The 4 rules on how to make your next exhibition a super success!

Many of you know the trade show exhibit rules by heart and many of you are still gearing up to start your first exhibition. In both the scenarios, the trade show fundamentals given below are going to help you take your exhibitions to a success.

These steps are simple yet logical. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular exhibitor and highly customize your booth or you take a pre-built-up space or you build up your booth on your own with the help of portable structures, it is going to help you in all the scenarios.

Trade show rule #1 – Know your WHY!

Ask these questions first:

  • Is my trade show display the launch site of my most significant new product or business service?
  • Do I have a cutting-edge industry breakthrough?
  • Do I need to herald a major change in strategy for my company due to a merger or acquisition?
  • Or do I merely want to make sure my company is noticed and included in my industryʼs key networking trade show so as not to be left out of the competition?

Once you are clear on why you are exhibiting and what your trade show objectives are, make sure your customized trade show booth reinforces your overall marketing objectives. Set goals that are attainable, share them with your trade show team, and set up systems to measure your results and validate your objectives.

Trade Show Rule #2: Know your audience!

  • Your exhibition booth staff should be highly competent and should have the capability to educate your customers or prospects really well.
  • Make sure you have the most qualified team available to meet your key prospects at your booth and they should be able to give an informative presentation that will lead your prospects to make a great impression about your company.
  • Match up your representatives well with the positions of those who visit your trade show display. For example, if engineers visit your booth, engage them with your engineer personnel.
  • Prepare your trade show exhibit staff on how to engage, identify, and qualify important leads and how to courteously dismiss those who are not qualified business prospects

Trade Show Rule #3: Know how to attract prospects at your booth!

Process of attracting visitors at your booth should ideally start as early as six months before the exhibition through a set of email campaigns, social media engagement and a series of invitations to what new you will present at your exhibition booth.

Once they are near your exhibition booth in the hall, you could do a lot of things to attract them towards your booth. Here are some of them below:

  • Many countries and organisers allow hanging signs and that is a great idea to attract prospects. Try some dramatic and attention getting hanging signs and it is a sure way to have people entering into your booth.
  • Your overhead sign can be a beacon with its unique design, shape, and movement. Gobo lights traveling across tension fabric can provide changing color and mesmerizing interest.
  • Technologies such as 3D video/laser image displays suspended above, your own interactive website on a large screen, robotics, holographics bring high drama to your trade show booth.
  • Planning presentations and demos at your booth at regular intervals builds interests of the passing visitors and many of them do stop by to have a look.
  • Hospitality at the booth is also a great idea to have visitors and making them stay for long.

It’s always a good idea to look at the design trends which are prevalent in the current times and implementing those is definitely going to give you a modern and technologically advanced company tag. Reach out to your stand design company for the ideas and also do your own research so that you know what’s best for you.

Trade Show Rule #4: Know how to qualify visitors!

  • There are seven different kinds of visitors who come on your booth and it is very important for your booth staff to be able to qualify them accurately and have a great conversation with them.
  • Based on the qualification, your booth staff should be prepared to give an awesome product pitch as this will define why visitors will decide to stay longer at your booth or just choose to go away within seconds.
  • Choose one of the many lead management apps to make sure all your data is captured and all of the prospects are followed up instantly during or post the show by setting up demo meetings.
  • Follow-ups should happen in 2 to 3 levels. The first level should be your top qualified prospects which should be connected instantly and once you have addressed them you must move to the second and the third level prospects.

7 Reasons why you should start planning your booth early

Time and again, we see the exhibitors complain about not getting full ROI from an exhibition. While the reasons could be many, there are some of them, which if addressed in time, will ensure you get maximum ROI from your tradeshows. Follow these 7 simple tips and walk away with money in your banks.

Be the center of all the action – If you are sure about participating in an exhibition, opt to book a space as early as the previous version ends. Many organisers usually open the bookings immediately after the current version ends. This way you will have availability of most premium spaces. In any exhibition, having a premium space is like hitting a gold mine.

Catch those early bird discounts – Early booking not only ensures premium spaces, but the organisers usually offer handsome discounts on these, which ensures cost saving for the exhibitors.

Start concept planning early – Now that you have got a premium space, give your designers ample time to work on the 3D design & Graphics. This will help you bring better creativity to the booth.

Plan your resources better – Early start to fabrication helps you plan your resources better. Sometimes you end up opting for some creative elements which takes time in making. An early start ensures that we have ample time to get that done and the booth designers have ample time in workshop to build the booth ensuring better quality of work.

