Dementia Signage

Exhibition Tips to Gain Maximum Return on Investment

Exhibitions / Trade fairs can be extremely effective for making face-to-face contacts and sales or purchases, identifying suppliers and checking out competitors. However, the cost of attending or exhibiting at trade fairs can be high. To maximize the return on your investment of time, money, and energy, you should be very clear about your goals for the show and give yourself plenty of time for advance research and exhibition preparation.

Exhibition Tips to Gain Maximum Return on Investment
  • Set Goals

    Set specific goals for sales leads, developing product awareness, selling and positioning current customers, and gathering industry information. For example, target the numbers of contacts made, orders written, leads converted into sales, visitors at presentations, brochures or samples distributed, customers entertained, and seminars attended. You can also set goals for total revenue from sales, cost-to-return benefit ratio, amount of media coverage, and amount of competitor information gained.

  • Plan and rehearse your sales pitch in advance, preferably in a space similar to the size of your booth.

  • Your Stand

    Plan the display in your exhibition area carefully; you will have only a few seconds to grab the viewer's attention. Secure a location in a high-traffic area. For banners use copy that is brief and effective. Focus on the product and its benefits. Place promotional materials and giveaways near the back wall so that people have to enter your area, but make sure that they do not feel trapped. If you plan to use videotapes or other multimedia, make sure that you have enough space.

  • Your Behaviour

    Don't: sit, read, smoke, eat, or drink in the stand; bad-mouth your competitors or complain about the trade fair show; ignore stand with your back to the aisle or lean on furniture.

  • Your Appearance

    It is vital you appear professional, preferably all wearing matching uniforms, corporate shirts with matching trousers/skirts.

  • After the Exhibition

    Within a week write letters to new contacts and follow up on requests for literature. If you have press releases and questionnaires, send them out quickly as well. Even better, send these leads back to your office while you are still at the Exhibition so that your new contacts receive literature when they return home.

    Write a report evaluating your experiences while they are still fresh in your mind. Even if you don't have to prepare a formal report, spend some time organizing your thoughts on paper for future reference. Aim to quantify the results. Did you meet your goals? Why or why not? What would you do differently? What unforeseen costs or problems arose?

  • Enquiry Toolkit

    Ensure you have sufficient Enquiry Pads, preferably printed up for the Exhibition/Trade Fair, write with company pens, give out relevant details/brochures/business cards at every opportunity.

  • Review your exhibitor kit

    Is there a show theme that you can tie into? Pay particular attention to the show's hours and regulations, payment policies, shipping instructions and dates, telephone installation policies, security, fire regulations, and extra-cost services.

  • Be Relevant

    Gear your advertising and product demonstrations to the expected target audience. Should you stress certain aspects of your product line? Consider advertising in publications that will be distributed at the fair.

  • Attend to the details

    Order office supplies and printed materials that you will need for the show. Have all your paperwork-order forms, business cards, exhibitor kit and contract and so on-in order and at hand. Draw up a schedule for staffing the exhibition booth.

    Remember to take spare extension leads, fixing materials and ensure your display posters, banner stands, pop-ups are specifically geared to the event and are designed for maximum impact.

  • A lively and busy exhibition stand
  • Dealing with Enquiries

    Immediately after each contact, write down as much information as you can. Do not depend on remembering it. Several companies now make inexpensive portable business card scanners with optical character recognition (OCR) software to read the information into a contact management program.

    Qualify your prospects before launching into a full presentation. Are you dealing with the right person? Ask open-ended questions to discover the person's true interests.

    It is common sense but you need to appear enthusiastic for each new person coming onto the stand so make sure you take breaks, even if you have to schedule them. You'll end up having far more energy and being more effective.