Let People Know
One of the golden rules to successful exhibiting is to inform new and existing customers that you will be exhibiting. Don’t just rely on the organisers to do it all for you. Spending £100 on a better floral display will not get you £100 worth of extra business. Spending time inviting prospects and customers will. Have tickets in your lobby or reception area or give to your sales people to distribute to their contacts. Mail invitations and send out all the tickets the organisers provide. Get a list of the trade publications that are running show features and consider advertising there. Adjust your e-mail settings to include a signature panel that urges then to visit you on your stand. Some organisers will offer to do a mailing on your behalf – let them do the work for you.
Most organisers will either have a PR department or will have retained the services of a PR agency. Use them – in many cases this will not cost you anything to do. They will know which publications have what deadline, who is worth writing to and how you could spin your story so it is more likely to appear in print. Also find out if they are having a press office at the show and how the journalists like to receive the information. Don’t forget to update your own web site to show details of how prospects and clients can attend the show and a map of your stand. Also think about post show PR – any deals signed or bits of business closed or research results and customer feedback?
What can you do to attract people onto your stand in advance of the show? Can you run a teaser campaign or announce a new launch? Do you have a demonstration worth watching? Will you have a speaker revealing some research? Can you offer an incentive for them to come and redeem a voucher on your stand? All these things can work if thought through properly. Your imagination should be the only limit.
Make sure you order enough business cards for you and your staff. Do you need to order data capture pads, brochures, posters and leaflets in advance? Are your graphics panels, posters and freebies ordered? Do you need to think about any corporate gifts or giveaways that you plan on using? If you are organising a business card draw, do you have a suitable receptacle and supporting literature to indicate what is going on? Are you wearing the same ‘uniform’ or corporate colours? Have you thought about web entries and entries in the show guides?