As a small business owner, you need to be acutely aware of your budget, and spending the time and money on attending exhibitions and trade fairs might not be uppermost in your mind. Not only do you have to take time away from running your business, which costs money, but there are also all sorts of other costs to consider, such as display stands, transport, having brochures and presentations produced, and so on.
But taking part in an exhibition or trade fair could ultimately be very beneficial to your small business. And, if you make the most of it, you can get back everything you put in and maybe more. So why should you take your business to an exhibition or trade fair? Well, there are several benefits to doing this:
New leadsExhibitions are a brilliant way of getting new leads. You’re in a room that’s just full of people who are potentially interested in buying your product or service, so make the most of it! Talk to people who stop by, and let them know exactly what you can do to help them. Encourage people to sign up for your mailing list, or offer a taster, such as a sample of your product or a free service.
But make sure you follow up on these leads afterwards, and do it quickly.
Brand awarenessAgain, a room full of people who are likely to be interested in what you do is a great place for getting your brand name out there. By talking to as many people as possible, and having an eye-catching and informative exhibition stand, you can build awareness of your brand quite easily.
Promote or launch new products or servicesExhibitions and trade fairs are ideal for showcasing your new products or services to your current and potential customers. If this is your intention, you need to make sure that your exhibition stand displays the products, or information about your services, to full effect, so that people are left in no doubt about what you do, and that it’s what they need!
Talk to the media/influential peoplePrepare a press information pack before the exhibition, as there will most likely be journalists there. If you have something to give them, you’ll increase your chances of getting a bit of publicity. Failing that, exhibitions give you the ideal opportunity to talk to the media or to influential people within your industry.
Personal interactionHaving a physical presence at industry events is vitally important these days, when many businesses operate largely online, and some do not even have a space where they can receive customers or clients easily. And face-to-face interaction is still crucial to building your brand. People like to know they can talk to an actual human being!
FeedbackBy looking at reviews and feedback from attendees, you can get an idea of how they perceived you. This can be a good source of ideas about what to change for future exhibitions or events, or what to keep the same!
Now some other things to consider:
Your exhibition standOne major thing to consider is your exhibition stand design. Entrust this to a specialist exhibition stand design company, and the cost will be worth it. Your stand will function as an extension of your brand, as well as a means of advertising and promoting it, so it needs to create a great first impression. It needs to get you noticed for all the right reasons.
Make sure that it is eye-catching and that it conveys your brand and message clearly. Use colour and lighting to create atmosphere, but make sure that it will appeal to your target audience.
Your staffYour staff also help to create a good (or bad!) impression, so ensure that they are well briefed in your product or service beforehand, and that they know how to field any questions. Don’t let them stand there tapping away on mobile phones or chatting amongst themselves.
Follow-upMake sure that after the event is over, you follow up any leads, contacting those who’ve given you their details, and delivering on your promise if you’ve offered a free sample or trial of your product or service.
Taking your small business to an exhibition or trade show may seem expensive and daunting, but if you make the most of it and ensure you follow up and thank anyone who has shown an interest in your product, it will stand you and your business in very good stead in the future. You might also get a few new customers, or some industry press coverage, but simply by being there you are getting your brand name out there, and that’s vital.
Advice from Astro Exhibitions.