Promotional Merchandising Specialist in Brighton   
  

11/09/17
You’ve made the investment. You’re actually doing it.

You’re an exhibitor at the Brighton Business Expo on Thursday 5th October at the Brighton Racecourse. Well done. You clearly take your marketing seriously.

The Brighton Business Expo will offer you a powerful way to generate good quality leads, forge new business contacts and catch up with existing customers.

However, do you know what to do to maximise your time and efforts before, during and importantly, after the event?

As a trade show exhibitor of some 30 years’ standing, I’ve experienced the good, bad and unfortunately, the ugly. Here are my top 10 tips to help you along the way to total exhibiting success:
  • BEFORE
Tell People You’re There
Social media is your friend. Log onto Twitter to tweet about the event and to connect with other exhibitors. (Our handle is @BrightonExpo, hashtag #BrightonExpo) Promote your stand on your Facebook business page and LinkedIn, of course.

If you have a newsletter database, it’s well worth letting your subscribers know that you’re at the show and that they should drop by as you may have a special offer (see below)
Don’t forget to tell people your stand number. You may even wish to use it in your email title – it’s a good attention grabber.

Promote Special Offers – If You Have Them and They’re Appropriate
In advance, draw people’s attention to discounts or special offers but only to people who visit you on your stand.

For example, consider offering a discount on your services if they place business with you within two weeks of the Expo; perhaps a two-for-one offer of some sort, or a free hour of your time to help a business in some way.

Let people know in advance that you will be offering a prize draw – a meal for two, vouchers, a bottle of champagne – whatever best reflects your business.

Plan to Run a Competition On Your Stand

Make sure it’s relevant to what you do. Think about a good prize, too - one that truly adds value or makes you memorable.

Consider Your Stand Well In Advance

What’s your message to your target market? It’s all about branding, so the “look and feel” of your stand needs to represent you and your business at its very best. First impressions count and yes, visitors will be judging you on the quality of your stand.
See below for more advice on your stand.

What Marketing Collateral Will You Have?

Business cards are a must; brochures and flyers are a good take-away, too.
And…

Have You Considered Merchandise and Promotional Gifts?

These are a great way to reinforce your brand.

As an exhibitor, Monk Marketing will be displaying our latest range of merchandise on Stand no. 16. You may even wish to think about Christmas gifts and yes, NOW is the time to start thinking about ways to thank your clients for their business during the year.

Choosing the right product is important as it will have your customer’s name on it; get it wrong and your working relationship may suffer! I have over 20,000 products on my database, so I can advise you on the most suitable one for your client and your budget.

  • DURING
Stand Up, Please

Sorry, your feet and your back may get a little sore but you will need to stay upright for several hours. Each stand has chairs, but don’t take the risk of looking less than professional by kicking back in your chair with your shoes off – just when your best-ever prospect walks by.

Smile

Greet people. Say “hello”. Be nice, be friendly, be approachable. Obvious, really.
And...
Put. Your. Phone. Away.

Take Regular Breaks

The above notwithstanding, take regular breaks to clear your head and have something to eat and drink. Make sure that you stay hydrated. Don’t eat or drink anything on your stand, it just doesn’t look too good.

Capture Data from Visitors

Have a bowl or a smart box of some sort in which to place business cards; you may also decide to have a clipboard to write notes and contact information. You’re human – you’ll simply forget who you spoke to otherwise.

Network with Other Exhibitors

Yes, yes, yes.
During quieter times, speak to your neighbours, find out what they do and follow up with as many of them as you can afterwards (see below). These people also take their marketing seriously and they’re people you really want to get to know.

Does Your Stand Look Really Good?

Make sure that you arrange your banners in a place they can be easily seen and read. Avoid a major Sales Prevention System by ensuring that they DON’T become barriers to people being able to approach and talk to you.

Show people what you do. If you’re a photographer or graphic designer, for example, do you have examples of your work to show people?

A table cloth is a good idea, ideally in a shade that complements your branding. Flowers are a nice touch if you have room and they’re not a distraction or likely to get knocked over.

Don’t Leave Early

As well as really spoiling the vibe and looking unprofessional, you’ll get in everyone’s way.
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  • AFTER
Follow Up

Like networking events, the success is always in the follow up. Everyone you speak to a trade or business exhibition could be a future customer or business partner so don’t waste a single contact.

Hot leads become warm leads then cool, then stone cold. And, it will happen quite quickly if you don’t capitalise on your successful day. Try the following:
  • Email or call within 24 hours to suggest meeting up for a coffee to find out more about your prospect’s business.
  • Follow your leads on social media, for example Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
  • Enter all the details onto a CRM (if you have one) for marketing in the future.
  • Use the visitor list for further lead generation.
  • Don’t give up: you may need to make several approaches before your dream prospect meets you.

So, all ready to shine?
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Will you be tired at the end of the day? Yes. Will your feet ache? Without a doubt. Will these tips help you to develop your business? Yes, they will. Will you have a really good day? Yes, you most certainly will.

Good luck!