Tuesday, 31st July 2018

Six steps to ensure your next exhibition is a success

Planning your presence at a trade show can be a daunting task, but it really shouldn’t be! It’s an opportunity for you to get your brand’s message heard by trade show visitors, but only if you are properly organised and with an effective strategy in place. 

Step One: Your Stand 

Book your space early! Make the most out of your presence at an exhibition by booking a stand that’s the right size and more importantly in the right place. Your presence at a trade show will only be effective if you have footfall, so before tying yourself to a location ensure you consider all factors. Consider questions such as: Will visitors pass my stand? How will I be noticed? Will another stand overshadow me? Remember that even as a small business, you can have a big presence.

Step Two: Your Theme

So, you’ve booked your stand, but how are you going to reach your audience? With a targeted theme of course! But before deciding on a theme, consider who your target audience is and then tailor your message. With an eye catching design and fluid brand, your stand design should be one that sticks with visitors. 

Step Three: Communicate

Shout from the rooftops that you will be at an exhibition but ensure that the way you communicate is planned in an effective and well thought out strategy. Start a conversation with those you want to see at the show through PR and social media. Plan out the way in which you will tell prospective and existing customers about your presence at an exhibition and outline why your customer should visit. It’s important that this communication plan begins well in advance of the big event through to the exhibition itself. 

 Step Four: Media

Your goal is to gain strong coverage.  You can grow your business by encouraging journalists to talk about you, but you can only do this if you can get them to visit you at the show. Within your communication plan consider how you can target journalists and editors. Before reaching out consider carefully what your brand offers, which publications are interested in you and what it is about your brand that readers of those publications will be keen to learn more about. 

Step Five: Incentives 

Before you get to the show, think carefully about how you can encourage people to visit you. This ties into your theme and communications plan. Think about your stand as a visitor to the exhibition would. What could your business offer them? Your stand doesn’t have to be all business and no fun. Include something that attracts visitors, plan in some interaction and engagement with technologies, games, quizzes - the choices are limitless!

Step Six: Agency 

It can be overwhelming planning a presence at an exhibition, so to ensure you can be as successful as possible, enlist an agency with a track record of exhibition success. Agencies are filled with creative minds to help you make sure that all of the boxes are ticked and you are ready for the event.

Don’t shy away from building a clear and coherent strategy leading up to your presence at an exhibition and don’t be scared to ask for help and advice. In the busy show period, we can often forget to consider small, but essential, steps that can all add to your success.

Pav Gill

Account Executive, NC Creative Group 

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