Finding your audience is not easy. But it is possible that your client is looking for you, and you are looking for him. And one of the sites of such fateful meetings is a profile exhibition. Participation in exhibitions is a very effective tool if you avoid mistakes and do not miss the details. This is always a challenge and we will be happy if our experience will be useful to you.
Selection of the exhibition
First of all, you need to define the profile of the exhibition: what is exhibited there, who comes there, what is the history and reputation of the exhibition.
Ask yourself a question: who buys my product, who needs it and how can it help the buyer. Sometimes the answer is obvious, and to put out a highly specialized device for the production of a plastic packaging component, you need to go to industrial exhibitions. Sometimes the product may have unobvious application functions or by-pass audiences that also will be interested in your product. Explore your possibilities – your map of targeted exhibitions can expand.
- Scale and prestige
It’s easy to understand the level of the exhibition and whether to take part in it or not judging on the photos and videos. If you see half-empty areas and a few bored people, it is not worth it. Study whether there were media publications about the exhibition: announcements, reports. How long does it take place – the longer, the more prestigious it is.
Do you remember any of your industry colleagues mention this exhibition? If the exhibition is known in narrow professional circles – it’s good.
Participation in the exhibition can be useful in three ways:
- Promotion of the company
We advise you to focus on one of these areas or put a person on each direction.
Booth: position and preparations
A large booth is not always good. Choose of place is based on publicity. The most public places are the places at the entrance of the exhibition hall, in the center of the hall.
It is important to take into account three key points:
- place for demonstration of goods
- place for contracting
- space for movement
Small booth – from 6 to 12 sq.m. – will allow to place the necessary minimum: posters, information desk, chair.
The average stand is from 12 to 18 sq.m. – will already allow to place showcases with samples of products and some furniture: tables and chairs.
Large exhibition stand – from 20 sq.m. and more – a large exhibition area is useful for the work of a group of managers, the area will allow to equip negotiation areas and showcases.
Your booth is the face of the company. It will tell visitors about the company’s position in the market, potential, ambitions, opportunities. It’s not difficult to build a spectacular, bright booth, but it’s not easy to attract attention and surprise.
If you manage to create an atmosphere, then you will not only attract visitors, but also keep them. Lighting will help in this: the bright one will allow people to familiarize themselves with the products in detail, the soft one will create a comfy atmosphere. Pay attention to the quality of materials used in the design. Use unusual furniture on the booth. Add interactive elements.
To attract attention
The more creative you tools choose, the more you get the effect.
It is no longer worth using:
- Girls-models on the stand: they will scare off huge part of the audience
- Animators in growth suits: except when your target audience is children
- Music and other sound tricks: there is always a lot of sound at the shows, your sound will be lost among them and irritate people
- Distribution of branded treats: they will be welcomed by visitors, especially those who have already spent a lot of time at the exhibition.
The cost price of tea and glasses is low, and just imagine how many people will be tempted by free tea and visit your stand, even if they do not stay there for a long time, then glasses with your logo will be seen by many people.
- Bright details, catch the eye – the so-called eye-stoppers. These can be the elements of the design of the booth or unusual objects – everything that will not go unnoticed and will make people to take a look plays right into your hand.
- Interactive elements – everything that you can touch, sniff, look through, with what you can play, attracts attention and is remembered.
By the way, the robot Promobot is an eye-stopper, and an interactive element, with which visitors talk, take pictures, play, dance.
Work with stand visitors
First you judge how nice, then you judge how wise. So, at the exhibition your company will be judged by the booth first, but judged by the quality of the work of your employees.
They should make a favorable impression: be neat, communicative, well-informed about the company’s activities, its products and services.
Before the exhibition, conduct a training for employees, you should explain to them the objectives of participation in the exhibition, the functions of each. Tell them who represents your target audience, etc. Coherence of actions of employees will make participation in the exhibition effective.
People who work at the booth must be communicative. It’s great if it’s experienced salespeople. Your stand will be visited by a wide variety of people, and if your employees manage to understand the type of client and find an approach to it – this is a success.
