We have been attending and organising expos for many years and here are our top tips for exhibiting and visiting:
Exhibiting vs Visiting
When you exhibit this can put you straight in front of your ideal client but if you don’t prepare properly it can be ineffective. Have clear aims of what you want to achieve and who you are aiming at.
Once you have done your research and booked your stand we suggest you invest sometime in PRE-EVENT PUBLICITY
As an Exhibitor, let everyone know that are you exhibiting – when and where and send an email to your list.
If every Exhibitor sends out posts on social media and emails their contacts, the expo details will reach THOUSANDS of people especially if you do this on a regular basis in the run up to the event.
- Post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter and use the hash tag
- How about a video – sharing your news that you are exhibiting and a Facebook live on the day?
- Have something interesting on your stand which will draw people to speak to you. So, competitions, a prize draw, promotional gift item – anything interactive works well.
- You want to collect details of people who may be interested in using your products or services so make it relevant and have a box you can collect cards in
- Useful giveaways people will keep and use – promotional product giveaways such as pens, pads etc are a good idea and decide on something that fits with your brand. Ensure you have up to date brochures and business cards.
- Add to this your own colours and add a banner stand behind the stand/table
- Get out from behind the table and mix with the people. This is a networking opportunity and you need to interact with the visitors!
- Try and attend at least one of the networking events if they are being run during the event or before /after
- The outcomes from exhibiting or visiting the Expo depend on what you put in!
- Try to have 2 people there, its very difficult to maximise the opportunities with one person. Then you can have a session each going around and speaking with other exhibitors.
VISITING AN EXPO?
To make the most of an expo you need plan your visit accordingly.
Expos provide an excellent networking opportunity, along with opportunities for learning. You’ll meet new clients and suppliers, as well as fellow business people with whom you can form strategic partnerships with.
However, business expos can be overwhelming if you don’t prepare a list of objectives. You can’t do everything or meet everyone, so focus on what’s most central to you and your business.
Here are our five top tips on how you can get the most out of the day!
• Find out who is exhibiting and plan your visit – there are a wide range of industries and experts exhibiting and attending the show. Don’t just wait until you’re in dire need of their help, make sure you get to know them and what they can do for you.
• Business cards and memory -make sure you have LOTS of business cards. Also when you sort through the pile of business cards you’ve collected after the show, you won’t clearly remember many of the people you met. To jog your memory, jot down notes on the card when you receive it, including if they are a strong business prospect.
• Talk to people you don’t know – You might feel drawn to talk to people you’ve met before and reconnecting with them may prove beneficial if you haven’t spoken in some time. However, focus on talking to people you’ve never met.
• Attend the workshops – workshops that are free to attend not only serve as a learning opportunity but a chance to network too.
• Schedule Follow-Up Dates – When you meet people you want to talk with further, make sure you follow up, send them an email and plan to have a chat on the phone or meet for a coffee. Most businesses that attend expo’s do not follow up with their connections (this could be to your advantage, if you follow up and a competitor doesn’t).
AFTER THE EXPO
FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP!!
Email or call people and follow up on any discussions you had at the Expo, book 121’s in the diary!
(do nothing and nothing will happen!)
We have expos coming up:
30th April 2019 Luton
27th June 2019 Watford
5th November 2019 Bedford
Contact me for more details via email.
Guest blog by Debbie Gilbert
“The 3 Counties Business Expo brings together businesses from Beds, Herts and Bucks for a day full of opportunities. The programme includes networking events, exhibition stands to showcase your business, business workshops and free entry for visitors. A great way to make fresh new leads for your business, learn about various business topics, meet and connect with business owners across three adjoining counties.”