At an exhibition, you have, on average, 3 to 5 seconds to grab people’s attention. If you don’t, your competitors will. There are many ways to entice visitors to your stand, here are just a few to get you started.
Before the event:
Send out a newsletter or announcement email
Let your clients, or potential clients, know that you are going. This should be done about 6 to 8 weeks before the show is taking place to give people enough time to schedule a visit.
Send a personal invitation to existing clients, or contacts you wish were clients, by letter, telephone or email
Similarly to the above, this should be communicated 6 to 8 weeks in advance.
PR and paid advertising
Advertising your attendance in industry magazines is a great way to capture the attention of your target audience. As industry magazines are trusted publications, audiences are more likely to engage with your content.
Use services such as Google AdWords to pay for ads that will appear when people search for that particular exhibition. You will only be charged when people click on your ad, which means that your listing will show up in search results for free until someone clicks on it.
Get your potential targets interacting with you early on by tweeting them to let them know you are looking forward to seeing them. Find out the relevant #hashtags being used by the show organisers to broaden the audience of your tweets. Remember that this is not all about just coming up with great content, make sure you are ready to respond to any replies or questions that come your way.
Put your business in the spotlight. A strong presence at a show positions you as an authority in your industry. Sponsorship should get your logo featured in the programme book as well as on the website, which is great for brand awareness.
During the day:
As mentioned above, use appropriate #hashtags, inform potential visitors where you are and engage with them by tweeting at them directly.
A high-quality video playing on stand is eye-catching, stimulating and informative.
Tablets are a little ubiquitous and probably will not attract a crowd, however, they can be a great way of gathering contact details, completing surveys and demonstrating your products. People are far more likely to leave their contact details on a tablet than a long paper form. With the arrival of virtual reality headsets this year, virtual reality experiences at exhibitions are a great way to drive audience engagement.
Get visitors to participate in demos
Demonstrations of your products on stand are engaging and tactile.
Have something new every exhibition
If you regularly attend the same show, make sure visitors do not lose interest in your stand by providing them with something different every year.
Ask visitors to write their answer to an easy question on the back of their business card and pop it into a box. You could even pick your favourite as the winner! Never give out an irrelevant prize, like an iPad, otherwise, anyone may wish to enter the draw. To attract the right kind of client, always make your prizes relevant to your business, such as a lunch and learn workshop or a free trial of your service or product.
Body language will be discussed in much more detail in a subsequent article, but a great way to attract people to your stand is to smile!
How to get rid of people!
In contrast to the above, you may also need to learn how to (nicely!) get rid of people on your stand that you don’t want to talk to! You can do this by politely thanking them for talking to you, shaking their hand and moving your body away from them.
Some things to bear in mind regarding people you don’t want to talk to:
- Be careful not to be judgemental of other people’s clothes and job titles.
- Make sure that you are not looking at people’s badges, but making eye contact with them.
- Don’t be rude to students! They could be a future MD or could even be an apprentice who will feedback to their MD.
By following the advice in this article, you will know how to drive the right kind of traffic to your stand.
Global Displays Ltd are exhibition experts, having been at the forefront of exhibition stand design and construction for over thirty years. We develop enduring relationships with our clients by providing them with excellent customer service and creating value for them every time.
To find out how we can help you, give us a call on +44 (0)1905 797978 or email [email protected]