Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to attract new leads and meet with prospects face-to-face. However, many businesses don’t make a big impression at these events as they follow the same tactics as other exhibitors. That’s why we have put together the tips below will help you stand out at promotional events.

Don't Follow the Crowd

Exhibiting at trade shows and other events is a fantastic way to reach a new audience for your business, whilst also being an important branding opportunity.

However, the world of experiential marketing is extremely cut-throat, with only a few vital seconds to impress a passer-by and entice them onto your stand. Too often the opportunity is missed and a potentially profitable business lead can go missing.

Take a look at the following tips and see if you can use them for your next show!

  • Use the show to launch a new aspect of your business. A great way to create buzz about your brand is to launch a new aspect of your business at the show. Whether it’s a new product or service for your customers, using the immediacy of an event to introduce other business people to your company will make visitors associate your brand with excitement and keep the conversation on your brand even after the show finishes! Let visitors know about the launch via social media and possibly the show guide so they know about it before they even arrive at the venue.
  • Listen (I said LISTEN!). At the risk of sounding like a bossy secondary school teacher, listening is the most important part of engaging with visitors. Just because one of your team is a talkaholic it doesn’t mean they are a good sales person – in fact, the opposite may be true. Listen to the visitor’s needs and tailor your pitch to their needs. Sounds simple, but one conversation will qualify a lead far better than a generic sales lecture.
  • Use your stand to communicate a clear message. Your exhibition display stand is a key part of conveying your sales message as it will be the first thing visitors see about your business. A tired-looking old stand, out-of-date graphics or an incoherent sales message is hardly the best way to encourage people to invest in your services. However, the biggest weapon you can use to help you stand apart from the competition at events is to convey a clear customer benefit message via your stand. Honestly, potential clients aren’t interested if you are the no.1 rated business in your field or you won an industry award two years ago, the most important thing is how your business can help the individual or their organisation. An example of this customer-focused benefit message to convey on your stand could be (for a graphic designer), ‘We will help design your perfect company logo’.
  • Have a unique giveaway or prize draw. A branded pen will not help anyone remember your business, as – believe it or not – everyone else is doing the same thing! Think of something that represents your company, or - even better – an original giveaway or prize that promotes your company’s offering more directly. Why not run a prize draw at your stand offering a free month of your product/services as a prize? Then you will be able to email all the leads who didn’t win telling them they have finished in second place and have also won a prize such as a discounted rate for your product or service.

You won't want to miss the branding experts of How to Build a Brand at two upcoming trade shows:

  • The Business Show: Stand 2168. Plus 3 workshops every day at Stand 2172, and presenting from the main stage in the start up theatre on Wed 11th May and Thurs 12th May. The show is fast approaching, so order your tickets here now.
  • Bums on Seats Bootcamp: 13th-15th May. Visit the How to Build a Brand stand and hear their branding and marketing experts speak. Learn more here.

Matthew writes for Display Wizard, a supplier of pop up banners and other exhibition displays.

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