WELCOME TO THE SHOW
So you’ve decided to exhibit at Ideal Interiors Expo? Congratulations! You’ve made a wise and prudent decision.
Without question, exhibitions can be one of your most effective sales and marketing efforts, if done properly. You can accomplish more in three to five days at the right expo than you could in weeks or even months in the showroom or office, but only if you are prepared to take advantage of all the opportunities a event presents.
Many exhibitors enter the show unprepared. They end up making expensive appearances that deliver no meaningful or measurable contribution to their company’s sales and marketing objectives.
HERE ARE SEVEN CRITICAL TIPS that will help you get off on the right foot and make your next show a highly productive experience and a profitable investment.
Get Clear About What you are Really Buying. Most exhibitors think they are buying floor space, exposure, leads and so on. Successful exhibitors realize they are buying face-to-face contact in an environment strategically designed to facilitate interaction with a highly targeted market.
Give yourself Enough Time to Execute an Effective Exhibit. Many first-time exhibitors sign up for shows too close to show time. Ideally, you should sign up at least six months before the show to give yourself time to plan and prepare for a successful show experience.
Lay a Solid Foundation for Success. Many exhibitors rent space; send the exhibit, people, products and literature; and hope things work out. Successful exhibitors ask this question before the show: “At closing time, and within 90 to 180 days after the show, how we will know we were successful?” By determining in advance the specific outcomes they desire, they can create plans for achieving those outcomes.
Read your Exhibitor Service Manual Carefully. This critical tool, which goes mostly unused, will answer many of your questions and direct you to resources you need to execute your exhibit. A key piece of information you’ll find in this manual is order-deadline dates; missing them can increase your costs by 40% or more.
Don’t Throw a Party without Inviting Guests. Only 15% of exhibitors use targeted pre-show marketing to identify and attract the right people to their exhibit. Be one of the 15%. The competition for an attendee’s time is fierce. Successful exhibitors get on their target attendees’ “short” list before the show opens.
Prepare to Start the Real Work when the Show Closes. Exhibition-industry research finds that only 13% of leads are followed up. This costs exhibitors hundreds of millions of shillings in unrealized business. Whatever you get at the show in terms of orders is just the tip of the iceberg. For most companies, the real product of an exhibition is qualified leads.
Don’t Judge a Show from One Attempt: Most shows have thousands of attendees. It is virtually impossible to meet all of your prospective clients at one event. If the attendees at a show match your customer profile, you should commit to at least three consecutive expos before making any judgment on the event’s value to your company. If you have brought a good-quality product or service to the right show and are doing all the right things, there is no way you can fail.