Exhibitions have the potential to offer an excellent return on investment but only if you know how to grab the interest of the passing footfall. Making the most of your stand involves focusing on two key things; attracting visitors and interacting with them once they are there. Get it right you can expect new connections, increased conversions and plenty of new business leads. However, with every stand at the show trying to do the same how can you be sure to stand out from the crowd?
Successful engagement has to start with getting visitors to your stand. Here are three tried-and-tested attention-grabbers:
Entertain. It could be a Scalextric track, Brazilian dancers or even a top celebrity brand ambassador! So long as it’s relevant to your company and the show, entertainment is a sure-fire way of grabbing visitor’s attention.
Workshops & Seminars. Most delegates are looking for new, innovative and workable solutions to business issues. So develop intriguing and well-researched topics that will inform and excite your target audience to demonstrate that your solutions meet their needs.
Technology. A gadget or two can act like a shiny object to a magpie! From the latest ‘must-have’ tech to fun sports simulators will have visitors queuing up to try.
So you’ve grabbed their attention, what are you going to do to engage their interest? There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do this, instead it’s best to combine a few techniques. Here are five ideas that have been used successfully on exhibition stands;
Coffee. It may sound obvious, but it does work! It’s often quite difficult to find good and inexpensive tea or coffee at events. By offering guests something that they’re actively looking for not only creates a positive psychological link with your brand it gives your staff the chance to chat while they’re being served.
Engaging Staff. There’s nothing more off putting to potential customer than disinterested or uninformed staff. Remember they represent your brand so pick your very best team. Take the time to train them to be friendly, knowledgeable and with that extra edge which makes delegates want to stop and chat further.
Videos. A high-quality video catches the eye and is a great way to showcase new products or energize existing ones. Make sure to include a call-to-action such QR-code, web address even phone numbers to increase follow-up contacts.
Live Tweets. Display a live Twitter feed and allow visitors to follow you, use your #hashtag and ask questions to your offsite social media sales team – helping to engage and inform your visitors even when all your on-site staff are busy.
Get your iPad out. Technology and cool gadgets not only help attract visitors to your stand, they can also 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 an iPad or tablet than a long paper form.
It is always important to follow up your new leads within a few days of the show closing. Try and make the contact personal as a personalised message is so much more memorable and will do wonders for the perception of you and your brand.
It’s All in the Planning
Exhibitions are a big commitment in terms of your time and money however organised correctly they can deliver huge rewards. So don’t leave things to chance, start planning your at-show campaign as soon as you’ve booked your stand space (if not before) and you’ll see your pre-event effort pay off with a considerably increase your return on investment.