40 secrets to gain exhibiting success

  1. Know that on average 75% of visitors to an exhibition are there to buy or plan to buy in the future.
  2. Understand why exhibiting is the most cost effective way of getting your products and services in front of customers.
  3. Decide why you are exhibiting and what you wish to achieve. Have some specific, measurable targets in mind e.g. get 300 qualified sales leads or conducts 50 research interviews.
  4. Set your objectives for attending the exhibition e.g. sales leads, to launch a new product, to develop a new customer database.
  5. First impressions last. Remember the ‘3 second rule’ for good stand design.
  6. Ensure your stand design reflects these objectives.
  7. Work closely with your stand designer to help deliver your objectives.
  8. Have one person in charge of every aspect of the exhibition.
  9. Always read and respond to deadlines and information in the show’s Exhibition Manual.
  10. Make a staff roster. Give your staff time away from the stand. They could use this free time to check out competition and seek new ideas.
  11. 80% of stand success is down to staff, so train them.
  12. If you can invite people, do. If you don’t your competition will.
  13. Formulate a plan to categories leads for follow up.
  14. At the show, let people know you are there, advertise.
  15. Book services such as electrics well in advance to obtain early booking discounts.
  16. Remember to use the press and other marketing opportunities to promote your company in the lead-up to the show.
  17. Book all of your travel and accommodation requirements well in advance.
  18. Brief the staff that will be working on your stand.
  19. Put together your ‘Exhibitor Tool Kit’ for emergencies.
  20. Follow up on all qualified leads as soon as you return from the show.
  21. Analyse how well your company has performed at the show to calculate your return on investment in the end.
  22. Don’t ask closed questions.
  23. Keep your conversations with clients short and concise.
  24. Turn off your mobile phones.
  25. Focus; get all the details you can from your prospect.
  26. Make eye contact and smile.
  27. Listen to your prospect and sell benefits not features. e.g. this is good for you because…
  28. Go for it! Have staff whose presence says “Hi, how are you?”
  29. You and your staff need to look fresh and feel fresh.
  30. Use all 5 senses to attract people to your stand.
  31. Have daily team debriefs. What worked, what didn’t work, why did it work or not work and then decide what you need to do in order to improve on what didn’t work.
  32. Classify all leads. Have your office send out ‘pleasure to meet you’ letters/emails to all hot leads while you’re working the stand.
  33. Don’t eat whilst on the stand, go to a specific hospitality area.
  34. Don’t get into conversations about products you do not know, ask another specialist team member to help/demonstrate or take down their details and get back to them.
  35. Remember why you are there; stay focused on your objectives.
  36. Talk less, listen more.
  37. Conduct a show debrief with the stand team. Also use this to create next years design brief.
  38. Follow up leads; you will generally need to contact them at least 6 times.
  39. Make use of all the information you have gathered. Book early for next year and use the organizers own promotional campaigns to gain added value to your own brand placements.
  40. Learn from previous show experiences, what works and what did not, use these important learnings to focus your future events successfully.