Exhibiting at a trade show often represents a significant investment for companies, but one which usually delivers incredible ROI, when done properly. Here’s our guide to preparing for a trade show, and exhibiting properly.
It’s a big investment so make sure you’ve thought about it. Understand why you’re attending this specific show and what you intend to get out of it. Make sure the attendance data backs up your targeting criteria. Look at attendance rates and be reasonable in any sales estimates you make.
If you still want to go ahead, then sign up early and make the most of early-bird discounts!
It’s easy to think you need a huge floor area, and even easier to be sold into a larger area by the trade show organisers. In our opinion, it's better to go smaller but invest in looking good and in the follow-up, post-show.
With the new fabric display stands, like our SuperWall system, it’s so much easier to transport and set up a stand – a smaller stand space means you can set up your area in minutes and transport all your gear in the back of the car.
By investing in the look and feel of your stand, you’ll be sending out all the right messages about your company/brand AND you’ll be more likely to attract people to stop and talk.
Talk to us about designing a stand that makes the very most of the floor area you have hired, delivers a consistent brand message and ensures that your objectives are met.
Understand who you are targeting before you arrive at the trade show. Be clear about this and consider ways to quickly move away from time-wasters. You’ve spent quite a bit of time, energy and dollars to be at this show, so make sure you maximise the opportunity. Be sure to brief all the staff working on the stand about who you’re targeting and the importance of staying focused on this.
Agree on your key messaging and then ensure that it is given consistency throughout your stand design. We work with a lot of clients and designers to ensure this because we understand how it pays dividends in foot traffic to your stand.
Staffing your stand
Just because someone works for you, doesn’t mean they want to be standing on a trade show stand all weekend. Be sure those you ask to help out on the stand are committed and motivated. If in doubt, pay an agency to provide staff and brief them well. Brandstand works with a number of agencies who all offer high quality staff, and we’re happy to make recommendations or organise on your behalf.
Plan how you’re going to measure success. Find ways to measure the number of visitors to your stand and perhaps grade the warmth of the leads gained, including any sales data. The latter always helps to justify the investment and provides a target/baseline for following years.
Marketing – CRM/Social/pr
These days, this is absolutely crucial to your success. Be sure to tell your existing and potential customer’s that you're attending and then give them an invitation to visit. Perhaps include an incentive too, even if it’s just the promise of a coffee.
Be sure to highlight your attendance on all your social media channels and work with the trade show organisers to utilise their channels too. Next, be sure to write some PR releases and send these to any complementary trade media, again inviting/incentivising people to come to your stand.
Post Show Plan
The post-show plan is where the money is made. Collect all your data and then follow up. Devise a CRM programme for all those that came to your stand – convert cold leads to warm leads and hot leads to sales. Be sure to continue measuring your success in driving sales even after the show, if you feel the success was attributable to attendance.
Of course, for many of our customers, they would rather someone else organise their stand, either due to time constraints or because they realise that it’s a specialist area. In those cases, the job goes out to one of their agencies or directly to us. At Brandstand, we can manage all your requirements, right through from initial design to installation, transportation and also storage. We’ll even organise the staffing if you need us to!
And if you’re looking for something a little more bespoke and custom made for your next trade show, then look no further than Brandstand.