If you’re like most businesses, you’ve thought about running a custom exhibition stand at a trade show at some point…
I mean, the concept sounds perfect, merely create your custom exhibition stand then wait for all the leads to pour in, right?
…well, not always!
While exhibitions can be a great way to boost your profile and attract new customers, they can also be costly and hard to get a positive return on your investment.
For this reason, when it comes to running any custom exhibition stand for myself or my clients, I turn to Australia’s leading expert Jessica Turnball.
So, in this post,
I’ve asked Jess to share her very best tips for helping boost your next tradeshow or exhibition profits…
Jessica is a Tradeshow Strategist at Australia’s leading providers of custom exhibition stand – the Exhibition Company.
…Jess’s proven profit strategies for boosting ROI from an exhibit stands, is what sets her apart from the exhibition crowd.
Today she’s speaking to me about simple ways you can boost your result at your next exhibition or tradeshow with a custom exhibition stand strategy for ROI…
Hi There,…(it’s Jess speaking now)
I’m excited to have the opportunity to share with you a few of my KEY strategies which will boost your ROI at your next exhibit or show…
Ok, let’s get into it,
People think the results you get at an exhibition are because of your performance on the day. Or the crowd that happens to show up.
“the majority of business owners have it backwards!”
They want to talk about their custom exhibition stand before working out how they’re going to use their space,
Or how they’ll communicate with their customers.
This is where I recommend you start with a clear plan!
…before you even begin doing pencil sketches,
” This is where most people go wrong! Skipping this step is like starting with a handicap.”
The best part is, most of what I am going to recommend today happens before the doors of your show open. As once the show begins, you must focus all your attention on building relationships and sales.
If you’re serious about getting results, The good news is – it’s all is in your hands….
Here are My Top 7 Custom Exhibition Stand Key Areas to Focus on:
1. Articulating Your Key Message
What’s going to make people stop and engage with you?
…each person walking by your stand should be able to figure it out fast.
A fundamental focus question I use with my clients in our strategy sessions is:
“What do you want your visitors to walk away knowing about you?”
This magic question has a way of crystallising what’s essential. It’s an excellent place to start fine-tuning your critical message.
When you get this right,
It makes you more efficient. You won’t have to explain to people what your business does. The audience will end up self-qualifying themselves before they approach your stand.
You’ll find you’ll have more targeted conversations.
2. Create Momentum
It isn’t enough to rely on the show organiser to drum up your crowd. It’s up to you to get people to your stand and getting them there can often be a challenge.
You’ll need to stand out and connect with your audience,
Once you’ve workshopped your key message, look for ways to introduce this to them early in the piece.
You, may choose to create mystique and hint at the reveal of something?
Or go straight for the jugular with a direct offer that piques their interest?
It all comes down to giving them a real reason to get excited about seeing you at the show.
What you include in communications before – during – and after the show to extend the life of your event? Helping you stand out from the crowd!
Don’t, for even a second, think that it’s over when the show closes. Your communications for after the show need to be mapped out before you go to the show.
Your feet will be sore. You will want to be a couch potato. But this is where you need to work the hardest to make the most of your attendance.
3. Experiential is No Fad
Building on your key message, how can you further amplify the experience?
For most, experiential marketing is a flash mob or some crazy pop-up activation!
Think of it more as, the experience you’re creating for your customer.
Consider the five senses: see, feel, hear, smell and touch.
How can you incorporate these elements into a more compelling and enjoyable experience on your custom exhibition stand? The more thought you can give to this the more unique it will feel for your visitor.
4. Pick Your Team
Not every staff member is ideal for manning a stand – It’s important to be OK with that.
Some of the best salespeople struggle at exhibitions. They don’t have an hour to do a sales presentation; they only have a few minutes at the most.
In an ideal world, I recommend people bring a team with different strengths. You want the chatterboxes who can strike up a conversation with ease. You also want those who are fabulous at more in-depth discussions.
The key is to recognise the strengths of your team and have a plan for how you will manage the flow of your booth.
5. Customer journey
What steps are ideal for moving people through your sales cycle?
In the limited time you have with them on the stand,
what are the different paths one could take?
What are the milestones?
How long do you want each to spend on your stand?
What is your ultimate aim?
6. Lead Tracking Solutions
The core of reason you’re investing in exhibitions is to meet new people and move others along your sales cycle.
You’ll want to make sure all your efforts (and funding) don’t go to waste. It’s imperative to have a good lead tracking system set up.
Now I hate using ‘paper’ anything at exhibitions…
A business card is not a good lead…
…and lead forms on paper suck! As they need manual entry after the event, which is usually full of human errors.
Worse still, they can get lost and make the whole event a complete waste of time.
Your best solution for smooth lead tracking is a lead scanner that scans barcodes of visitor badges or an iPad app.
My personal favourite is a custom interactive solution. In which visitors can access product information and qualify themselves at the same time.
With the technology available. It makes sense to save your money by sending brochures to the show?
There’s also the added perk of being able to track what products are of interest. Regardless of which technology you pick – You will be able to export a list and continue marketing to them. There is no downtime. No excuses.
7. Enjoy the Process
Exhibitions are one of the more expensive marketing mediums. They also have the potential to draw a lot of business.
Anyone who makes sales calls will tell you they get voicemails more often than they speak to people. An exhibition allows you to have valuable face-to-face interactions with prospects without chasing anyone.
You’ll also get to present your brand personality via your custom exhibition stand, in a visual way which is much more efficient.
When you unlock your unique formula for getting results your team will start to see the importance of it. You want the team to rally around and get excited about your exhibitions. When they can see that it’s helping with their KPI’s you get some significant momentum. Empowered them to make suggestions, so they take ownership of the concept. That is how the excitement feeds through all areas of the business.