Twelve years of experience in the advertising industry has given us the opportunity to encounter excellent and not so successful exhibition strategies. Unfortunate situations at industry exhibitions are repeated year after year, which can be prevented by preparing for them.
We have collected the most common mistakes that occur when planning your stand and participation in the exhibition. In addition, we have prepared a ready-made plan on how to make the exhibitions run successfully.
Mistake #1 – Visitors pass by as “empty space”
One of the biggest fears of any exhibition stand organizer is how to get people to come to me, or will our stand be one of those – the empty ones?
Fixing such a situation is simple – involve the audience, be attractive!
One of the ways to attract an audience is to hold contests, where the main prize can be a free consultation or a product (the word “free” is used so often, but it still works by affecting a person on a psychological level). Contest rules – leave your contact information, follow your Facebook page or other useful actions for you. At one, take the opportunity while the customer is filling out the information, talk to them, find out what interests them and how you can help them.
Make the presentation of the main prize like a show – with confetti strings, bright characters, loud music or loudspeaker announcements.
Remember – a crowd of people is an attention grabber in itself.
Mistake #2 – Your employees at the booth don’t know what to do
Stands where employees are comfortably seated, chat with each other or, in the worst case, eat advertising sweets intended for customers, are often seen at exhibitions. It is your employees at the booth who tend to scare away customers instead of attracting them.
To avoid such situations, a couple of days before the exhibition, call all the employees who will be involved in the exhibition and inform them about the purpose and plan of the exhibition.
The most frequent complaint from employees who are not active during the exhibition – too few visitors! In such situations, ask the employees to be proactive – to use the time to look at the stands of competitors, to change the location and address newly arrived exhibition visitors, to replenish the stocks of brochures, to arrange the stand and the like. The main thing to remember is that employees should spend most of the exhibition time talking to customers, and remind employees how important their role is – they will be the ambassadors of the company, it is with these people that the business image will be associated.
Mistake #3 – too little or too much information
One of the most common mistakes is too little or too much prepared information for the exhibition.
How to avoid it? Before registering your participation, ask the exhibition organizers for statistics on previous and planned visits to exhibitions, this will allow you to order the required amount of materials.
When preparing information material for the exhibition, you can make it easier for those working at the stand and answer the customer’s most frequently asked questions, print a contact information form so that employees do not forget to ask potential customers.
What types of advertising materials to choose?
Flyers – choosing a lighter weight paper (grams per square meter) allows you to order more promotional materials for a smaller budget, so you won’t run out of promotional materials. In addition, if you do not plan to change the information on the flyer – do not print the dates, you can continue to use such flyers for other customer events as well
Business cards are a very small piece of paper that has great potential at exhibitions. Use the other side of the business card to give the customer some special offer or information. Share business cards generously – give two at once, one for the recipient to keep and the other for the visitor to share with his business partners and colleagues.
Stationery with your logo is a great addition to promotional materials, even if visitors tend to throw away paper products with pens, your company’s name will continue to live on someone’s desk.
Mistake #4 – unsuccessfully planned stand arrangement
Exhibitions feature stands with parquet flooring, comfortable chairs, beautiful pedestals and various elements that create a refined impression. Where is the error?
Detachment from the client. If the stand creates distance between you and the customers, or even worse, you are on the podium while the customer is somewhere below – it does not help anything. From a psychological point of view, the customer comes to such a stand from a lower position. This is not how a good contact is formed, you have to be on an equal footing with the client – in a cooperative position.
Take into account the direction in which the main flow of visitors will be, use it to make your stand more visited.
When planning your stand, you can save money by choosing a smaller stand area. Use the saved funds in addition to lighting elements and monitors. There is a saying among exhibition planners: A dark booth is a dead booth!
Create several visually appealing presentations or film a video for the exhibition period, this is a good way to attract the attention of customers.
Mistake #5 – contacts are not registered
One of the biggest mistakes is neglecting the handling of collected contacts. Exhibitions are a unique way to get contacts both for cooperation partners and potential customers.
Instead of gathering all your contacts in one place and sending out an impersonal mass email, or worse, doing nothing at all, you should have several categories of contacts in your exhibition strategy, such as:
- potential customers who showed a strong interest in your stand, product or service;
- customers who need a little more persuasion;
- customers collecting information for a price survey. You will adjust the text and offer accordingly for each category.
Remember to capture the details of the prospect – it’s nice for the customer to get a call that doesn’t have to repeat all the information – wow the customer with your customer service.