Your guide to successful exhibiting

Exhibitions are one of the most powerful, versatile and cost-effective tools available. To get the most out of them, check out our top tips on effective exhibiting, covering everything from setting objectives and designing your stand, to following up and measuring effectiveness.

Top Tips

Part of your strategy

Exhibitions, like advertising, direct mail, PR and direct selling, are a strategic sales and marketing tool. They should be used as part of an overall marketing strategy, not in isolation.

Consider the benefits

To make the most of your participation, you need to understand exactly what benefits exhibitions offer:

  • Highly targeted – With their carefully focused profiles, and highly targeted audiences, exhibitions allow you to direct your sales and marketing effort accurately and cost-effectively, with minimum wastage.
  • The buyer comes to you – Exhibition visitors are pro-active buyers. They make a conscious decision to attend, and set aside valuable time to do so. Many are specifiers and influencers who it might otherwise be impossible to identify.
  • 3D sales & promotion – Nothing beats the impact of a live demonstration. At an exhibition, buyers can see, taste, touch and try your product for themselves.
  • Face to face contact – The most persuasive form of selling, and of building customer relationships.
  • Neutral sales environment – The buyer feels under no great pressure to buy, while the seller is not intimidated by visiting the buyer on his home territory.
  • Fast market penetration – You can reach a large proportion of the market in a short space of time, achieving more in four days than you might otherwise achieve in months.
  • A powerful combination – Exhibitions combine the mass reach of advertising, the targeting of direct mail, the persuasive power of face-to-face selling, and the networking benefits of the Internet, to create a unique environment in which a wide range of sales and marketing objectives can be pursued, either singly, or side by side.

Prepare Some Preliminary Costings

Costs vary enormously depending on the type of presence you want to have. There are some great value sites at Primex, but explore the most cost-effective way of displaying your site.

Be Realistic About Your Expectations

Exhibitions generate millions of dollars worth of business every year – but it is unusual for exhibitors to do so during the event. For most companies, the orders will come in the weeks and months after the show. You must be prepared to pursue your leads vigorously, and to track them on an on-going basis.

Launching a new product or service

Stands featuring new products are a major attraction for buyers and the media, the vast majority of whom attend exhibitions ‘to see what’s new’.

Penetrating a new market

Exhibiting is one of the quickest and most cost-effective means of exploring and entering a new market, providing mass exposure and an instant database of qualified sales prospects.

Building customer loyalty

Regular contact with customers shows that you care and exhibitions are an extremely time and cost-efficient means of keeping in touch.

Positioning/repositioning a company/brand

Exhibitions can be used to quickly establish a new identity or change market perceptions about a company and its capabilities.

Market research

Exhibitions bring together a complete cross-section of a market, making them ideal for customer research and offering instant feedback.

Recruiting new agents or distributors

Agents and distributors use trade exhibitions to find new companies to represent.

Obtaining competitive intelligence

Exhibitions are an excellent place to observe competitors and assess their products and marketing messages.

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