The North West Business Expo is just over two weeks away. Exhibition stands sold out more quickly than any previous expo, such is the appetite amongst businesses to promote products and services to a wider business community.
If you’re one of our exhibitors, you will naturally be considering how to make the most out of your involvement.
We’d strongly advise that you don’t arrive on the day without a plan! In fact, planning for the expo should have already begun. Here, we share some tips on making the North West Business Expo a successful event for the growth of your business.
In the run up to the expo you should dedicate some time and resources to designing and promoting your stand.
· Make sure you have banners and/or other promotional materials that are on-brand and eye-catching. Remember, you will be one of many exhibitors all vying for the attention of visitors, so you need to stand out.
· Invest in some branded promotional giveaways such as stationery, mouse mats, coffee tumblers or bags. These create a lasting impression. Consider what you will give away to everybody, and hold back some higher value items only for people you have promising conversations with.
· Consider having an interactive element on your stand, such as a game or competition as this draws people in and provides a fun icebreaker. If you decide to have a prize draw, think of a prize that is unique and worth winning. You need to give yourself plenty of time to buy or build these aspects of your stand.
· In the weeks before the expo, promote your involvement on social media. Use the event hashtag, which for the North West Business Expo is #NWBE2022. Also search the hashtag to see who else is exhibiting and join in the conversation across all platforms.
· If you have an email subscriber list, send them a note to say you are exhibiting and invite them to come and see you.
· Add the expo banner to your email address so all contacts know you’re exhibiting.
How to run the stand during the expo
Many businesses make the mistake of arriving at the expo just in time, grabbing a coffee and sitting behind a desk for the duration of the event. We’d strongly recommend a more proactive approach!
· Take a look at the list of fellow exhibitors at the event. If there are any you would like to talk to, introduce yourself before the event opens its doors. Selling to a stand isn’t great etiquette during an expo, so use the hour before the start as a networking opportunity.
· At the same time, check out your competitors. What have they got on their stands? How can you compete?
· Once the doors have opened, don’t sit behind a desk. Position yourself in front of your stand, so you can say hello to all visitors. Have some icebreakers and questions ready. Offer your promotional gifts, ask people to take part in your competition or if they’d like to enter your prize draw. Engage with your exhibitor neighbours. All this activity will create a buzz around your stand that relaxes people and encourages them to chat to you.
· Take business cards or contact details of people of interest and note what they said and how it was agreed that the conversation will be followed up. This is important – a pile of business cards at the end of a busy day won’t be enough to remind you of who said what and why you should be contacting them.
Following up on an exhibition
If you’ve invested in an exhibition stand and the time and resources associated with it, the worst thing you can do is to fail to follow up on enquiries. Follow up quickly and remind the contacts about your conversation, if possible suggesting a date and venue to meet.
Continue to follow the expo hashtag and post on your social channels how you enjoyed the event and that you made some great connections that you’re looking forward to catching up with.