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Tips when exhibiting at a trade show by Splat Marketing & PR

Trade exhibitions can be expensive, so it’s vital that you get the most out of your attendance at a trade show. At Splat Marketing & PR. being event management and food marketing specialists, here are some tips based on what I’ve learnt over the years.

1. Spread the Word

Make sure that people know that you are at the show! Start to spread the word prior to the event. Make sure that media information is produced and sent out well in advance of the show (to avoid missing important trade magazine deadlines). Don’t forget local media they always like a local business story! Consider taking an advert in a relevant trade magazine as another method to communicate. 

Why not send a generic email to all customers and prospects to advise of your attendance, any new lines that you’re presenting and of any relevant show offers? If you’ve key accounts or prestigious customers, then send a personal email inviting them to make an appointment - that way you’ll be able to set time aside to spend with them and from a practical point of view, it helps to ensure that there are sufficient staff to cover the stand!

It’s just as important to communicate during the show and that’s where social media can really help. A quick tweet of your stand or special offer can really benefit – but make sure you always tag in the show and use any relevant hashtags!

2. A stand that sells

Does your stay best portray your brand? A badly put together, unprofessional looking stand will have a serious negative effect on brand reputation. Tired, scruffy furniture, ill-fitting banners and a lack of detail won’t do you any favours! Make sure the stand is accessible for people to move around to view your range and don’t create a huge wall to stop customers looking into the stand; it simply implies that you’re not interested in face to face conversations! 

3. Make it interesting

Don’t just rely on graphics and product; make your stand interesting. Whether it’s sampling a new food or drink product, making it interactive for children or even hosting a drinks reception.

4. Staff it up

Ensure staff are trained – they know about the product range, new lines and have information to hand as prompts. This may sound simple, but I have had first hand experience of being ‘thrown in at the deep end’, expecting to man a stand without being told about all of the new lines that were available! Staff who are engaging, have a knowledge of the customer base (and potential time-wasters) ensure a professional and ‘slick’ operation. 

5. Follow up

This may sound absolutely basic, but I have gone into companies (who shall remain nameless) to find a huge pile of sales leads sitting on a desk that haven’t been followed up. Make sure that details are taken at the time so that when you return, you’re not left scratching your head as to what ‘Mr Smith’ requires. It is also useful to prioritise leads, dealing with all of the high priority in the first instance, and if you’ve hundreds of sales leads to plough through, send a holding email to everyone else advising that you’ve had an exceptionally busy show, you’ll get back to them ASAP but to contact you if they need information urgently.