Exhibitions are a great way to build sales and leads, but how do you make sure your stand maximizes every opportunity? We look at what you and your exhibition stand designer can do to make your stand a sales success.
When it comes to the benefits of planning, all exhibitions are the same. Being prepared will help you succeed every time.
Although it is important to remember with exhibitions planning doesn’t just mean booking your place and turning up. You need to understand exactly what you need from the event, whether that is direct ROI, awareness or something else.
By knowing your goals, you can plan strategies to achieve them. Goals based on ROI are usually the simplest to measure as you can look at precisely what you did and how much that returned. Whatever your goals, it is important to measure them throughout to understand how successful your exhibition was.
The design of your stand is crucial. If you want people to stop and act, then you need to make that clear and easy to do.
Stand designs that inspire engagement and action tend to work best. By making your stand somewhere people can interact with your brand in fun or interesting ways you can also create opportunities.
Your stand’s design needs to understand your goals and work towards them. Clearly telling people how your product or service can work for them, and how stopping on your stand can quickly show them this all done in an unexpected way.
Building your stand around this goal will help you achieve it.
Your stand’s design is only half the story. The other half is the staff you have on the stand.
Your staff are vital to making your stand a success. They are what will turn your stand into an experience. Engaging with people personally and directly to help drive sales and brand awareness.
To do this effectively they need all the tools you can give them. Most importantly they need information. They need to have everything to hand, being able to answer any questions people may have immediately.
With the right training, they are the most effective element of driving sales or any other goals you have for your exhibition.
For audiences, the more interactive your stand is the more likely they are to engage with it.
By including elements on your stand that audiences can take part in you can help build interest in your brand. These elements will drive sales through positive exposure either on the site and beyond.
Work out what your key goals are and speak to your stand designers about how you can turn these into fun or engaging activities or experiences. What questions would your audience have and how can you bring the answers to them to life.
By showing people how your product or service can work for them will help lay the groundwork for sales.
Make sure you collect every piece of available information you can from everyone you speak to. Even if your goals are sales, email addresses and so on, remember everything is valuable.
If people don’t buy immediately, it doesn’t mean they won’t. Where possible listen for drivers, like timings or cost. Drivers against immediate purchases can help post-show planning.
Information might point to the possibility of pushing adverts at key times or at other events important to your audience. Or it may allow you develop offers and bundles that respond to audience concerns or needs.
Any interaction is an opportunity, even if it isn’t a direct sale on the day. Tools available such as digital lead retrieval to can help you collect, store, and manage all your leads. With a lead retrieval app, you can your own phone or tablet as a lead retrieval device.
Listen and ask
When speaking to people on your stand make sure you and your staff are listening to them. Even if sales are your goal you are not there to “sell”, you are there to answer their questions and help them decide if your product or service is right for them.
It should never be just listing the benefits of the product. Instead, you need to understand how to make your product relevant to each individual audience.
Your stand can only introduce the product, it is then down to you to listen to your audience and understand their particular needs.
Check out the competition
Both before and during the show it pays to know what your competitors are doing.
Find out which of your competitors is attending, and where possible what they have planned. Knowing who else will be there can help inform how you approach your goals.
To drive sales do you need to be cautious about pricing or messaging? Do you need to respond to what your competitors offer directly, or can you find interesting ways to outshine them?
By understanding who is there, you can use this information to help drive sales and any other goals you have.
Also on the day take time to look at what your competitors are doing at the show. Do you need to respond, can you amend anything you are doing to benefit from something they have forgotten and so on.
Knowing this can help inspire you for your next exhibition. Letting you come up with even more interesting and exciting ways to engage with your audiences.
Author Bio: Mark Gill has been with DMN Design Build since 1997 when he started his career with the firm as a joiner. He now heads up the production team, managing the process from prototype to handover, specializing in exhibition stands design and exhibition services.