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Trade Show Exhibiting Tips

Participation in a trade exhibition is an essential weapon in the marketing armoury – and like any weapon it has to handled with care, skill and attention if it is not to go off at half-cock. Its effective use requires careful preparation and training. Incorporate it into the total marketing strategy and it becomes a tactical device which, when aimed at the right target, can trigger a highly successful campaign. Preparation All craftsmen will confirm that a good job depends on good preparation. Tell everyone in your organisation that your company is going to take a stand at the exhibition. Everyone may have something very worthwhile to contribute to your ultimate success.

Communicate Create a small Action Committee and appoint one of its members as Exhibition Co-ordinator with responsibility for all aspects of your participation – and the authority to get all things down. Allocate a budget and set a regular agenda with a clear timescale for each action. Look again at what you have booked. Is it space only? A shell stand? Or an all-in- package? – is it what you need? Space Only – i. chalk marks on the floor. This means you have simply rented some empty floor space on which you have to pay to have a stand erected. You’ll need to appoint a stand contractor/designer. Shell Stand – i. in addition to the floor space you have rented a simple structure usually comprising two or three walls, carpet tiles, name board and a lattice work or muslin ceiling. Check if other items such as lighting or stand cleaning are included in the purchase price. If you have your own demountable display system you will probably only be allowed to set it up within the official shell scheme. Do you need an interior designer or contractor? All in package – i. a ready made unit usually for smaller stands only but comes complete with all the basics and awaiting your display. Right, so now you know what you’ve booked and you’re ready for the opening day. No, not the first day of the show though that will come along quickly enough, but the first day of your preparation which is never a moment too soon. Remember that when you move into the exhibition hall you will be putting your company on show. What you do with your stand reflects your company’s image. Decide what it is that you want to show. Try to introduce a theme which will give a focal point to the display, a theme, perhaps, that can be carried through your pre-show advertising. If possible include a demonstration of the product in action – remember the old Hoover Salesmen who emptied dust on the housewife’s carpet before vacuuming it away? If the visitor can see the product working or, better still, can try it for himself, he’ll be easier to convince. If you sell a service or your product is to large to display on the stand think about other ways you can attract potential customers onto your stand Face to face contact means that you can use all five senses – sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing – so take a good look at your product and see how many of these can be brought into play. They say that the more senses involved in an experience the longer that experience will be remembered.

Remember that it is your product that the visitor has some to see, or other similar products. There is nothing more infuriating – and deflating – than a visitor trying to sell you something while having no interest in your product. Have an action plan to deal with these type of persons, maybe just explain that you are very busy trying to get business for your company and if they can just leave you a business card, you will contact them after the show if you need more information. You’ll find, for example, that your stand should be at least two-thirds open. This is for your sake as well as the visitors, the exhibition is neutral territory. If your stand is designed like a fortress or a special club into which only very selected visitors are invited, a barrier is created. As you begin to design the layout, think what would help entice you onto a stand if you were the visitor. You’d want it to be accessible, welcoming and not full of little areas where you might be trapped. Ensure it is well lit, highlighting those products which you wish to emphasize. Make your visitors feel comfortable about coming onto the stand.

Remember the psychological barriers that can be so easily erected. Visitors may be reluctant or hesitant to step up onto a platform or even to cross the carpet line, feeling that either will leave them, as fair game to predatory sales people. So make the stand inviting, easy to get onto – perhaps, with a hands on demonstration that the visitor can try out without fear of being ambushed. Live demonstrations of your product are the best way to get visitors onto your stand, if you can’t do this think about employing a crowd-magnet someone that specializes in this area. Contact www.crowdmagnets.com for further information. A professional crowd-magnet is a top flight magician that can attract many passing visitors to your stand, and then perform exciting close up illusions while educating the visitors about a companies USPs. Normally, a crowd-magnet can increase the amount of visitors to your stand by over 300% while educating and getting these potential clients interested in your product or services.


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