Exhibitions can be an excellent and valuable marketing strategy for your business because they allow you to conduct face-to-face communication with current and future clients, suppliers, and other key business contacts. When done well events have the ability to create a long lasting and positive impression of your business.
It is clear to say that exhibition marketing is important for businesses, but the fact is like many other marketing techniques and tools it is possible to get them really wrong, so this month I am here to help you make the most of exhibition marketing for your business.
[bctt tweet=”Are you making the most of your event marketing? Find out more here.”]
Identify your Aim
There are four common reasons why businesses choose to attend and participate in exhibitions:
- Generate leads and sales
- Engage with prospective and existing customers
- Generate brand and company awareness
- Educate attendees
Before you even begin to think about anything else in relation to your event marketing you will first need to identify what your aims are. Try to keep it simple, you can’t aim for all four at once.
[bctt tweet=”Identifying your aims, crucial for #exhibition marketing”]
Don’t just leave it to the event organisers to promote the exhibition. You have a collection of existing clients, suppliers and followers who could be interested in attending or will happily promote it to others.
This can be achieved by making the most of social media, email marketing and general word-of-mouth, to promote your attendance as well as highlighting any special offers or prize giveaways which are exclusive for attendees.
But there is no need to stop once you are there. Many events are free to attend so many people can just turn up on the day, so keep people up to date of the day, time and location using social media; not only could this attract more attendees but also people who are already at the event.
The Day of the Exhibition
When it comes to the actual day you may have a brilliant stand, and you can have conversations with loads of attendees, but they are going to be doing the exact same thing potentially 50 times over throughout the day, so it is incredibly easy to become a distant memory. One way to prevent this is to be well prepared with marketing literature such as flyers, guides, business cards or any other physical company information to hand out that will act as a reminder of you and your company.
Everyone loves a free giveaway! I swear it is in our nature as human beings to seek out anything that is free; and as a result this is particularly useful for exhibition marketing. Having a fantastic freebie is a definite way to draw people over to your stand (when I say fantastic by the way I don’t mean a pen!).
Be creative without breaking the bank, here at All Things Web® we entice people over not only with our expertise but delicious homemade cupcakes made by yours truly.
Pop Out Against the Crowd
What is going to make your stand pop out against a sea of exhibitors? When you attend exhibitions it is so easy to just wander past stand after stand with just a simple glance.
When planning the look of your exhibition stand, imagine standing all the way across the room does what you’re presenting grab your attention?
Pop-up Banners are a great way to do this as they stand tall from everything else, but most crucially when designing a pop up banner you need to have your important selling point or slogan near the top in the most visible position, and make sure it is something that will make someone think I want to go over there!
Integrating marketing techniques is useful across various marketing strategies including combining email and exhibition marketing. Email marketing is extremely useful both in the lead up to and follow up from exhibitions.
[bctt tweet=”Combine #email and exhibition marketing to improve your results. Find out how here.”]
In the lead up to any exhibition that you are attending it is important that people are aware of your attendance so email marketing is a fantastic way to get this message out to both customers and other contacts.
Email marketing is even more useful when it comes to following up those important contacts and leads you’ve gained at your event. First thing to remember is how you are going to obtain contact details from all of the people you meet. A business card is the most obvious way but there is nothing more daunting than facing a large pile of business cards the day after an event without any idea of the conversations you’ve had.
Think therefore of a way to not only collect contact information but remember the details of your conversation. Don’t forget to be smart and let technology take the brunt of the work – business card scanning and other apps on a laptop or Tablet will help.
Our recommendation would be to follow up with all contacts you have made within 24 – 48 hours of meeting them with at least a standard email which can also be followed up with something more personalised.
Seems like a lot of work? Well this is where automation comes in handy. For those of you who use platforms such as Campaign Monitor for your email marketing, you will have the ability to create one or a series of automated emails which can be sent out to relevant contacts after or even during an event. The benefit of this is you can prepare all your emails prior to the exhibition and just let them send all by themselves ensuring a consistent and timely follow up with all of the contacts you’ve made.
Are you Ready to Make the Most of Exhibition Marketing?
Hopefully you are now feeling more confident about your exhibition marketing.
If you want additional help about making the most of exhibition marketing, or how to use email marketing and social media to help you, contact our team today on 01793 766040.