Best Exhibition Stand, What's Next?
So you’ve worked on the best exhibition stand design you can possibly get. Your event stand company has built it to the exact specifications and now you need some ROI on that investment. The problem is that your competitors are all thinking the same thing. They all think that their display stand design is the best and they want all of your customers too. So what’s the difference going to be? Well, a big factor can be the marketing of your exhibition stand. Your exhibition marketing ideas could be what brings a lead to your display stand and not the one next door. It could just be that deciding factor that shows that your company is the one they should choose.
It’s probably easiest to break the marketing activity into three areas – Pre Exhibition Marketing, during the event and post event activity. The best display stands are usually those that not only look great but are actually an element of a slick, co-ordinated and targeted marketing campaign. In theory this then leads to a very specific pathway for visitors to end up on your exhibition stand.
Pre Exhibition Marketing
A well planned exhibition marketing campaign should start way before the event has even started. We will sit down with our clients to ascertain what they are looking to achieve from the exhibition that they are attending. This can then help to influence the exhibition stand design so that the look and feel are in line with your aims and objectives. The best exhibition stand companies will always take into consideration how you want the stand to flow, in other words what route do you want visitors to take? Is there a set trail through the stand that you want them to follow? This could be almost like a mini sales funnel that starts with a greeting and initial engagement and ends with an action like a sales completion.
Once you have these ideas in place, the event stand design can be finalised and you’ll have a good idea what your visitors will do once they enter your stand. Your display stand building company can then turn the design into reality and you can start looking at other aspects of the marketing journey of your exhibition campaign.
Pre-engagement can also include warming up some of your leads. If you have particular customers that you know will be attending the exhibition then send an invitation for them to visit your stand. Offer some hospitality if you are able to and make them feel welcome – the old adage of it being far easier to keep a customer than find a new one is so true so make sure that you make your current customers feel wanted and appreciated. Of course the other side to that is inviting potential customers. If you have contacts that you have been trying to bring on board then invite them to your exhibition stand too. If you know they are coming to the exhibition, sending an invite a few weeks prior is a simple way of engaging with them.
Social media is also a great way of engaging in some pre-event activity. Many exhibition organisers will send a marketing pack for you to use which often includes pre-designed graphics to use on your social media channels. These serve as a double purpose, firstly to promote the exhibition and encourage delegates to come along and secondly to promote the fact that your company will be there.
Putting some thought and effort before the exhibition has even started can pay huge dividends and you’ll really see the benefit once the doors open and the delegates make their way to your display stand.
During the Event
So your exhibition stand design has become a reality, the display stand building company has followed your plans to the letter and you have a plan for your visitors that needs to be followed through. If you’ve worked on the pre-event activity then you’ll have a steady flow of visitors, job done right? Not quite. There’s still plenty of passing trade to capture and if you’ve worked so hard to get visitors on to your display stand you’ll need to take advantage of that.
Do you have a plan for capturing everything you need from a visitor to your stand? Your display stand design company has helped create a flow or pathway for visitors to follow so now you can’t let that go to waste. Is there point for data capture? This could be in the form of a prize draw and as simple as business cards in a pot. It could be a game that visitors take part in and must leave their email address to take part and be notified if they win. Digital elements that can be added to your exhibition stand design can really engage and attract visitors to the stand. This could be anything from touchscreen displays that encourage visitors to take part and stay on your stand, interactive downloadable content that could involve visitor’s smartphones or engaging video content that will appeal to visitors.
Back on the social media trail, all exhibitions will have a dedicated hashtag to use so real time social media posts will be picked up by delegates. Use this to entice people to your stand by posting social media pictures of what makes your stand different, prizes that are up for grabs or activities that are taking place.
Finally, it may be old hat but everyone loves a freebie. Don’t dismiss the giveaway option on your exhibition stand. From mouse mats to pens, stress balls to branded sweets they might be cheesy as hell but they will always attract those serial collectors at expos and exhibitions who just can’t resist a free gift.
Once the exhibition is over, your display stand is being stored ready for your next event it is actually time to take action, follow up emails or phone calls while those leads are still warm, acting fast is crucial to making the post exhibition magic effective. You’ll know from the conversations that you’ve had which are the real prospects so now it’s all about showing them how much you value them, how much you want them. Responding to their specific requests or needs is a good way of showing that you were actually paying attention during the conversation! Personalise your communication so that your prospects feel wanted, a generic email with the greeting changed will leave people feeling cold so take the extra time. It might just make the difference.
There are plenty of different techniques that you can do when you attend an exhibition or expo and we’ve just highlighted a few here that may work for you. One thing is for sure though, it all starts with the style and design of an exhibition stand and working closely with your display stand builders is key to beginning your journey. We would love to help you make the most of your exhibition marketing, that’s why we take the time to understand your exact needs, goals and brand, if you want to talk with one of our experts about your next exhibition project please give us a call on +44 (0)24 7639 8922 or contact us here