Marketing – Exhibition stands



With 2017 upon us, there are lots of opportunities to attend exhibitions/business shows as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Correctly focused, it’s a quick way to let many potential prospects know you exist and are ready to serve their needs.

Like any marketing strategy, the return you get is proportionate to the effort you put in.  An exhibition stand can be seen as expensive, although I have seen some pretty cheap looking ones.  Some companies spend on their stand, whilst others invest.

Having attended a number of business shows this year, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright embarrassing.

A great looking stand is so important.  It may surprise you to know that it’s not just about how glossy and expensive it is – It would be foolish to try and compete with the marketing budgets of Microsoft, Sage, Vodafone, Honda et al.

The key to a great stand is the people.  There are the basics, such as team kit, that should be considered.  The main thing is the knowledge and attitude of the exhibitors.

I’ve seen some great looking stands in 2016 and some ‘cost effective’ ones.

For example, A small insurance company had a long table, with a neat table cloth with their company logos on.  There were three people sitting down at the table; all in team polo shirts.

On the face of it, how would this work? Well, there were 3 other people feeding them with potential clients from the front of the stand.

These lively people, also wearing the team kit, were passing visitors to the insurance experts.  There was a queue of interested prospects, waiting to ask the expert about the insurance they would need for their business/car/home.

The experts were collecting details to send more information out after the show.  And they were also signing people up for insurance and taking payment details.  I suspect that this company will have more than covered their costs of the show.

Then there were the embarrassing stands – some with no-one there.  I’ve seen stands with the company name on the stand banner – provided by the show – that haven’t even shown up at all.  That’s negative marketing, by the way.

My personal pet hate is the pushy/rude/uninterested people on a stand.  One of my clients was even blanked after they shared the size of their business – so very rude!

As good a resource as exhibiting is, it does require proper preparation and a great attitude to the visitors.  The first thing is to turn up!

About Alex Petty

Blogger, runner, mentor
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