When it comes to obtaining the maximum benefit from promoting your business at an exhibition or trade show, the old maxim “you don’t get a second chance at a first impression” holds true. As you’ll most likely be sharing an exhibition hall with your nearest competitors it’s vital to stand out, grab the attention of visitors, make them want to visit your exhibition stand and take every opportunity of turning a browser into a paying customer for your business. Here, specialist exhibition stand designers and installers Aspect Exhibitions explain some of the ways in which to ensure you’re getting the best out of your exhibition stand.
Forward planning is essential
The golden rule to getting the best out of your exhibition stand and maximising your performance at trade shows and exhibitions is to plan in advance. Attending an exhibition with no clear idea of what it is you hope to achieve is a sure-fire recipe for achieving nothing. To succeed, it’s necessary to set yourself realistic and achievable performance targets; for example, the number of attendees that you want to visit your stand, the number of leads you wish to generate and the number of product or service sales that you want to achieve.
Track performance and record visitor feedback
It’s also important to track metrics and obtain feedback from your visitors to your exhibition stand. What brought them to you? What did they like about your exhibition stand in particular? What did they dislike? How does your stand, and the products and services you offer compare with those of competing exhibitors? Capturing relevant information from visitors to your exhibition stand will help you to address any issues that may be dissuading potential customers from visiting and to improve your business performance at future trade shows and exhibitions.
Ensure your exhibition stand staff are accessible to visitors
Studies show that the majority of exhibition attendees possess purchasing authority and are actively on the lookout for a supplier. Your exhibition stand should not place unnecessary physical barriers such as desks, demonstration tables or display stands between you and visitors who wish to talk to you. Customer-facing exhibition staff should smile and be polite, approachable and friendly; if, for any reason, visitors feel uncomfortable or unwelcome at your exhibition stand the likelihood is that you’ll lose valuable sales or leads.
Use digital media to your advantage
In the days before the internet, email and social networking took over the world it was commonplace for exhibitors to load up their stands with price lists, product specifications, catalogues, pamphlets, flyers and all kinds of paper-based documentation for visitors to take away with them.
Nowadays there is absolutely no need to bog down your exhibition stand’s visitors with paperwork which they may never read. It’s far better to provide access to your full range of products and services digitally by (securely) deploying tablet PCs that showcase your business to best effect via professionally-produced content.
Similarly, the notion of exchanging physical business cards is fast becoming outdated. Today, business details can be captured and exchanged easily and instantly via mobile phone. Obtaining the email address or Twitter details of potential customers is an effective means of immediately establishing contact, re-introducing your business and following up their enquiries before they’ve even left your stand, reinforcing to them your customer focus.
Learn from your competitors
One of the key benefits to business of attending a trade show or exhibition is the opportunity to discover any strategies that your competitors are using to gain advantage over your business, to gauge the performance of their exhibition stands and to note and avoid any potential mistakes they may be making. Keeping an eye on the activities of your competitors is crucial to getting the best out of your exhibition stand at current and future exhibitions.
Getting the best out of your exhibition stand – in conclusion
Whilst possessing a well-designed and eye-catching exhibition stand plays a vital part in boosting a business’s performance at a trade show or exhibition, maximising and maintaining that performance depends upon getting the best out of your exhibition stand via a combination of forward planning, setting the goals that your attendance should achieve, tracking and recording performance and feedback, ensuring accessibility for visitors, and making the best use of digital technology to provide customer information and establish rapid and beneficial communication with potential customers.