How to become the go-to stand at an exhibition

Exhibitions are a great way of getting noticed – the industry insiders are there, and you have the opportunity of meeting your prospective customers – what more could you ask for. However, exhibitions are often costly, and more importantly, they warrant hard work. So, you lose a fair chunk of your marketing budget and then there’s this pressure of ensuring that the investment is well used. How do you that? By becoming the stand that everyone goes to – simple – the more the number of visitors, the better are your chances of achieving a relatively high ROI.

For visitors, the stands that they are attracted to and remember once the exhibition is over are the ones that give a clear picture – ambiguity doesn’t go down well with them – if your banners and literature don’t show them what you deal in and whether or not your offerings are the potential solutions to their (or their company’s) problems, they are more likely to give you a miss.

Easier said than done, right? Would clarity work if you are participating in a show where there are lots of contenders who offer more or less the same things as you? Well, it may, but you would still need to compete, and that’s when it gets interesting.

Think Outside The Box

Novelty sells like hotcakes. Do something that others won’t. Say, choose a theme, and ask your staff to dress accordingly, even the men. Your stand will draw a lot of attention, and who’s to say your competitors won’t be green with envy? If choosing a theme is not to your taste or you fear to become everyone’s laughingstock, find an angle that works for you. The idea is to create a buzz, no matter what it takes. If you think you can stand out with gamification – go for it. Display the results for everyone to see and make sure that the winners are handsomely rewarded. There, you now have something that others don’t – where do you think the visitors would go?

Show That You Care

Are exhibitions only about you and your business? Of course not. Make sure your stand echoes this thought – make it all about the visitors. Start off with a proper seating arrangement. Exhibitions are tiring, and if the visitors have to be on their toes, like literally, while listening to what you have to say, they would lose interest sooner than expected. Yes, chairs or other furniture could restrict the visitor movement, but the longer they are there, the more are your chances of cracking a deal. And making them stay for long is only possible if you make them feel comfortable.

Try Your Luck With Giveaways

In an ideal world, comfort and novelty would get you there, but even if they don’t, all is not lost. Freebies or giveaways usually suffice – again, do something different – don’t go for the quintessential ones, choose quirkier options. Getting them branded is also important, but that’s another story.

The endgame is to ensure that the visitors make a detour even if they were headed to another booth. If your stand stands out, they will. Pun intended!

Tips for converting trade show booth visitors into customers

Giving some serious thought to trade show display and making a decent investment will certainly attract quite a few visitors to your trade show booth and help you with lead generation, but that’s just about it. Once they are there, it’s up to you and your staff – whatever you do during and after the show could make all the difference – you would either have the visitors turning into customers or you’ll end up with plain cold leads. Sad but true.

Act as quickly as possible

If you think that asking the visitors for their contact details is good enough, think again, it is not – you must work on those details – have a lead generation and nurturing system in place – only then you can expect to do more business. Start early on, and prioritize the leads as soon as you are back from the show. Don’t sit on them or they’ll grow cold. The quicker you follow up, as in reach out to those who visited you at the show, the more are your chances of getting a conversion. They’ll be much more receptive if you give them a call just the next day and are likely to remember meeting you at the show.

However, their contact details are not all that you need – follow a qualification process during the show, or else you’d have a hard time figuring out their budget and whether or not they are in the position to make a decision. Following up would only make sense if you have these details on you.

Don’t shy away from using technology

Believe it or not, but it may take weeks and sometimes even months to nurture the leads – you will follow up, agreed, but that doesn’t mean that the visitors would make a purchase decision there and then – in fact, you may not have the desired outcome during the second or third contact. That’s when a CRM or a Customer Relationship Management system could be of great use. For starters, it’ll help you further qualify the leads as per their individual requirements and devise a strategy of sorts to gain their trust. Secondly, you’ll be able to track – just enter the details you have, and voila! You now have on record where did you meet them and if they have moved up any further in your sales curve. The CRM would especially come in handy when the visitors want you to take it slow and need some time before they finally decide to purchase.

Relying solely on phone calls is a big no-no

Send them emails – after all, they are one of the most effective tools for making the initial contact and act as great reminders. Take full advantage. This is what your email must include:

A reiteration of the recipient’s needs

A clear picture as to how your products or offerings are a sure shot way of fulfilling those needs
Don’t be too pushy though, and don’t even mistake the email for a means to crack a hard sell. Just try to establish contact with the prospect(s) and cultivate a relationship. The sale would come your way on its own.

Don’t give up or give in – either way, you lose

More often than not, the exhibitors reach out to the prospects only once or twice, and then give up. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake. Rather, have your lead nurturing system schedule multiple contacts. Again, the idea here is to instill trust and strengthen the relationship. Also, it’s important that you don’t give in to the prospects’ natural instinct of not doing anything unless they are specifically prompted to. Prompt. Drop a hint at least. Have a call-to-action ready and make it part of every attempt at contacting the prospects.

To cut the long story short, converting visitors into customers is as easy as attracting them to your booth, but you need to take matters into your own hands and more importantly, be patient.

