Participate in a trade show. If you take a good approach, you will be left with dozens of new leads. How do you guarantee an optimum return? Go through these ten steps to prepare for your exhibition participation!
Step 1 | Decide what you want to get out of your participation and how
At the trade show you will have the opportunity to generate a lot of interesting leads in a short period of time that you would otherwise never have come into contact with. Take that chance!
Determine concrete exhibition objectives together with colleagues (your exhibition team). Setting objectives in advance ensures that you make the stock market results measurable. In this way you have a frame of reference for your next exhibition participation.
Step 2 | Map important target groups
Investigate possibilities to target specific target groups. This can be done in various ways, for example via (direct) mail or telephone approach. Also think of search engine marketing and the use of social media.
Social media: use the possibilities of Twitter and networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to put the spotlight on the exhibition and your exhibition presence and to ‘trigger’ visitors to visit your stand.
Search engine marketing: develop a page on your website with all information about the exhibition and your participation in the exhibition. Use a Google AdWord campaign to attract visitors to this page (and therefore ultimately to your stand at the exhibition). Make sure you place a direct link to the ticket portal on the website so that visitors can easily order a ticket.
To give your regular customers and the relationships you already know a reason to visit you, it is important to tell them something new. Or invite them to your stand at a certain fixed time, for example for a joint lunch, together with other relations. So you have the rest of the day for those important new leads.
Invitation service: If you are an exhibitor at one of the Easyfairs fairs or events, you can participate in the free invitation service. This service has been created to attract sufficient quality visitors to the trade fair without having to do a lot of work on it. Tens to hundreds of invitations are sent from your name, so that your relations see that you are present during the exhibition or event. They are personally invited on your behalf. You have considerably increased the chance of meeting these companies on the stock exchange. You provide your relationship list prior to the exhibition via a secure environment that complies with the GDPR legislation. Easyfairs ensures that your relations receive an invitation from your name. Professional and effective!
Invite your prospects: Having long conversations with permanent relations is good for “the network”. But don’t forget the new prospects. This group is more difficult to approach, but with a little extra effort, the trade show is one of the most effective means of binding them to your company.
Step 3 | Research what your target group needs
Prior to your participation, take a good look at the website of the exhibition or the event in which you are participating. Here you can find the visitor profile where you can see who visited the exhibition in previous years and what the visitor’s information needs are. Example: a visitor mentions as the strongest point of a trade show; the innovations.
You should therefore point this target group to:
Make sure that you are specifically focused on your product or service. Do you want to have a long-term conversation with everyone or do you want to make a selection based on a few important questions?
Suppose you offer a service for a medium-sized company. Then it is important to know at the start of the conversation what kind of organization you are talking to. It is rather annoying for your conversation partner when he has spoken with you for half an hour, is interested and subsequently hears from you that he does not belong to your target group.
You must clearly map out the conditions that your new customer must meet in the preparation and brief them clearly to your stand crew.
Step 4 | Determine a measurable target
Goals motivate and stimulate your employees. You want to generate leads and results. And after the trade show, you want to be able to determine whether it has been successful and whether you will participate more often in a trade show or event.
The targets must of course be realistic. Make a note of the expectations, discuss them and meet again after the fair to evaluate the results. What did the trade show do for your brand and name recognition, what did you learn yourself? How many serious leads have you generated?
These are the people with whom you and your employees have agreed a follow-up. Consider an appointment, a telephone contact or send the specifically requested documentation, after which you can call again for further explanation.
Suppose you are on the stand for three days with five employees on the stand. The number of effective trading hours per day is six. That is 3 x 6 hours = 18 hours x 5 stand crew members = 90 hours. If one succeeds in generating two leads per hour, that means 180 leads in three days. Try to get that done with the normal sales effort of your sales advisors without a trade fair!
Step 5 | Develop a strategy to achieve the planned objectives
Have you formulated the objectives? Then it is now important to see how you will realize them.
There is a good chance that you will let the size of the stand depend on the price that you pay per square meter at the fair. In this step, contact with your Easyfairs contact person is also very important. He has a lot of experience and can advise you well. Your contact person can be found on the trade fair website.
Step 6 | Match your marketing to your exhibition participation
Make it clear in various expressions that you are going to participate in the exhibition and what you are going to present there. This can be done on your website, for example, with a banner stating the participation in the exhibition or in a special exhibition mailing to your relations and prospects. Do not hesitate to add an offer or a promotion to it so that your relationship feels attracted to visit your stand even more.
From Easyfairs you will receive a personal registration link and a collection of banners and expressions that you can use to promote your exhibition participation with your own relations and potential relations. You will also receive a digital invitation to personally invite your relations again to visit your exhibition, in addition to participating in the invitation service. All promotional materials can be found in My Easyfairs or on this website under the heading “How to promote the fair”.
Step 7 | Ensure thorough preparation of your stand staff
You can have such a thoughtful stand, it is the people on the stand who have to make it happen. Be aware that you will not get a second chance for a first impression. The preparation of the stand staff is without doubt one of the most important points of attention for your exhibition presentation. Together with the stand, your employees are the business card of your organization during your participation. For example, think about details such as clothing and it may be useful to designate a single point of contact that makes it easier to keep an overview during participation.
Step 8 | Think about an exhibition promotion
Add something extra to your stand! For example, organize something on your stand that will attract people to your stand or ensure interaction at your stand. Sound and movement, a presentation, or a demonstration easily attract the attention of passing visitors. Make sure you stand out among the many participants and that the visitor remembers your stand after the fair. Do you also think of the proverbial exhibition gadgets? Here too it applies: it must add something to your product or service and the employees in your stand must be able to do something with it, but handing out gadgets still ensures that your organization remains in the visitor’s mind even after the exhibition visit .
Easyfairs does everything (including the invitation service) to ensure that a high-quality group of visitors comes to the exhibition. This way we prevent that we attract visitors who do not meet the quality that we have in mind. Participating in the invitation service therefore contributes to the quality of the visitor and is therefore very important for the quality of your exhibition participation.
In addition to your booth, there are dozens of extra promotional possibilities that ensure more exposure. For example, toilet advertising, promotion in the exhibitor restaurant, outdoor advertising, or a red carpet with your logo. Place your extra promotional orders via My Easyfairs.
Pay attention! Order your trade show facilities such as electricity points, furniture and lighting before the early booking deadline that has been communicated to you in My Easyfairs and save up to 30%. After this date, we can no longer include the order in the regular preparation, which means that additional costs are involved. Make a note of the date in your agenda.
Step 9 | Ensure a good evaluation after the exhibition
Finally, it is advisable to evaluate the exhibition with the total group afterwards.
The answers to these questions provide guidance in the preparation of a possible new exhibition participation.
Complete the survey that you will receive after the fair, so that Easyfairs can include your assessment in the evaluation. Let your voice be heard so that Easyfairs can further develop the exhibition or event in which you have participated and can match your exhibition wishes. It is also good to stay in touch with the trade show organizer, Easyfairs organizes the trade fair for your industry or community. We are therefore happy to listen to your advice.
Step 10 | Plan a good follow-up
Plan a “FOLLOW-UP afternoon” immediately after your trade show. Send information to your leads or call them to make an appointment. Within all EasyGo packages you use the SmartBadge technology so that visitors can easily collect your information. Do you have a GoLeads, GoPlus or GoPremium package? Then with VisitConnect you can easily collect the data of the visitors you have spoken to. This prevents a stack of cluttered business cards after the exhibition and you manage everything digitally. Tracking your leads has never been this easy.
Always keep your promises. If you say that you will send something or call, do so. Use the goodwill that you have built up during exhibition interview!