Trade Shows and Exhibitions: A How-To Guide

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Working with a range of SMEs from the manufacturing and engineering sectors, the team at Conception Marketing understand the importance of making the right first impression at trade shows and exhibitions. Exhibitions offer a unique chance to meet with a variety of potential clients, usually without having to step away from your stand or booth. It is vital that your business stands out from the crowd and is successful in attracting strong leads that can be converted into loyal customers. A successful exhibitior is well prepared long before the show starts, this helps to ensure a smooth set-up process and helps to portray the high-quality products and services a business has to offer. With numerous trade shows and exhibitions planned for 2018, Conception Marketing has developed a helpful guide to help your company make the best first impression.

Before The Exhibition

  • Check Your Booking – Stand bookings can often get mixed up so make sure you double check to make sure everything is as you expect to be on the stand when you arrive. This is especially important if you need electricity points and lighting in certain positions on the stand. Ring the organisers a few weeks before and this should help you avoid last-minute stand building the morning of the exhibition.
  • Design Your Stand – In a sea of hundreds of exhibition stands, it is important to have a stand that not only stands out from the crowd but also helps demonstrate your range of products and services. There are plenty of design options available, ranging from foamex panels to pop-up systems, but it is important they convey your messages and USPs clearly as you only have a few seconds to hold a visitor’s attention. Complete a stand with brochure displays and furniture to give a professional finish.
  • Prepare A Press Profile – Most exhibitions have a press office which journalists can visit to gain an understanding of the different companies exhibiting. Preparing a press profile to leave in the press office will ensure reporters have the latest company information. A successful press profile should contain company information and give detail on a company’s products and services as well as any recent projects worked on. A press profile increases the chance of gaining press coverage.

During The Exhibition

  • Arrive Early – If you are setting up your stand the morning of the show, it is vital to arrive early to ensure the stand is erected Staying nearby the exhibition centre can help reduce the stress of busy trade show traffic, but make sure you book your hotel rooms early as they quickly book up! There is nothing worse than potential customers walking past an empty stand!
  • Meet The Neighbours – During quieter times at the start and end of the show, get to know the exhibitors situated around your stand. Not only might these be potential customers but they can also help pass on any visitors enquiring about your services.
  • Encourage Conversations – Having something on your stand to attract visitors is useful but can also be a great way to start conversations. Even something as simple as a video presentation will catch the eye of attendees and help employees on the stand to initiate discussion. Share your location on social media to make it easy for visitors to find you.

After The Exhibition

  • Follow Hot Leads – If you have spoken to someone who showed a genuine enthusiasm towards your products or services, it is never too early for a follow up. Continuing communication the day after a show can help to ensure a hot lead stays hot and will show the potential customers your business is organised and efficient.
  • Communication Is Key – Maintain strong communication with contacts through email marketing campaigns. Conception Marketing suggests using an email marketing platform such as MailChimp to automate email communications. Find out which contacts opened and clicked on your email and follow these up with a telephone call.
  • Evaluate Success – A few weeks after the show, sit down with your team and review how successful the show was for you. Make a list on the things that worked and the things that didn’t. Evaluating the quality of leads gained from an exhibition can help you decide on whether to exhibit at the show next year.

Conception Marketing is a marketing agency based in Trafford Park, Manchester which specialises in working with manufacturing and engineering SMEs. Delivering all aspects of a marketing strategy, their team of marketing professionals work with businesses to help them increase sales and grow as a business. Their services range from online services such as digital marketing, email marketing, social media management and website management to offline services such as exhibition management and lead generation.

Established in 2002, Conception Marketing has assisted numerous clients with marketing activities including global companies. With continuous research into marketing techniques, the team at Conception Marketing can offer unrivalled services to businesses within the manufacturing and engineering industries. Through their dedication to marketing, Conception Marketing has become well established as market leaders for marketing services in the North West.

If you would like assistance preparing for an upcoming exhibition, speak to a member of the Conception Marketing team on 0161 875 2480 or contact us here.

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