Avoid penalties – Organisers worldwide usually charge penalties on not filling the forms on time. These could be related to furniture hire, electricals, exhibitor badges or manpower. Submission of these forms on time will ensure there are no hassles for you when you reach on site for the possession and you will avoid longer wait periods.  Not to forget the critical cost escalations.

No last minute surprises – Designing and making a booth is a detailed process and it takes time. Planning your booth in time will ensure that you have no last-minute surprises which could be a disaster for your brand image.

Leverage to Negotiate better – By confirming the project on time, you will be able to negotiate the costs better and close it well in time. With planning at last minute, you have no option but to accept the price a supplier quotes.

Peace of mind – In the end there is no better thing than peace of mind. Early planning ensures you work in peace and manage your time, resources and finances better. What’s better than a peaceful mind that goes into that exhibition and makes most with its customers rather than worrying about all the peripherals.

Have a great time making the most from your trade shows!! 

Team SeroVMS!

Building a Trade Show Strategy: What all you need apart from the booth design?

Preparing for your upcoming trade show is usually a much bigger challenge then just building your booth. If you want to build a complete trade show strategy, then it includes a host of other things to take care of, which will ensure that you leave a flawless impression on the visitors who come to your exhibition or to your booth. This may include branded displays, marketing collaterals, demo products, well-trained booth staff, a perfect lead capture technology and many more such things. It is ideal to have a right mix of all these things which will ensure that you touch all aspects of the strategy and this is bound to leave maximum impact for your visitors at the show.

It is also important to look at all these elements well in time for the show, so you don’t have to do too many things at the last moment.

What is the status of your exhibition booth?

First, it is very important to have your exhibition booth design, fabrication, installation plan in place well in time. My advice don’t keep it for the last moments. The most ideal is that you should have closed all aspects of your booth at least 30 days before the start of the show and hand it over to your booth designer to build the booth in the workshop. You may also want to have one visit to the warehouse to ensure that the things are coming up the way you expected them to come and that there are no last minute surprises. With just 2 to 3 days in the building phase, there is no scope for surprises.

What all marketing collaterals should you have for your exhibition?

Bringing expensive marketing collaterals to a trade show is a calculated risk. It is more than likely that every attendee will go home with a sizeable stack of pamphlets, USB drives, samples of pens etc. However, many of these objects will either end up in a trash can or will be passed on to somebody else.

As regards the brochures, it is suggested that you should bring 2 tiers of them. The first one of the marketing collaterals or the brochure is a low-cost version, perhaps a single sheet A5 or A4. This should ideally be placed on an easy to see location (possibly on the information counter or next to a product), so it can easily be grabbed by anyone who is interested and can get a quick information about it.

Your second tier of brochures should ideally be high-end with a nice touch and feel and should speak of being premium right from the word go. You should hand this only to the people who have the authority to buy your product or you feel they will influence a buying decision or any qualified attendee which you feel appropriate. 

Also consider using non-paper collaterals. According to a survey conducted on visitors coming out of exhibitions, they respond favorably to unique textures, laser cut items in paper or non-paper or something which is not cliched and very regularly used in the trade shows. Always try to be little different. And this doesn’t mean that it has to be too costly, you can differentiate nicely at an appropriate cost.

Before ordering one such collateral for your company, always ask yourself, would I take this home or toss it away?

What technology will you need to demonstrate your product or service? 

If you are going to demonstrate a new product or a machinery or an innovative service at your upcoming participation, you may need technology solutions to ensure optimal user experience. Depending on the kind of product or a service you may need iPads, video walls, laptops and computers, LED displays, holographic displays, virtual reality gears or something more specific.

Before you implement this technology or any integration on to your booth, it is best to acquire each piece to test. Since the planning time at the booths is fairly low, you want to be sure about the technology integration well in advance. If your product demonstration requires explanation, then test it out with few volunteers within your sales team at your office before bringing it to the public. Your presenters should be well trained in what will be spoken.

What is your lead capturing strategy?

Finally, do plan much before the exhibition, what is your mechanism of capturing all the leads which will get generated at the booth. Ideal is to have an automated system of lead capturing which can ensure a quick capture of the data by your sales team or the booth staff and an instant communication to the visitor with the features of the product or the service which have just been spoken about. There are good solutions in the market these days to adopt.

Unfortunately, a lot of exhibitors still use a conventional way of physically capturing the visiting cards, but we all know that this method severely delays the communication to the visitors which is one of the biggest roadblocks in closing a sale. Invest in a good lead capturing software and track it from one exhibition to the another to map your return on investment from a show.

Any great strategy takes time to build and so will yours too. You will have to use and test a combination of few of these examples and arrive on the best strategy for yourself. All the best and have a great next show.