Prepare your budget
Investment shouldn’t stop at the stand; your budget should include additional costs such as marketing (direct mail, social media, link building, etc), staff training, promotional items, and advertising.
Publicity and promotion
Your pre-event sales and marketing activities will aid your success on the day. You need your target audience to know you’ll be exhibiting.
- Think about visitor promotion – email your contacts, make sure your YBM Exhibitor Listing is included and correct.
- Think what would entice visitors to give up their time to come to the Business Market to see you.
- Invite all your prospects, lapsed clients and minor prospects. Ask the organiser for a supply of printed visitor leaflets or PDF files you can circulate.
- Include the event on your website and in all your e-mails; include a small YBM logo incorporating our web link, which you can obtain from the organisers.
- Use social media before, during and after the event. Send invitations via LinkedIn to targeted prospects and clients.
Stand space requirements
Do not skimp on space! The more frontage you have, the more display to entice visitors! Check what’s available, then plan the best and most eye-catching stand available. Talk to your suppliers about pop-up banners, signage, printing, promotional gifts, etc.
Consider the resources and services you need to create the most effective presence on the day. Do you need a plasma screen; different chairs (like bar stools); a table cloth in your corporate colours including your logo, etc? If you need electricity, make sure you have a supply of PAT tested leads with you.
Graphics on the stand
Make your display stand out using clever design or a compelling promotion. It is important your display gives an immediate indication of your main products or services and captures the visitors’ interest. Less is more so keep it simple. Don’t clutter your stand with too many messages – go for quality and clarity – not quantity. Keep text to a minimum and focus on visual media, such as images taken by a professional photographer.
If you need advice, search the Harrogate District Chamber online database for marketing companies www.harrogatechamber.co.uk.
Freebies and competitions
Attract people to your stand with giveaways and competitions. Business card draws are useful for collecting details, but thinking competitions are more engaging. Use social media to publicise what you’re offering at your stand.
The right approach
How you interact with the decision-makers who attend the event will determine if the event is successful for your organisation. If the person manning your stand is approachable and engaging, visitors will be more inclined to interact. If you’re preoccupied with your phone or believe in the ‘hard sell’, people will avoid your stand. Be open, natural, and friendly.
Train your Staff
Your success at the Business Market will be determined by the skills of the people on the stand. The event lasts six hours, which is a long time for continuous selling, so inexperienced staff would benefit from some training. Watch our useful video: How to Make an Exhibition of Yourself.
Staff appearance and behaviour
- Business attire or smart casual is appropriate for a business exhibition.
- Avoid blocking other stands when pitching to visitors.
- Prepare a very short “elevator pitch” to make it clear what you have to offer.
- Be friendly and smile when you make a new contact. A firm handshake gives confidence.
- Exchange business cards and make a note of what you’ve discussed with each contact.
- Don’t keep anyone talking too long; they have other stands to see and you need to catch other visitors!
- Be alert and available when on your stand; if you look bored or are on your phone, no one will come near you.
- Use quiet moments to introduce your company to other exhibitors. If you have sufficient staff on duty, take the opportunity to tour round the market.
Know how to measure your success
The most common way to calculate ROI is through lead conversion; however the exposure from exhibiting at YBM is also valuable. And you might also negotiate money-saving deals with new suppliers you met through the event.
Follow up contacts
The work doesn’t stop when the event closes. Follow up potential leads the next day if possible. Before the show takes place, agree an action plan of how to capture leads and who will follow them up.
For effective exhibiting, combine a great looking stand with trained and motivated staff that can approach potential customers, engage them in conversation about the products on display, secure their interest and follow up the lead.
- Make your stand look interesting, attractive, and open for business
- Make sure your staff are up to it – motivated, trained, and welcoming
- Plan and understand how to engage with your potential customers
- Follow up every lead – and keep in touch with all genuine prospects
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