If you’ve ever pondered the question are exhibitions worth it, you will have come up with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. You may have calculated the time and cost involved in exhibiting and, as a result, decided it wasn’t the right move for your brand.
Or you decided to take a calculated risk by exhibiting at a trade show or conference. Fueled by a strong marketing strategy relating to before, during and after the show, you reaped the rewards.
Which is it for your brand?
Exhibitions can be a great move for any business, established brands and start-ups. They can also be the right place to launch a product or give out samples or demonstrate a product.
Deciding whether exhibiting is the right move for your brand is only one part of the equation. Here’s what else you need to think about…
#1 Are you being realistic?
Exhibition, trade show and event organisers will always put a positive spin on the benefits and advantages of their event including footfall statistics to how much the show has grown over the years.
The reality of exhibitions is quite harsh – exhibiting at events makes for a long, tiring day, creating a hostile working environment for your team. The trade show floor is noisy, busy and hot.
And yet, it is fun, exciting and thrilling, especially when you make your first sale or have your first qualified lead.
Exhibitions are hard work, no doubt about it, and so you have to be realistic – is an exhibition something you and your team can handle on their own or do you need to hire promotional staff too?
#2 Are you at the right exhibition?
Before signing up and parting with a few pounds of your hard earned cash, you need to be 100% confident you have signed up for the right exhibition.
Again, it is about seeing past all the marketing and aligning your marketing strategy and goals with what the exhibition is offering. You might want to consider or research;
- WHO are the attendees? – there may be thousands of people pouring through the exhibition venue doors in London but are they your customer demographic?
- WHO else is exhibiting? – this isn’t about making sure you don’t clash with your competitors but checking to see if there are brands who complement yours.
- Knowing who else is exhibiting at the event gives you a clear idea of who the exhibition will appeal to.
- Are attendees looking to buy – not all exhibitions are set up as buying and selling events but more for networking and capturing leads. Make sure you understand why people are attending and adjust your exhibition booth accordingly.
#3 Do you have the right team?
Working a stand at an exhibition is not everyone’s idea of fun. Those awkward initial conversations, being unsure how to engage with people, the basics of how to qualify a lead or even to make a sale – you are asking a lot of someone whose skill set lies elsewhere.
Thus, making sure you have the right team is the cornerstone of a successful exhibition.
There are options for bringing along the best team for an exhibition;
- Training – you could train staff to become the sales and promotional team you need for the exhibitions in London and beyond you have booked for the coming year but, if that isn’t their job, will they want to do it?
- Hire exhibition staff – hire the people with the skills you need from brand ambassadors to salespeople, hiring a team of experienced experts is surely the better step forward for your next exhibition?
With planning and the right people and a great product or service, exhibitions are still a great marketing tool for any brand!