We’re well and truly into exhibition season again and many businesses are recognising the benefits of getting out and exhibiting. I’m evangelical about the power exhibitions can have on your business – so much so that I’ve written a book about how small businesses can make a success of exhibitions. Exhibitions can help you build your database, raise your profile and generate paying clients – but only if they’re planned and executed carefully.
I work a lot with exhibition organisers – running “How to exhibit” seminars for their exhibitors and last week I had the pleasure of talking to exhibitors at the Best of Richmond’s Richmond Business Expo to help them understand some of the steps they can take to make sure of success. Here are some of the things I got them thinking about.
1. Know why you’re going and what you want to achieve. What’s your goal? Your key message? How can you tailor your message to the show? How can you tap into what’s motivating the visitors to attend the show?
2. Think creatively about how you can bring your business to life. And don’t settle for boring when it comes to design of your posters or your giveaways. Be creative, imaginative and bold.
3. Run a giveaway to capture data but make sure what you’re giving away is both relevant and enticing to the visitors. Bottle of champagne giveaways won’t build you a targeted list – just a list of people who want to win a bottle of champagne. Useless!
4. Follow up on your leads promptly - before your competitors do! Write emails and follow up letters beforehand and clear your diary for a couple of days following the show so that you can deal with the follow up properly.
5. Have a robust and targeted marketing plan that helps you build relationships with your leads, position yourself as an expert and keep yourself front of mind over the year that follows the event. Exhibition success doesn’t happen overnight so be prepared to work hard and it will pay dividends.
The Best of Richmond group were a wonderful bunch of exhibitors to speak to and I just know that along with all of the hands on support the Best of Richmond give their exhibitors that this is going to be another cracking show. You are a pleasure to work with as always and I look forward to seeing you all on the 12th April (do come along lovely readers too, won’t you? 3pm onwards at Twickenham Stadium, it’s a great event!).
Jacqui very kindly emailed me some feedback from the event which was just too lovely not to share with you!
Very inspirational– she gave me lots of ideas – Victoria, Colour and Craft
Brilliant, going to see her next week, see Fiona a lot on the circuit and her stands always make you want to go up to them, Lovely – Gary, Milestone Experts
Very inspiring – you just know her work would be brilliant
Brilliant presenter – knows her stuff, will definitely visit her if I exhibit anywhere next year – Helen Oakwater
Really helpful, definitely thinking about what I could now do, Alex, Artisan Accounts
Brilliant – really helpful, Michelle Luscombe
Oh, and if you’re really stuck, come and talk to me! I run a very limited number of one to one strategy sessions and I’ll help you take care of all of this with bells on… Email me if you’d like to know more.