How to maximise the ROI on your Exhibition Spend

We're big advocates of trade exhibitions here at PIF. Nothing beats the face to face approach if you want your business to get noticed in the Process Industry. Or any industry for that matter. But exhibitions don't come cheap. So how can you maximise your ROI and justify attending those crucial trade events? Follow these handy hints for a start.

Get tooled up

 

Exhibition organisers want as much footfall as possible. So take advantage of the avalanche of promotional materials that they provide to promote the event. From Twitter accounts and hashtags, to web banners, logos, sponsorship and advertising opportunities – there are plenty of tools at hand to get you noticed.

Twitter hashtag

If you invite them, they will come

Most buyers and media arrive arrive clued up with a jam-packed schedule. So it's in your best interests to hit your marketing channels HARD to create a proactive 'buzz' before the doors are even open. Also, ensure that any meetings with key suppliers, buyers and industry contacts are locked in well before you arrive.

Location is everything

If you're going to shell out for an expensive stand make sure it's in the best possible location. Being tucked out of sight beside the toilets isn't a great pre-cursor for new business or passing trade. Do your homework and book your ideal slot early. Remember though, if you're offered a deal that sounds too good to be true it almost certainly is.

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Practice makes perfect

Act out role-play scenarios with your exhibition staff beforehand making sure to practice answering frequently asked questions. Everyone should be fully clued up about your hot new products, full product range, and all their associated benefits.

Stand out from the crowd

Let's face it, most people go to trade events to find the next big thing. Sure you might have a world-beating product range but keep your messaging focussed. Bring those cutting edge new products to the fore to position your business ahead of your competitors.

Be Innovative

Apple exhibition stand

Bring your unique product to life by demonstrating it in the most engaging and imaginative way possible. If you can recreate the end user experience as vividly as possible you'll not only entice customers to your stand but you'll give them a reason to stay as well.

Once more with feeling

Reciting a script in a monotone style with the enthusiasm of a bored teenager isn't exactly how to capture hearts and minds. Find out about your customers' needs and provide the solutions to their everyday issues. If you're engaging, logic dictates that they'll in turn be engaged and far more likely to do business with you.

Knowledge is power

Always try to glean as much about your visitors as possible to use to your advantage. If there are badge scanners get using them for vital commercial insights. That next hand you shake could be a new or existing customer, supplier or even an inquisitive competitor.

Give it your all

It's always a slog; the hours of preparation, manning the stand, the schmoozing and occasional boozing. But it's worth the effort. Show some genuine passion for your products and you're sure to welcome droves of visitors and make countless new connections as a result.

Strike while the iron's hot

Email marketing

You've done the hard yards, pressed the flesh and collected the business cards. Now invest some quality times importing those all-important contact details into your databases and make contact with a phone call or personalized email to arrange a follow-up meeting or even close that sale.

Employ a few of these tips and we're sure you'll enjoy a productive and lucrative exhibition season in 2014.

Visit Brandwave for more on this topic.

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