remember that your exhibition registration is only a fraction towards the event and that it is a partnership with the organiser to use their platform to position your brand. EXHIBITING IS ANOTHER FORM OF PARTNERSHIP, SPONSORSHIP OR COLLABORATION. You can only succeed when you treat it as such. Remember, the right mind-set brings the right attitude which will eventually manifest in the result.
This is a time for you to make use of all possible contents from the event to establish and build your online following, enhance your SEO, connect with online audience, get discovered by the media and bloggers. Opportunity to connect with creative who you may need to collaborate with in the future. Opportunity to have your brand on the spotlight for a fraction of the cost. Connect with the organiser on social media, join in all event convos. Be part of the buzz and leverage from any of the event’s hashtags. Let the organisers followers and your own followers feel your energy and want to come and meet you. Create the enthusiasm around your brand.

What you can do. – Negotiate with the organiser for some free tickets you can giveaway. Create pre-event discounts using the events name or hastag as the code, this will help you message traffic generated and sales before event. You may even use the opportunity to build you newsletter database.

5. Be in the game of it on the event day.
The energy you bring on the event day ultimately affects your total experience on the day. If you’re optimistic, you’re likely to have cheerful visitors to your stand. Stay cheerful, engaging and be happy to take questions. Give out samples in exchange for signing on to your newsletter. Exchange or collect business cards and of course be ready to follow up as soon as the event is over to make sure picture of your brand doesn’t disappear from them. Talk to everyone, move about, don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to find you rather, be on your feet to get people on your stall. The more crowd you engage at your stall, the more people want to come and see what the buzz is.
Ask your prospect for feedbacks on their experience with your brand, packaging, their willingness to buy and or recommend, ask how they feel about using any product sample you gave them, give another discount code for them to try one more time.

Have your tools ready to register/sign up new clients. If your focus is only on sales, you miss the point and eventually feel bad and dissatisfied.

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Faustina Anyanwu
Faustina Anyanwu
Faustina Anyanwu is a features writer focusing on people's stories, entrepreneurship, start-ups, social media marketing, and profiling. Follow her on Twitter - @fauntee Official Website: Mantra: Real Women Think Legacy.