Top 10 tips to make your exhibition or trade show a huge success!

Many factors go into making sure your exhibition or trade show is a success. Of paramount importance of course is choosing the correct exhibition stand for the event you are attending.

The choice of exhibition stand depends on the show, audience and needs. The essential thing is to make sure you produce a professional and exciting looking display. If on a tight budget you may consider banner stands are the solution. These stands are very portable and will make sure your brand is at the fore front of your audience, helping to subliminally get into the minds of the exhibition goers by association. This targets the exhibitions visitor who is specifically looking for the latest product or service.  It makes their lives easier in choosing you as their supplier. This visual association by using a banner stand helps to make the potential customer remember you once he has left the exhibition stand show.

If you have a larger budget you may wish to invest in a pop up stand. Stands come in various forms, magnetic pop up stands, fabric pop up stands or cross braced pop up stands. All allow you to visually communicate your brand and sales message in a memorable way. Another alternative is to buy a Twist Banner Stand! These stands are very versatile and portable. The versatility comes from the fact that any number of the Twist stands can be linked one to each other indefinitely thus creating virtually any size of display wall. By using flexi link kits you can use them to create graphic walls that vary in shape enhancing the visitor’s experience.

However no matter how much you spend on an exhibition stand if you don’t make the most of each contact opportunity and every day that you spend at your exhibition. So below are our 10 top tips for helping to make your exhibition stand a success.

1. Run a competition of some sort.

Success at an exhibition or trade show venue will be considerably enhanced if you do not put prospective clients under pressure to do business with you there and then. An approach you may wish to consider would be to brain storm and consider what it is that makes you your company unique and better, why do they use you rather than your competitors? And it is not because you are cheaper or provide a better service or your quality is better – every one claims that and it is taken that these are criteria are met anyway. There is always another underlying reason – for us it is we are so easy to use and ultimately by using us we help you to create extra business, getting better value for your money – helping you to look outside the box and consider things your competitors don’t.

What better way to get this information from your clients and potential customers. Run a competition asking them the question “ what unique reason has made you look at our company?” Also gives them an added extra incentive to attend? Make sure you mention the competition and most importantly the prize in your pre-event promotional material. Also mention that entries can only be accepted on the stand itself.

2. Give them a gift.

Just think if some one gives you a gift what is your immediate reaction? We are programmed that if someone gives us a gift then we should reciprocate. There are few better ways of nurturing along a feeling of commitment to buy from you. Also reinforces your brand into their minds. Promotional products work wonders on the minds of the exhibition goers. Some practical promotional items are, bags big enough to carry your competitors literature also carries your logo all around the exhibition. For a more economic giveaway lanyards and pens are ideal and have a good life as can be used over a long period and keeps your name in front of the client long after the exhibition has ended.

3. Provide live demonstration of the product or service.

People, clients and likely customers usually come to exhibitions intending to gather information on products or services essentially to make their lives easier and make extra profit for their companies. So tell them how your company can do this for them – spell it out! Make the presentation lively, short and to the point avoiding long descriptions of all the functions a lot of which may not be relevant to all potential clients. Some form of interaction will also engage them and stop them drifting away.

4. Give a discount for orders taken at the show.

Discounts or even a gift voucher will provide a prospective customer with an incentive to attend your show. Much better than the hard sell.

5. Train your staff in exhibition stand operation.

It goes without saying that the stand should always be manned. They should have product knowledge so they can answer general questions and be trained to “listen” not “talk”. Once a client is listened to carefully to discover what he requires only then tell the client anything that is relevant not just trot out all the features. Why? It may be only one feature he is interested in – telling him the rest will just turn him off. This is probably the biggest failure at shows. Don’t fall into the trap!

6. Maximise the use of space.

Space on exhibition stands is expensive and hence can be limited. Make the most use of it. Even if on a low budget banner stands of an appropriate size with display counters can make an impressive show case. Get to know your show hall and position well in advance so that you can make the right choice when you order the exhibition stands and associated equipment.

7. Advertise, market and promote your event.

Do this months in advance, to well-targeted customers and potential clients. Do this by using the various media and you have to cover them all these days due to the diversity of media people use. Direct Mail, telephone, email, web site, face to face, PR and magazine advertising if appropriate. All this sustained campaigning will boost the number of visitors to your exhibition stand and encourage further interest. Make the most of your existing contacts database.  Include current clients and target new ones.

8. Ensure a consistent message.

Make sure all your communications and marketing portray a consistent sales message.
The Chinese torture trick is as relevant today as it has always been. Drip, drip, drip but with the same drip and eventually it works.

9. Gather and train staff.

to gather and most importantly record prospective customers’ contact details. Your exhibition or trade show is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn about your potential clients and existing customers as it is for your customers to learn about you.  Does this face to face during conversations, recording their details and then include them on your contact database for future use.

10. Check your stand every morning.

Carry out an early morning daily routine to ensure you check and look at your stand objectively. Make sure all is pristine look at it as though you are a prospective customer. The old adage 1st impressions count – works.

By utilising these helpful tips, you will interact with more prospective customers and achieve what all Sales and Marketing departments are tasked to do – boost revenue and sales.

Tom Bristow
Tom Bristow is the Managing Director of The Plus Group and has worked in the exhibition industry for over a decade. He is passionate about the service his company provides and he eats, breathes and sleeps everything exhibitions.

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