Exhibitions That Work

Whether you’re an old hand or new to the world of exhibition marketing, one thing stands: the world of exhibitions is unique. Get it right and you will help to launch your brand into the stratosphere. Get it wrong and you won’t only miss your mark, you’ll also run the risk of damaging your brand with customers and competitors alike. That’s why it’s crucial to get it perfect, right from the start. Even if you’ve done the job many times before, don’t let that make you take your eye off the ball, not for one second. Instead, let us take you through this handy guide and get that list checked off and that exhibition up and running.

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The first thing you’re going to want to do is to take a look at the venue. You don’t have to take the very first site you’re offered. Instead have a look at where you are in regard to the entrance and exits. Importantly you’ll also want to know where your nearest competitors are too, so ask for a list of the exhibitors who are already signed up and see if there are any advantages of being close enough to keep an eye on the competition or far enough away to get on with your own thing uninterrupted.

Ensure that the exhibition is the right one for your company. Will it attract your customer base and does it represent a good investment? Don’t carry out marketing for the sake of it, stay focussed and attuned to your customers and their needs.

If you’re able to, take a look at the site first hand and see how easy set up and take down is going to be, if you can drive onto the site and so on. You might want to see how easy it is to get to as a visitor and how close public transport is, to get an idea of footfall. Sitting shivering in a large, empty space is no one’s idea of fun and does nothing to promote your brand.


Once you’ve decided to take up a stand, the hard work begins. You’ll need to liaise with your design team, either in-house or an outside source to come up  with some pull up banners and media boards that look fresh and attractive, standing out from a sea of other stands.

If you’ve been using the same old material for the last few years then now might be just the time to freshen up your look.

Besides the media material, you’ll also be looking at two further elements: your print material and your promotional merchandise.

Keep your print to a minimum and only produce paper documents that are strictly necessary. This will keep the cost down, save having to carry boxes of documents and boost your green credentials.

When it comes to merchandise, you’ll need to think about what makes your customers’ tick; what’s going to appeal to them most and bring them to your stand and more importantly, stay at your stand for you to properly engage with them.

Look for a Dynamic Gift that sets you apart from your competitors. This might be some clever tech, like glow in the dark USB leads or a camera lens that attaches to your phone. It might be slightly more high end such as a USB speaker or you might opt for something more traditional such as keyrings or pens.

You also have the option of clothing and accessories, from sweatshirts and caps to tote bags. There’s so much in the way of choice. Your decision, however, will be customer-led and will depend entirely on your customer research.

By the time you’re at this stage of your marketing work you will have a great idea of who your customer is. You’ll have created an avatar for your ideal customer, with a name, age, hobbies, interests, political leanings and so on. It’s this information that will inform your publicity and your promotional items.

Get the message out to customers and companies who you’re in contact with that you’re on the road and looking forward to meeting them in person. Let them know where you’ll be and what they can expect from you from visiting your stand. Reward loyalty where you can.

Before the big day, or days, you should start drawing up a list of objectives that you want to achieve over your exhibition. You might be looking to capture a few hundred email addresses or you might want to have made face-to-face contact with ten big customers in your industry. Whatever your goals, make sure they are realistic and can be monitored effectively so you’ll know if you’ve been successful.

On The Day

Get everyone on the team fully briefed bright and early. Make sure everyone is fed and ready to go. Have a task list set electronically, perhaps with some sharing software that allows you to tick off tasks as you go along. This will also show everyone back in the office how you’re doing and how many goals you’re checking off.

Make sure your team are all wearing something that clearly identifies them with your stand, such as some branded clothing.

Setting up and running exhibition is a huge undertaking. Staffing it on the day is merely the culmination of weeks of hard work getting ready. But it’s this build up and preparation beforehand that is absolutely crucial to your success.

Research your audience and know exactly what media is going to appeal to them. In the same way, take a good look at the venue and insist on a pitch that works perfectly for your layout. Make sure you’re just the right distance away from your industry rivals.

Then all you have to do is switch on the smiles and get talking to your customers face-to-face. Drumming up new customers and cementing relationships with the old, make sure you’re ready and raring to go.

Follow these tips today towards exhibition success that takes your business to new places.

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