Decide on what you want to achieve from your participation at the expo before it starts. The expo forms part of your marketing mix and contributes to your overall marketing efforts to generate sales.
TIP! Determine the main purpose of your participation at the expo (branding, sales, customer care or something entirely different?) and define clear objectives.
Concept: You have the full attention of your visitors when they visit your stand, so use the stand to its full potential and give your guests the best possible impression of your business and products.
TIP! Arrange your stand into different zones that follow the customer journey – right from welcome and product demonstration to the gathering of leads.
Activities: Plan activities to attract visitors. This could include anything from competitions, presentations and product demonstrations to give-aways and much, much more.
TIP! Decide whether you want to focus on quality or quantity and plan your activities accordingly.
Message: Visitors should be able to decode your messages quickly from a distance and be drawn to visit you.
TIP! Test your message before the expo. Get a third party to look at your stand for a few seconds and tell you what he or she remembers. This will give you an insight into whether your stand is sending the right messages and generating interest from the customer’s perspective.
Tell your customers and business partners that they can meet you at the expo – we’ll help of course, but nothing beats a direct invitation from you.
TIP! Generate interest in your stand before the expo via social media, the internet, newsletters, advertising and MCH’s online profiling opportunities. Perhaps generate the first potential leads through a direct mail campaign, where you invite guests and arrange meetings at the expo even before it starts.
Send the dream team
The staff on your stand are critically important – make sure you arrive with the perfect team of individuals who each have a clear role during the expo.
TIP! The staff on your stand are critically important – so make sure you arrive with the perfect team of individuals who each have a clear role during the expo. Divide your staff into three roles according to their expertise: ‘the catcher’, ‘the carer’ and ‘the closer’, so that the salesperson can do his job while the specialist does hers. Also consider whether to adopt a designated dress code for each of the roles.
You are the ones who have invited the visitors to your stand – that makes you the host.
TIP! Be proactive and welcoming and greet everyone with a smile. Focus on your guests – pocket your mobile phone and take your breaks somewhere else.
There is nothing worse than getting back home and realizing some of the information on your leads is missing.
TIP! Develop an easy system to enable you to note down the relevant information about your leads quickly and add one or two points that you have talked about to make it easy to recall the conversation afterwards.
Don’t let your hot leads get cold. Use this rule as a reminder: if you don’t follow up a lead within a week, the visitor will have forgotten about you.
TIP! Extend the expo by an extra day so that you already have set time aside to enable you promptly to follow up on the leads you have generated at the expo.
Evaluate the expo internally and document your experiences so that you can optimize your next expo involvement.
TIP! Since you will be following up on your leads, anyway, use the opportunity to ask visitors about their experience of your participation in the expo – to give you specific comments from customers that you can work with moving forward.