How to get the most out of exhibiting at a trade show

We know exhibiting at a trade show is a big investment in both time and money – so if you’re going to do it, you want to make sure you get the most out of it.

We spoke to Jack Marczewski, account director for The Meetings Show, who shares his top tips for maximizing presence at exhibitions to make sure you’re achieving a positive ROI.

Know the show

'Each trade show is different, so do your research into what each one offers before committing to which you will attend. You need to look at what your business objectives are, then look at the show format, the audience and the opportunities available to decide whether or not it will help you meet those objectives.

Design a stand that will deliver

'There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to stand design; success will come down to whether or not the design supports your individual business objectives. Looking stylish and eye-catching is great, but it needs to be practical too. For example, if you plan on giving out promotional material, ensure you can easily display and distribute it, or if you hope to engage visitors in long conversations, consider including a seated area.

Shout about the show

'Use all the platforms available to you – including social media, ecomms, press releases and direct marketing – to tell potential customers where you’ll be and what you’ll be offering in advance of the show. At The Meetings Show we see a direct correlation between exhibitors who are proactive in the months leading up to the show and exhibitors who get the best ROI.

Choose your best ambassadors

'Exhibitions and trade shows are all about face-to-face interactions, so whoever is manning your stand needs to know their stuff and know how to present themselves. Brief them about the key messages they need to convey and tell them how you’d like them to approach visitors. It’s been said that 80% of the success of your stand is down to your staff representing your business, so train them to triumph.

Take a long-term view

'One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen exhibitors make is viewing a trade show as just a two or three-day activity. For the best chance of success, you need to think of it as a year-long cycle of preparation, marketing, attendance and follow up – and always follow up leads straight away and develop them to ensure you really do get the most out of being an exhibitor.'

 

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