Last week we popped along to Lunch!, a food-to-go trade event in the Business Design Centre in Angel, London.
Some of you might have visited yourself – or even exhibited. We had a lovely spot at last year’s Lunch! and earlier this year we exhibited at the International Food and Drink event, Hospitality Show and Caffe Culture.
Going with our visitor hat on last week, it was easy to spot the stands with a buzz about them and it made us think about what makes a good exhibition. Below we’ve jotted down a few tips and tricks – things to consider when preparing for an event. If you’re new to trade shows, we hope you’ll find it useful!
The very first thing is deciding which events are right for you. Here are a few things to consider:
Will you reach your target audience? Ask the organiser for statistics and demographics of previous exhibitors and attendees. Ideally, attend the event the year before.
How did previous attendees find the event? – even asking over social media can glean some good insights!
Where? Location will not only affect your costs, but the majority of attendees will come from areas surrounding the event.
When? Are there other events taking place the same week? If your customers have a buying cycle, does the event fall at a good time?
Does it fit with your objectives? Whether they’re increasing brand awareness, generating leads or making sales on the day.
Choose your exhibition space early to get a good spot. If you can, visit the venue beforehand, even if it’s for a different event. Find out:
Where you are on the floorplan. You don’t want to be tucked away or right by the main entrance. Consider your neighbours; non-noisy stands likely to attract a crowd are ideal. And it makes sense to be nearby your competitors for people after your products/services.
How much room you have. A spacious stand with 2 or more open sides is more inviting – but remember space is sold by the square metre. Is the stand sufficiently big to fit your furniture?
What lighting and electricity is available.
What other marketing possibilities does the organiser offer – sponsorship, participation in seminars? Plus make sure you’re well represented on the website!
Be innovative and think of gifts that people will keep. And make sure your stand advertises and shouts about what you’re giving away.
Remember attendees are given a lot of materials and most is thrown away so avoid over spending. Consider how many attendees are expected and the percentage that will stop by and pick up materials. If possible, create materials that can be re-used at later events or for mailings.
Keep your objectives in mind. Perhaps you want branded merchandise to get your name out there, or literature that informs attendees about a new product launch.
Create something that will incentivise prospects to agree to being contacted; something that you can mail or email them following the event.
Spread the word that you’re attending and include your stand number. Email, tweet, blog, advertise…let people know you’re going and all the great reasons why they should come say hi!
Best of luck with your next exhibition!
P.S. Email in your exhibiting experiences and we’ll add them here!