Get the best out of the North Lancs Expo
Once you’ve committed to exhibiting at an expo, that’s when your work starts. Booking the space is the easy thing, now you have to make sure you get the best out of your stand and the days at the expo. So advance planning is in order.
1. Create a great pitch
The great thing about an Expo is that people have taken the time to come along and visit the exhibitors to see what’s on offer. In fact, they are semi-qualified leads, but your pitch needs to be engaging to give you a chance of securing custom from your competitors. The fact that you are exhibiting and some of your competitors may not be, already gives you an advantage – make the most of it.
2. Create a great stand – visual sells
A few brochures and a presentation stand might be great for small occasions, but when you are presenting your business to thousands of interested visitors and potential customers, a little bit of thought into stand design could reap benefits for you. We will have a special “Stand Design Tips” newsletter tips out soon but no harm in thinking about it now. Some people have specific stands and exhibits designed for big events but do what your budget allows.
3. Cut costs, not corners
If this is your first ever expo and you are unsure about what to spend, why not try and hunt down second-hand displays or other items that will enhance your product’s appeal. However, don’t cheapen your appeal either. An Expo is a great place to get media coverage. If your product is worthy of media coverage make sure you at least showcase it in the best light possible and have information you can give to the press. Nowadays best on a USB stick with a written press release back up and photos.
4. Network, network, network
As with any business function, the key to good business is networking. Unlike closed membership functions, where you will most likely know most people, everyone at an Expo is a potential customer so chat to them. Whether it be in a food queue, someone passing by or a person in a carpark, everyone is a potential. Also, with the talks and speeches, think about which sessions the buyers and contacts you're looking for would attend. If possible, never leave your booth unattended, not even for a minute during lunch, and not late in the day when the event's winding down. That might be when the buyer you most want to meet visits your booth.
5. Follow up and evaluate
Once the Expo is over, that’s when your work should start. Follow up not only with new contacts but with existing customers who may not have attended the event. Look for opportunities to communicate to all in your industry any press coverage you may have received, or any awards you may have got (press enquiries, customer leads and potential investors)
Don’t forget, it’s not just about closing sales, but it’s also about evaluating your return on investment. It’s also wise to have preset goals in mind when you are attending. In theory, an Expo is the easiest way to evaluate your return-on-investment - how many leads versus how many customers converted.