 

Mistakes That Ordinary Exhibitors Avoid To Become Extraordinary

The biggest exhibitors or the biggest booths can fail to make the right impression or attract the expected number of visitors at a show, while the underdogs make it big. So what possibly turns the tables for them? Well, they do not commit the same mistakes that some of the big ones do, and in fact, make far better choices. In short, they know what to avoid. Here’s what they let go of:

Trying to be everywhere

In an ideal world, the exhibitors should be able to participate in every possible show, but that’s not how it works. They must choose. Trade shows warrant a lot:

– There is the setting of objectives
– Then the exhibitors need to select and train the booth staff
– There are design elements involved
– Purchases have to be made
– Installation, dismantling, and shipping have to be taken care of
– Leads have to be followed and eventually converted
– The results must be measured against the metric in use

Phew! Those who succeed at trade shows know where to draw the line. Over the years, they have realized that they can’t commit to every other show, especially if they lack the time and the resources to do it right. They know that mere participation won’t get them anything and that in the end, they’ll simply be wasting the investment made.

Undermining the importance of communication

If the sales and marketing departments don’t get a chance to communicate, there are likely to be quite a few goof-ups at the booth. Good exhibitors know that they have to keep the lines of communication open. They make sure that the right questions are answered by the right people well in time, so as to avoid any last-minute chaos;

– What kind of information should be fetched from the booth visitors?
– What kind of branding techniques are to be used?
– Is there a plan of action that could be referred to, when the leads are followed up?
– Who would all make excellent booth staffers?

It’s only when they have the answers that they go any further.

Letting price become the deciding factor

Exhibitors often have budgetary constraints; while some use these constraints as a shield of sorts, justifying their choice of vendors and materials, others understand the added value that the expensive ones may bring along. They are thoughtful enough to take into consideration the amount of time saved, the number and kind of problems solved, quality, and more importantly, the results generated. These are the exhibitors who succeed because they know their choice shouldn’t be based solely on price.

Making assumptions about everything

It’s easy for anyone to be assumptive; exhibitors and trade show participants are no different. Many tend to assume that:

– The leads are being followed up, and don’t bother to check if there are any real-time conversions
– The audience already knows about the show and is aware that their company is participating, and that there is no need for promotion
– Every newfangled technology, including virtual reality and live streaming, works for every booth and in every setting
– It is important to offer an unusual, unconventional giveaway, even if it is of no use to the recipients and is merely a liability in terms of the company’s investment
– Everything can be fitted into the booth, every product should be displayed, and every possible activity should be done
– If some marketing ideas worked at a previous show, they’ll do wonders for the next one as well

An “ordinary” exhibitor can always be “extraordinary” and the ones who have already hit the mark did nothing different, except for saying no when they should have.

Custom Modular Stands Are The Need Of The Hour. Jump On The Bandwagon For Your Next Show

Let’s start with why you would exhibit at a trade show in the first place?

  • To showcase your products and innovations?
  • Or perhaps to increase your brand awareness?

 

Well, most of the exhibitors do it for one simple reason – the invaluable face-to-face time they get to spend with their potential customers and business partners. Is your objective more or less along similar lines? If that’s a yes, it’s important for you to ensure that you actually get that “time,” but how do you do that? By getting an attractive booth designed, one that’s a great crowd-puller at the show, and conveys your brand values.

Easier said than done; any such design would cost you a fortune. Not to worry, there’s always a fix, and in this case, a pretty good one: “Custom Modular Stands.” Here’s why they fit the bill:

Your Budget Won’t Take a Hit

Modular Exhibition stands are highly cost-effective. To be honest, they are not dirt cheap, and may even cost you a little more than those pop-up or banner stands that everyone keeps using but to no avail; rest assured they are worth their salt, and would not let you down.

The Obvious Choice for Frequent Exhibitors

If you have plans to exhibit at multiple shows, one after the other, look no further. Modular stands can be reused with ease, thereby forfeiting the need to pay for newfangled stands every time you have a show lined up. In fact, you can simply pack down the stands into compact storage cases and get them transported to the venue of your next show, as and when required. The cases, of course, will not only help you with the transportation but would also protect the stands, when not in use.

You Won’t Have to Settle for Less

One thing’s for sure: every show is different from the other, and while you can use the same kind of display everywhere, a little bit of creativity never hurt anyone. With custom modular stands, you get to be creative, at least your booth designer does – he/she, as per your instructions, can turn what might be a simple counter, into a comprehensive double-decker display. For that matter, often built for self-installation, these stands do not always warrant the involvement of the designer, once you are actually at the venue. And that’s a possibility because these stands are quite flexible and are built in sections, which can be added and remove without any difficulty. The idea here is to reduce your dependency on just one format or visual display, and take the growth and/or objective(s) of your business into consideration.

Going Green Could Not Be Easier

Willing to do your bit for the environment? Now’s your chance. As most of the materials used for constructing custom modular stands can be reused, you get that added advantage of reducing the overall carbon footprint. Better still, you could specifically ask for the use of aluminum and other eco-friendly materials. Doing so would also affect the audience’s perception of you, but in a good way – they’ll see you as a company that cares. There, you just made your point!

Now, there was a time when the exhibitors did not think highly of these stands – some found them boxy and undesirable, while others were not so impressed with the use of metal frame(s), but with tension fabric displays and LED lightboxes taking over, the tables have finally turned, and for good. Make the most of these affordable, flexible, adaptable and convenient stands to stand out at your next show; pun intended.