Exhibition success, how do you get it? OK, so you have done all your marketing way before the event, the mailing, telemarketing and e-marketing. Now the big day has come. How can you make the event as successful as possible. Whether your event is at the NEC, the Excel, you are competing against all the other exhibitors for exhibition success.
The greatest exhibition success has to be the Great Exhibition in 1851.
Do you remember the model that you organised for the event? Why not get her/him to wander around dressed in your corporate colours (or something eye-catching) giving out some gifts. Some ideas could be sweets, drinks, toys and marketing material. Get them engaging with people and drawing them onto your stand. The event is about the whole room, so why not make the whole room yours by working it.
A smile goes a long way; no one wants to talk to someone that looks occupied, bored or scared. A smile can be very welcoming. It can make the difference between someone coming to you for advice, help or just to chat. Or them walking away with some of your freebies.
So many events have had the staff sitting on the chairs (which are there for clients) playing on their mobile phones and not interacting with customers. If there is no one on your stand, then do not sit down. Stand up; look interesting, helpful and welcoming. Events can be quiet at times and can be hard work (on your feet and talking a lot) however it is something you need to push through.
If you can, do not take up space on your stand – this blocks the view of your nice expensive exhibition stand. Instead, stand in the aisle. You may be in the way, but that is a good thing. You can draw people onto your stand. Or physically force them to walk around you (over your stand space). Gosh, how did that happen!? You can then get a conversation going that may not have happened as they were leaving or going to the event restaurant.
If your event is outside, maybe thinking about outdoor display stands is wise?
Remember the competition you had marketed, why not get it going? Get your promo girl/guy bringing people onto the stand. Get a loudspeaker and get the message out. Get some music going (loud is good). Get a buzz going and get your sales staff engaging.
Why not get a huge plasma screen and get a computer game going with a couple of comfy chairs. People around will stop and watch and want to play. If it is possible, get a game that requires 4-8 people and get them all competing. MD’s will flock to play the games their kids are always playing (that they do not have time to play themselves); they will be like putty in your sales persons hands.
Promotional gifts for events are a great way to get a conversation going, and to create a lasting impression after the event. They can be given out as people walk by your stand (sparingly) as a way of getting a conversation started. Having give away’s is all part of the event culture, how bad does is look if your competitors are giving out free drinks or fun toys, and you have penny sweets. One thing to be aware of is the students descending on your stand like a plague picking up all your freebies, literature and anything that is not bolted to the floor.
If you can afford to, how about having a section of your stand for giving out drinks and snacks. This can be as good as you want it to be. Snacks could include sandwiches (hot or cold) or just nibbles. How much does a pack of peanuts cost, or some crisps and dips – they will get people sitting down to watch the computer game playing MD’s compete against each other at Super Mario cart. Having a model serving drinks will also add a dynamic to you visitors; get them chatting to people and get your sales people hanging around (but not drinking your profits). Whatever you can do to create a buzz, create a noise and a sense of excitement is good for your event; the more people that are on/near your stand, the more noise there is coming from it – the more people will want to visit. People are like sheep, if they see crowds flocking in one direction, they will follow to see what the fuss is all about. That is when your sales hunters charge in and engage.
There are many marketing companies around that can help with planning and executing successful events, so it is well worth getting some free advice.