As part 1 of the Journey of an Exhibitor suggested, most companies will, at some point be involved in an exhibition. Exhibitions provide a great platform to meet potential buyers and promote your company and when you invest time, money and resources it is important it is a success, so the team from the www.smartbusinessshow.com return with part 2 of their 3 part guide to doing just that! The Exhibitor Manual
Most Exhibitor Manuals are available online. Exhibitor manuals are predominately designed to make your participation and planning of an event as easy as possible. They will contain a number of sections dealing with logistics, Health and Safety requirements. The manual will also include a show schedule that will feature the build up and break down hours that your contractor will need to be aware of. Sponsorship information, advertising, public relations and marketing information, including free tickets for your customers and prospects are usually also included. Typically this manual should be treated as your bible for everything related to the event.
Broadband, Phone & IT Needs
The majority of exhibition venues will have Wi-Fi internet connection or another system which will enable you to connect to the internet. In addition to this, most venues will have a good cellular reception. Exhibitor manuals will detail availability, options available and pricing.
Graphics & Accessories
Messaging & Graphics
Firstly no matter what graphics you use, they must be clear, bold and attractive to the visitor. Simplicity makes sense. Visitors will not read paragraphs of text, instead visitors will respond highly to colour, movement and bullet points. When creating your graphics keep these two points in mind. Number one, who you are and number two, what you do/provide. We would advise to think of the ‘six second rule’. The six second rule states that your visitor should be able to look at your graphics and get your message within six seconds or run the risk of your message being missed. You can consult the organisers for advice on this or graphics experts to make sure your planned graphics will work.
Exhibitor Badges & VIP Tickets
You may obtain your exhibitor passes from the organisers manually before the event or get them sent out. The exhibitor badges are essential for you and your colleagues as they will allow you to gain entry on days of the event, along with access to the car park during build up when getting your stand ready. Some events also provide special requirements and facilities for exhibitors, for example an ‘exhibitors lounge’.
Your organisers will provide you with complimentary tickets to send out to your customers and members where applicable. If you need more do not hesitate to ask the organisers and they would be provided at no extra cost. These are at no extra cost because the more visitors the more successful the event will be. In the past we have noticed that some exhibitors are reluctant to send out tickets to their key clients because they do not want their competitors to meet them at the show. However, the fact is that those key clients will most likely visit anyway if it is in their interest, so it is better that they come armed with an invitation from you rather than from one of your competitors.
Data capture options
When it comes to your data capture, make sure you are on the ball. You need to think about how you are going to capture the details of visitors to your stand. There are a number of options available from old pen and paper to the latest technology to capture their data. No matter what option you go for, make sure you pick one and implement it because what is important here is that you capture the details that you can then follow up later. The latest technology is an excellent option in that it allows you to capture details quickly which will then automatically produce downloadable reports on a daily or hourly basis. However there can be limitations of capturing data if it is not pre planned. For example if you use the latest technology, will you need a device for each member of staff or assign roles to capture every one of your visitors? Will the person collecting the lead also be the one who follows it up? An idea could be to prioritise your leads as number one, two and three so that your sales team know who to contact first or last.
Pre-Show Marketing & PR
Let People Know
As an exhibitor in order to have a successful exhibition, you must inform new and existing customers that you will be exhibiting. Do not leave it all down to the organisers. You can inform all your followers about your business and your business alone, whereas the organisers will have hundreds of other exhibitors to inform everyone about. It may be a good idea to have tickets in your lobby or reception area or possibly give to your sales people to distribute to their contacts. The organisers will provide you with mail invitations to send to your email lists and members/clients. Get a list of the trade publications that are running show features and consider advertising there. Another tactic is to adjust your email signature settings to include a piece that urges them to visit you on your stand.
Think outside the box
Think outside the box in terms of how you can attract people to your stand prior to the exhibition. Could you run a teaser campaign or announce a new launch? Will you have a speaker revealing vital information? Can you offer an incentive like a prize or voucher to redeem on your stand? Don’t stop your imagination, the simple ideas can deem to be the most effective.
Make sure you are prepared and know what you are going to hand out at your stand. Have you ordered enough business cards for you and your staff? Are your graphics panels, posters and freebies ordered? Have you thought about web entries and entries in the show guides?