By Nicola Bonfanti - Talent Dynamics for Sales
There are opportunities to exhibit all year long if you look for them but make sure you have a Trader on your stand to get the best from the event.
You’ve seen those exhibitions where smartly suited Dynamo people are sitting behind their stand talking amongst themselves or on their phones so as not to waste time but end up not engaging with many people.
They are there to be seen but not necessarily to serve. They will go home thinking the exhibition was a waste of time and money!
Or the stands where the Blaze exhibitors have wide smiles outstretched arms asking “Can I help you?” The obvious answer is “No, thanks” and scuttle on as you don’t know what they do or what to ask for. They will wonder what they did wrong!
But if you want to have a busy exhibition stand, lots of people to talk to, have contact details for new prospects, give a good impression of what you do to a lot more people than you could at a networking event and maybe even make some money by selling your goods and services, make sure a Trader is on your team who will focus on the client and make sure the follow up is done!
Whatever profile you are, here are 3 of the many ways to leverage the value of your exhibition stand:
- Don’t try and sell anything.
- Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card
- Make your stand an interactive experience
1. Don’t try and sell anything.
Don’t expect or try to sell anything immediately. You are there to build a relationship first and foremost so spend time engaging with your visitors, finding out more about them. Have some form of short survey to gain valuable market information, have something free to give them that tells them more about you, your services and your products. Make sure any freebies relate to your products or services.
Too many people have something to give away that is just a waste of money as it is not relevant to your business nor memorable.
However, make it easy for your visitors to buy should they choose to by having special offers for the exhibition only as some people buy on impulse if you have explained your products and services well (there is a different mind-set between selling something and enabling a visitor to buy something and that difference could cost you the sale!).
Your Trader team member will make sure you have all the paperwork and everyone is followed up.
- What questions could you use to engage and draw visitors in?
- If you choose to have a free gift, what does it say about you? And what benefits does it give your visitor?
- Plan special offers to give on the day.
2. Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card
Adding new names to your database is a key objective of being at an exhibition but visitors are more reluctant to give away their details these days for fear of being bombarded with irrelevant emails. So you have to make the give-away prize or prize draw something really special. Think about what would appeal to you ideal client – a spa break? An high octane experience like driving an F1 car or flying in a wind tunnel? Or one of your VIP programmes?
They also want to know that they will be sent valuable information not sales chasers.
- How will you encourage and reward visitors for giving you their contact details?
3. Make your stand an interactive experience
In order to engage with your visitors, you want them to spend time with you on your stand, so give them something to do while they are there.
- Guess the price
- Competitive game
- Photo booth that gets retweeted and talked about, e.g. when I was promoting sales programmes I had cardboard cut-outs of sales superheroes people could pose in which got our stand talked about and invited to other events
- What is your key selling point?
- How can visitors have an experience or an insight of what you do in a few minutes on your stand?
Where will your exhibition be in the next few months?