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Before, During And After The Exhibition
March 31st, 2009

You’re struggling….I know. If you’re trying to organize the exhibition of your own company’s booth on your own and you’re a small enterprise lacking in manpower and funds, you’re not alone and I know it must be an uphill climb. There are just too many things to iron out to make your exhibition a successful one. Take into consideration these important points and get them ironed out FIRST before dealing with the rest. Let’s just say that these are the skeleton that you should get right before you put meat on top of them.

Before the exhibition. The strategy. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s really not. The strategy that you employ will determine the success rate of your exhibition. It’s not a cheap marketing effort to participate in an exhibition so don’t waste it by not straddling down on a solid strategy. Usually, I would advice my clients to begin with the ending – how do they intend to FOLLOW UP after the exhibition. It’s all about getting as many contacts as possible because you want leads and something to take home with you that you can work on in the future. It’s not always about making the sale right there and then….no, absolutely not. Set your sights a little further than that because all those people who walk into the exhibition hall are potential customers….right there and then and in the future as well.

Think about how you’re going to entice them to give you their personal information so that you can get in touch with them in the future….perhaps, a free promotional item in exchange for 3 leads? A discount coupon in exchange for their business card?

During the exhibition. First of all, don’t expect miracles to happen and they’ll happen. Do you best to make your booth as vibrant as possible – imagine yourself walking past a booth during an exhibition and ask yourself what would be JUST THE THING to catch your attention and make you stop and ask for more information? Use that because your instincts will tell you a lot of things.

Things like the quality of your exhibition stand, lighting, high quality presentations, graphics, posters and attentive people tend to attract a good crowd. Make full use of your pop-up displays, banners and posters stands, exhibition display shelves…place them in strategic places so that visitors can’t help but stop and take a look. A good first impression goes a long way so train your staff to represent your company in a positive light. Most people like to take home with them something free.

To them, it’s a free gift. To you, it’s a branding exercise so put in some effort to help them remember you in the near future whenever they use your free gift.

After the exhibition. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the follow-up to the exhibition is the most important part of the exercise. You’ve worked so hard to make the exhibition a success and you just CAN’T let it all go to waste. The emails and phone numbers that you’ve collected during the exhibition? Those are the contact points that you’ve earned from the exhibition. Give them a call or shot them an email to tell them how much you appreciate their interest and would like to share with them some information, remind them of a promotion, recommend a product or service, inform them that you’re always ready to be at their service.

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