Creating a positive trade show experience can be challenging for any business. So, to help ensure you maximise every opportunity within your exhibition stand, we’re sharing our 4 key strategies for success. Our tips and advice offer sure-fire ways you can make your stand a big hit with delegates.
To bring our strategies to life, we’re using MECHANEX 2019 – the regional trade show for auto repair professionals - as our example conference. MECHANEX Manchester 2019 is taking place on 14-15 May 2019 at EventCity and MECHANEX Sandown 2019 is 05-06 Nov 2019 at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher. It is the only regional trade show dedicated to automotive businesses. With this example, we will demonstrate some of the creative and effective ways you can engage an audience at a specialist event.
Ultimately, our advice is simple. Read on to find out how to make the most of your stand!
Attracting delegates is vital to the success of your stand. You may have amazing giveaways and interesting literature but how do you ensure delegates notice you?
Time to put yourself in the shoes of a delegate; the wary attendee with eyes glued to the floor in fear of being pounced on by exhibitors. What would make someone like this stop and notice your exhibition stand? How about partnering with a local, independent café to set up a coffee machine on your stall? You will be a welcome sight and you could even brand the takeaway mugs you provide.
Think about timings. When the exhibition opens, everyone is raring to go, and energy is high. But attendees will be orientating themselves before engaging in any meaningful conversations. So, don’t swoop in, be patient, but don’t stand back either. Help them with the map, offer them a printed sticker for the map so they can remember the location of your stand, or give them a token they can use to play a game at your stand later.
At lunchtime, everyone will be swarming around the seating and catering facilities. Why not leave the safety net of your stand, wander over and offer them branded coasters for their drinks… with details of where they can find your stand!
Later in the day, there will be a definite lull, so branded energy drinks or sweets could provide a much-needed sugar rush and some soft seating will be sure to attract tired feet.
And don’t forget to use live social media throughout your event! Perhaps run a limited time giveaway – “first person to get to our stand in the next 30 seconds and shout wins a high value prize”, like a super-useful laptop bag.
Now you’ve attracted delegates to your stand, how do you keep them there?
Add an interactive element to your stand. It could be a challenge, a game or a quiz. Offer progressively higher value items as prizes to really get delegates competitive nature buzzing. For example, a car sticker for taking part, a mug for getting to stage 1, a cool gadget for getting to stage 2 and perhaps some champagne with branded glasses for any winners!
Introduce a hashtag. Reward those that use it, either on the day - ‘thanks Ben, come and collect your free polo shirt at stand 10’ - or after - ‘thanks Reg, drop us a message to receive your thank-you gift for spreading the word’.
In a sea of exhibitors and an abundance of giveaways and goody bags, you need to find something that will help you be retained and remembered, long after the event.
Don’t hold back on the freebies. Attendees love a generous stand! Even if they don’t particularly engage with you on the day, don’t dismiss them as time wasters. They may be time constrained, distracted or even a little shy. But if they take something branded and useful away with them, they have every opportunity to remember you in the future.
Everyone exhibiting will have some form of giveaway so make sure yours is memorable like a power bank, valuable like a wireless charge pad or useful like an umbrella - perfect for a conference like Mechanex that takes place in Manchester!
Be relevant. Quirky is good and humour is always a winner, but being relevant is vital. Ice scrapers for windscreen technology, tools for diagnostic companies, thread checkers for tyre specialists! All perfect for automotive professionals.
The end of the conference doesn’t mean the end of the conversation.
Make sure you use the badge scanner, this way you can follow up with everyone you spoke to. Most people accept that this happens at a conference, but a small freebie such as a branded pen or keyring can often sweeten the deal.
Help jog the memory of attendees by including a picture of your stand, your sales team or your merchandise in your follow up email. Attendees see so many people in a day it’s a great way to re-connect with them.
Why limit your follow-up correspondence to an email? For your most valuable prospects or hot leads, do your research and send them something in the post like one of these air fresheners. You will certainly stand out!
We chose an auto professional trade show such as MECHANEX 2019 as our example for this blog, but whichever group of professionals your company is trying to reach, we have a wide range of customisable stock to help you do it.
Every UK Corporate Gifts client has a dedicated account manager ready to support you every step of the way. From advice about which products would appeal to your audience, to bespoke presentations with different product ideas to help get your team or boss onboard.
You can find our full range in our trade show page or, for more information, you can speak with a UK Corporate Gifts advisor on 01204 577 955.