What makes a trade show stand out?
Exhibitions and trade shows are among the most popular and effective types of marketing & sales activities for finding new clients. Yet, there are also the most expensive ones.
For companies looking for additional business, there is plenty of choice when it comes to business events. With more and more fairs organized around the globe, it becomes difficult for trade show organizers to really stand out and make people choose their event over another.
What should you do as an exhibition manager to really differentiate your event?
In 1995, internet and WiFi was considered a luxury service.
Nowadays, internet is a basic commodity. Greedy event organizers (or hotels) still charge incredibly high rates for something that people expect to be free. Worse – not only internet often comes for a price, it isn’t even fast or stable.Without a proper free internet connection, your exhibitors cannot get the best of your event. Your ultimate goal should be to provide them with all the tools they need to catch more business and come back the following year. There are so many things an exhibitor needs internet at his booth for.
Differentiate yourself and provide high quality free internet while other organizers still try to make a few dollars out of expensive-low quality WiFi.
Each organizer has its own set of documents to provide companies with – how to manage carpets, order furniture, reserve lighting, select electrical appliances or book logistics services.
Some are extremely well organized, others are incredibly messy.
Put yourself in your customers shoes: preparing for such event requires a lot of resources and time. This entire process is part of the user experience. Making it as easy and smooth as possible completely changes the attitude and opinion exhibitors will have of your event.Come up with a one-piece catalog, easy to read, that covers every step of the event organization. Exhibitors should read it like a breeze and find what they are looking for in only a few seconds.
If a company feels like it was really easy to setup a booth at your event, it will be more willing to join again the following year.
Why do businesses join trade shows? Before all to capture leads and convert them into customers.
Provide your clients with proper tools to achieve that goal – remember, the more money they make the more likely they would come back next time!
Some organizers develop their own apps for capturing leads, others use scanners. Most of the time, exhibitors don’t use these tools. The reason is simple: people don’t want to learn to use a new system each time they attend an exhibition and not be able to track past data.
Instead, event managers should collaborate with existing systems – not only would you save time and money by not developing your own system but also increase usage by having something companies are already used to.
myfairtool offers a complete solution for exhibitors to capture leads and follow-up. Providing such service to your exhibitors can enhance their experience as a customer and improve their results, making them more likely to join the next event you will organize but also to spread positive word of mouth about your trade show.
It might seem obvious to you as an event professional how to prepare for an exhibition but for most people preparing a booth can be quite an adventure!
Why not making this journey an enjoyable one?
You could offer a complete set of tips and advice to your exhibitors on how they should plan, budget and prepare their stall.
You might want to teach them how to capture leads, attract traffic at their booth, follow-up with their prospects and close deals. This is a win-win situation: if your exhibitors succeed, so will you! So give them the best of your knowledge, they will be thankful for that and recommend your event to their partners.
If your resources allow, why not even offering a 1-to-1 session with each exhibitor where you would help them review their plan and make suggestions? You have no idea how positive the impact of such strategy can be!
Too many exhibitors believe that having a booth is all it takes to capture leads at trade shows. Many don’t understand that it takes a lot of preparation to drive the right traffic to your stall and get visitors’ attention.
Why don’t you offer advertising opportunities before and during the event?
Make it in a way that even the smallest companies could benefit from it – not only those with a giant budget. Find a way to define special packages for each booth size so that everyone could enjoy some visibility.
Try to focus your efforts on valuable offers – the goal is not only for you as an event organizer to make money. Your job should be to offer packages that truly bring value to your customers so that they benefit from it.
Last minute services
Do you know Murphy’s law? “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong“.
And this is something you can verify at any exhibition!
Put yourself in your exhibitors’ shoes and provide last minute services.
You have a fixed logistics partner for all the in&out movements? Great! Try to find an additional one that could provide on-the-spot help for those who suddenly need to get some extra samples!
You provide TVs only if booked a month in advance? Fine. Still, have a few more available “in case” some exhibitors just forgot to confirm their booking.
You already sold all your advertising space? Keep a few extra spots – you can be sure someone will find out his booth location isn’t optimal and request for additional visibility.
Plan for the unexpected and try to offer some flexibility on the spot. Indeed you need some structure but you have to cater for those who spent tons of money at your show and might suffer from a lack of planning.
An exhibition doesn’t stop at the end of the event’s last day. There is a complete post-event follow-up that must be done.
You should try to extract real data from your trade show – how many exhibitors, visitors? How many leads have been captured? Where were your visitors coming from? Were exhibitors satisfied? Which alley was the most crowded? Which booth was the most popular? What day & time was the most busy?
You can find those answers through on-site surveys, in-depth analysis or even ask your service providers for insights (for example, if you work with myfairtool, you will be able to know how much in average your exhibitors spent, how many leads they captured, what were the busiest times of the day, etc.).
All this information is extremely valuable because you can share with potential future exhibitors what REALLY happens at your show and convince them to join the next one!
Are there other requirements exhibitors typically have that were not listed here?