With an increasing number of exhibitions cropping up in Australia’s capital cities, spanning areas such as tech, franchising and exporting, many new businesses wrestle with the decision of paying for a stand at a trade show.
While it could reap rewards through exposure to potential clients and investors, having a solid attack plan and organised stand that will get you the benefits you seek is extremely important.
Here are five tips from trade show experts that could bring in the results you’re aiming for.
1. Set pre-show goals
Helen Mantellato, director of sales – exhibitions, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre:
“Setting pre-show, achievable targets for your tradeshow presence is essential for success and for future business.
“It’s important to consider who you’d like to do business with and think about inviting those prospective clients along – this is a great chance for some face-to-face time with clients in a more relaxed environment.
“Sending formal invitations with a small gift prior to an event can really boost attendance rates.
“Keep your tradeshow team motivated by setting some realistic goals, such as collecting a certain number of email addresses, approaching a certain number of delegates, or handing out a certain number of brochures.
“Although it’s important to remember that if your objectives are set too high, staff could become demotivated. A good way to avoid this is to rank your objectives in order of importance and don’t try to achieve too much.”
2. Attract attendees to your booth
Tim Stuart-Harris, general manager, ad:tech and iMedia, dmg Events:
“Think how you can engage the visitor using all five senses.
“To start with, visualise the feeling you want to deliver to attendees when they step into your booth space.
“Keep your area clean, open and inviting. Book a large enough space to properly display your information or ensure you design your booth and produce signage with your stand dimensions in mind.
“If space permits, create a casual area to sit down and have deeper conversations. Don’t overstaff, as attendees can get intimidated if they have to approach more than three staff.
“Create eye-catching signage with simple text and/or illustrations. Don’t provide a long list of what your company does in your signage – this more detailed information can be provided in your promotional collateral.
“Strategically place lighting within your trade show booth space to highlight logos and graphics or create fading motion.
“Ask yourself: Does your design communicate (1) Who you are (2) What you do and (3) How you can help.
“It’s good to have a fantastic looking stand, but attendees won’t engage with your staff if they don’t know if you’re relevant to their business.
“Audio-visual clips are a great way to engage, draw in attendees and provide information around the benefits of your products.
“Have upbeat engaging music to match the video that will not drive people mad. Ensure that any audio (music or video) is not intrusive to other exhibitors or attendees or it will have the opposite effect.
“Use interactive technology and have products on hand that the customers and touch, feel and sample.
“Appeal to the other senses (smell and taste) by providing a complementary barista coffee or fresh snacks that will attract extra attendees.
“Consider innovative ways of incorporating activity on your stand. Competitions, branded gifts, movement and presentations all get the visitor’s attention and provide an opportunity for engagement.
“If you do any live presentations ensure your presenter is professional and entertaining – remember they are a reflection on your company.”
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