Even if a visitor passes by your booth, it is important for him to feel that he is interesting to you. Then he will be interested in you. Waiting for visitors, do not get distracted by gadgets and reading – so you may not notice the visitor, and he will not bother you. And will pass by, to another stand, where he will be seen.
Take care of personal responsibility. If everyone is responsible for the achievement of the task, it means that no one is responsible for it; distribute tasks and designate areas of responsibility + enter reporting forms.
During communication, show your interest, conduct an active dialogue, invite the visitor to send materials by e-mail – you receive in advance his contact information and even save the papers, which is often refused because of an impressive weight.
After promising to contact the interlocutor after the event, be sure to do this. If you want the name of your company to remain in the memory of the person, the letter should arrive to him within 48 hours. During the exhibition contacts should be systematized in order to remember their owners and not miss anything important.
The classic criteria are ROI (return on investment) – the return on investment for participation in the exhibition, the calculation of material returns and ROO (return on objective) – an indicator of achievement of the objectives of participation in the exhibition, will show the intangible return of participation.
- How to calculate ROI?It is necessary to subtract the cost of sales and participation costs, then divide the net profit into participation costs and multiply by 100%. For example:
- Total sales by the results of the exhibition = 5 cu
- Cost of sales = 2 USD.
- Expenses for the exhibition = 1 cu
From the total sales, we deduct the cost of sales and the cost of the exhibition = 5 – 2 – 1 = 2 cu, so the net profit is 2 cu.
Now the net profit (2 cu) should be divided by the sum of expenses (1 cu) for the exhibition and multiplied by 100% = 2/1 * 100% = 200%
For the most adequate assessment, the results should be summarized not earlier than three months after the end of the exhibition (some companies summarize in six months and even a year after the exhibition, depending on the sales cycle).
According to surveys, from 60 to 80% of visitors to b2b exhibitions make purchases within three to six months after the exhibition, while 20 to 40% of visitors can make purchases in the longer term (deferred demand).
- How to evaluate ROO?
Depending on the tasks assigned, the evaluation criteria can be:
– plan/fact – it is enough to compare the planned results with the actual ones;
– the quality of contacts on the following parameters: the degree of importance/value/interest of customers;
– the percentage of visitors attracted – it is calculated through the ratio of the number of contacts with target visitors to the total number of visitors to the exhibition that are part of the target audience;
– the percentage of contacts that led to the sale – the number of sales divided by the total number of contacts installed at the exhibition.
- Successful participation in the exhibition begins with the selection of the exhibition itself – choose the industry. Moreover, it can be not only the direct sphere of the company’s activities, but also related industries and even the most unexpected ones. If you have something to offer even to very different audiences, then do suggest.
- Evaluate the scale and prestige of the exhibition: ask friends and colleagues, see photos and videos from the exhibition, and materials will be useful not only from the official website, but also from the social networks of visitors of the exhibition – they can be found by hashtags and geotags. Learn what the media wrote about the exhibition.
- Define the goal of participation and focus on it. Do not try to cover everything at once: select either buyers, or partners, or the media. Or divide these audiences between different employees.
- Find the basis of the event – choose a place and area, place a booth. You need to consider that you need to demonstrate the goods, negotiate and space, so that those who look at the goods do not interfere with those who already discuss the contract. And vice versa.
- Create an atmosphere on your stand, so people want to not only to come to you, but also to stay.
- To attract visitors to the stand, use unusual techniques – unusual objects that you want to take a look at or touch, branded treats, in general, everything that your fantasy tells you.
- The main thing is, do not hire models or growth dolls – a few people would approach to them and no one could be surprised by their presence.
- Instruct the staff of the stand: why does the company participate, what to say, how to talk and what to do. Divide responsibility: identify the areas of responsibility of each employee at the booth and his KPI.
- Do not be distracted by gadgets while working on the booth and show interest to visitors. Communicate and after the exhibition contact the interlocutor no later than 48 hours after the expo.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of participation – the ROI and ROO coefficients will work.
We wish you good luck in your endeavors and let ROI and ROO exceed all expectations!