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Posted 7th March 2024

Top Tips for Making the Most of Trade Show Exhibiting

Trade shows provide a unique opportunity for businesses to meet with their customers, potential leads and industry peers to network, share information, show off their business and possibly even make a few sales along the way. To make the most of this opportunity there are some steps that businesses must take; steps that make all […]

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top tips for making the most of trade show exhibiting.


Top Tips for Making the Most of Trade Show Exhibiting

Trade shows provide a unique opportunity for businesses to meet with their customers, potential leads and industry peers to network, share information, show off their business and possibly even make a few sales along the way.

To make the most of this opportunity there are some steps that businesses must take; steps that make all the difference between having a good exhibition and having a great exhibition!

1. Arrive early and stay late

Arriving at your venue early gives you the advantage of setting up your stand calmly and ensuring that everything is in place before the rush – and there will be a rush!

It also allows you to make any last-minute adjustments or improvements to your presentation without the pressure of being surrounded by your competition and potential leads.

By being proactive you’ll start your event on a good footing and your stand staff will be much more relaxed which, in turn, will create much more relaxed conversations with visitors.

Speaking of visitors, staying late allows your stand staff to speak with visitors in a much calmer atmosphere, after the crowds have dispersed. Lots of exhibitors leave shows early, seeing the shrinking crowds as a waste of their staff’s time, but focusing on quality over quantity could provide an opportunity to engage with the extremely valuable leads that early leavers will miss.

2. Show off the quality of your brand

Exhibiting at a trade show is presenting a snapshot of your business to a highly relevant and engaged audience. The few seconds it takes visitors to pass your exhibition stand present a rare opportunity to capture their attention while they are ready, willing and able to engage.

This could be the first time visitors are seeing your brand so it pays to showcase your offering effectively.

It’s crucial that your exhibition stand, as well as all other elements of your display, are consistent with the quality and expertise that you want to portray for your business. Ensure that your branding, visuals, promotional materials and stand staff all reflect the high level of professionalism and quality of your business.

3. Choose your stand staff carefully

People visit exhibitions primarily to meet the real people behind a business.

The marketing materials, brochures and freebies that you give away will boost brand recall and provide extra information after your event, but will only be effective if your staff can properly engage visitors while they are there.

Having knowledgeable and engaging staff manning your stand will have a significant impact on visitors’ perceptions of your business. Your staff can answer questions, provide demonstrations and plant the seeds of personal connections that develop into long-term customer relationships.

4. Set clear objectives

Before exhibiting, it’s important to establish your objectives for your show.

Businesses often use their number of leads as a determinant of the success of an event but, if lead generation is not one of your primary objectives then it will not give a clear picture of your event’s success.

Whether it’s generating leads and sales, launching a new product or strengthening existing customer relationships, having well-defined goals will not only influence your strategy but also help you measure your success after the event is over. This is how you work out if it’s worth attending next year.

5. Follow up with your leads

One of the most common mistakes exhibitors make is failing to follow up with their leads.

Having gone to the effort of planning your event, exhibiting, engaging with visitors and collecting contact details, the follow-up is the easy part. Yet it seems most businesses fall at the last hurdle, as research shows that a staggering 81% of event leads are not even followed up!

It’s essential to reach out promptly, thank them for their interest in your business and continue your conversation. Effectively following up with leads continues the process of nurturing that lead through the purchasing funnel, ultimately resulting in strong long-term customer relationships.

Try to remember a unique detail about each lead and reference this in your follow-up, as this shows that you value them as a person.

6. Make use of digital channels

In today’s digital era, technology plays a vital role in supporting the relationships built at trade shows. Here are a few ways to leverage digital tools:

  • Social media: Utilise social media platforms to promote your event, engage with attendees, let people know that you’re attending and where they will find you and post live updates during the event. Social media activity can help extend the reach of your exhibition and keep your audience engaged. It also allows your brand to be involved and associated with the online conversations surrounding the event.
  • Hybrid marketing: Combine live and digital marketing with a supporting website focused on your attendance at the event. This can include information about your exhibit, your staff, your offering and the event itself. Exhibition stand contractors Quadrant2Design offer personalised event websites to all of their customers, which provide a digital space for visitors to see the details of the exhibit, show and venue as well as provide details to keep in touch before, during and after the event.

Conclusion

Exhibiting at a trade show is a fantastic opportunity to promote your business, connect with your audience and boost brand visibility, but it’s not enough to just show up and hope for the best.

By arriving early, showcasing your brand’s quality, setting clear objectives, putting the best people in front of your customers, following up with leads and using digital tools, you can maximise the impact of your trade show and, ultimately, the return on your investment. A truly successful trade show is not just about what happens during the event but also how you continue to nurture the connections you’ve made.

About the Author

Carl Garner-Watts is the lead Marketing Content Creator at Quadrant2Design. He has over a decade of experience in business and digital marketing, spanning industries including trade shows, facilities management, finance, property investment and venue marketing.

Categories: News


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