15 Feb Selling at an exhibition: The Exhibitors Guide!
Exhibition season is almost upon us and WOWZERS, we can’t wait to be back! Back shaking hands, back talking business, back meeting new people and back cheers-ing in the bar after the show!
You’ve spent all this money on your stand, and now the pressure is on to make a decent return on that investment. What are the key things you need to remember when trying to sell at an exhibition?
No probs, we’ve got you! We’ve put together a handy list of things to remember when selling at an exhibition. Before the exhibition starts; during the day; and after everyone has gone home again.
– Plan, plan, plan! Remember, the more you plan, the more you will get out of the exhibition. Who is exhibiting? Who is attending? Who is speaking on stage? You can find this information either via the exhibitions app if they have one, or doing a good old stalk on social media. If there are any juicy new leads there, why not go one step further and get in touch to arrange an appointment on your stand? You have nothing to lose!
– Tell the whole world that you are exhibiting – be loud and proud on socials! Exhibition organisers love this as it gets them more traction on social media, but it will also get you noticed and will encourage more people to come and visit your stand.
– Remember to think ‘sustainability’ throughout all planning of the show. Don’t give out flyers and leaflets (I know they look swanky but trust me when I say they will get thrown in the bin!). Think of an alternative to business cards too. If you can do anything at all to reduce your waste during and at the end of the show, please do it.
– There are some bugbears that I’ve just got to get out of the way first. Number one: Don’t sit down on your stand. I know – you’ve got heels on and your feet hurt! But bring flat shoes with you, because sitting down makes you much less engaging and will discourage people from coming up to chat to you. Number two: I’m afraid the same applies for using your phone and eating on your stand. Neither of them makes you look approachable, so just don’t do them when you are exhibiting.
– Of course, I totally understand that you will need a break during the day. You need to have lunch, and you will definitely want to walk around the exhibition as well. So, make sure you have more than just you on the stand. Ideally, 2 people to be there all day but if not, then someone you know and trust who can cover the stand whilst you pop off for a bit.
– Capture as much data as possible! When you have conversations with people, write everything down. Always remember to take phone numbers and email addresses, and if you don’t manage to write all information down during the conversation, scribble it down quickly straight afterwards. Otherwise, it will fall out of your brain!
– Perhaps the most important point of them all … be DIFFERENT! Don’t be just another stand with a pop up banner and some sweets to give away. Think out of the box. The more you stand out, the better. Be creative and get noticed!
– So, you’ve had a smashing day full of juicy conversations and you can’t wait to tell your boss! But just remember – all sales will be made in the follow up after the show. It is very rare to get an enquiry and confirmation on the day of an exhibition, so it is up to you as a salesperson to reach out to everyone INDIVIDUALLY (no bulk-emails that aren’t tailored please!) to arrange appointments and to have further conversations. I guarantee you won’t reach your ROI without doing this.
So, there you have it. Whoever said exhibiting at a show was easy huh?! Have great fun, and make sure you are selling at the exhibition effectively to get that ROI. Go and smash it!
If you would like help to increase ROI by writing a formal strategy around the shows that you are exhibiting at this year, drop Kate an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.