Your stand is out, but you don’t stand out. It’s a common problem for businesses at large exhibition events, and with £2.7 billion spent on them in 2010; it’s one you can’t afford to ignore.
But just because consumers at Prolific North Live will be surrounded by hundreds of exciting exhibitors, like a kid in a sweet shop, it doesn’t mean you should just hand out free lollipops like everyone else.
Here are seven creative ways to get people to approach, and then stay, at your exhibition stand.
Let people know you’re there!
Before the event, get people excited that you’ll be attending with effective pre-show build up. Engaging social posts, blogs and newsletters are all great ways to interest and remind people about your presence at the exhibition. You could even create an original hashtag that incorporates the event name and your location in it, for example #PNLiveStand93, and use your existing channels and social media influencers for its promotion.
Host a competition
Host a competition that’s beneficial to both parties; include a fun activity and a data capture opportunity. Be sure to make it relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a TV production company that wants to promote the fact you’ve been involved in a successful TV show, the question could revolve around guessing the ratings it received. It would also be great if the prize was branded, or relevant to your organisation – said TV production company could offer free tickets to a live show recording. People will then be drawn back to your stand to find out whether they’ve won, offering you another opportunity to reinforce your work. This article by XLDisplays offers some great advice and ideas for exhibition competitions.
Offer interesting, long term gifts
Fun and relevant freebies that consumers want to hang on to will create a long-term positive impression of your brand, and ones that keep people at your stand for a while so you can interact with them are even better. A creative agency may want to employ a caricaturist to be stationed at their stall, as this provides consumers with an interesting gift and also keeps them long enough for the agency to explain their work and gather their details.
Teach people a skill
By teaching consumers a quick and easy skill that they can use in their personal life; you will be positively reinforcing your business, whilst also giving you a chance to chat to them and collect their details in the process. For example, a video production company could offer tips on filming on mobiles, and create a quick piece of content for a visitor whilst they’re at the stand.
Offer high-tech toys
People are always interested in new technology, and any way you can demonstrate it to customers will help to promote your business. If you are a video game production company, it might be a good idea to let customers try out a VR headset – customers will be desperate to experience this new and exciting form of technology, creating a priceless buzz around your stand.
An inexpensive drink may be few and far between at busy exhibitions, so by offering tea and coffee you will be attracting a lot of thirsty consumers. Also, hot drinks may take a while to brew and cool down, which offers you a perfect opportunity to engage the visitor in conversation about the services and products you provide.
However you’ve attracted visitors to your stand and captured their data, it’s imperative you contact them in the following few days to solidify your relationship. However, research shows just one email isn’t enough – it takes around 6-8 contacts between business and consumer to generate a viable lead. Be sure to remind them about your services and if possible, address them by name – a personal message is extremely memorable and effective.
Do you have any suggestions? Let us know on Twitter.
About the author
Simon Landi is one of the founding members of Manchester-based marketing communications and web development agency Access, and has been running the business since 1999. With extensive experience across many sectors including travel & tourism, B2B and not for profit, Simon’s background has seen him work for a variety of household names. His focus on engaging with customers at every stage of their journey, inspired him to develop Access’ very own live event social media tool EventStreamLive