There is no doubt that the popularity of the event and exhibition industry is on the rise. Outdoor shows and festivals have become increasingly popular with people of all ages and whether the show is B2B, B2C or both, the industry is growing. Often you will arrive and be given a position in the middle of a field and it can seem a little rustic compared to indoor events, however, if you market yourself correctly, outdoor exhibitions and events can prove to be a profitable opportunity for all businesses.
Attract a Crowd
You will be surrounded by other businesses trying to do the same as you – to attract people to their stand and promote their products and services. There can be all kinds of other distractions at an outdoor event and so you need to work harder to ensure you stand out amongst the crowd. Make sure your stand is branded, attractive and colourful. Remember it might have to withstand uneven ground and inclement weather so ensure you purchase a stand that can tolerate a harsher environment than an exhibition centre! Using bold marketing tools such as feather flags and banners can be very effective for ensuring you get noticed. Some clever designs or wording can make people stop, look and ask questions allowing you and your team to step in and start a conversation. Running a competition can be a good way to increase the traffic to your stand and of course a great lead generation exercise. A fun activity can create a buzz around your stand. A demonstration of one of your products or services could be a way of engaging with interested parties. You will also gain from the crowd that come and watch the activity too!
Create the Right Environment
Creating the right setting to make your customers and prospective customers feel comfortable and at ‘home’ will encourage them to stay on your stand longer, giving your and your team the opportunity to develop a relationship and opportunity conducive for business. Exhibition stands can create the ideal venue for your next external event. If it rains outside you will ensure visitors to your stand can still come and talk to you. It means that business can still go on regardless of the weather. Advertise the fact that a warm welcome will be forthcoming, with refreshments on offer, a warm, dry environment to meet and greet your customers can enhance your profile ahead of your competitors.
Choose the Right Size
Before you choose the size of your plot and marquee, work out what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to do it. This will give you enough direction to draw a layout of your stand and will ensure you book the right size, fit for purpose. Will you need a refreshment area? Do you need chairs and a table for meetings? Do you plan to hang banners, erect flags or set up a display? Are you running a demonstration or competition? If so, estimate the area you will need for these activities and don’t forget to allow space for crowds gathering and walking within your marquee. This essential ground work will help you choose the right sized plot and will ensure you make the most of it when you get it. Layout is so important to ensure you, your team and your visitors are safe and within an environment that is both enjoyable and conducive for business. Customers will not want to spend time chatting to you if they feel uncomfortable and they will also be less likely to make a decision on whether to do business with you and your organisation in an uninviting location.
Trade shows and exhibitions are perfect for meeting hundreds of like-minded people in the same place. They are a big investment and will take up a large chunk of your marketing budget so that’s why it is essential to plan ahead to make sure you get the most from your investment. Another mistake that is easy to make is that when you get back to the office and get bogged down with your daily workload, you forget to follow up your leads. Always follow up leads as soon as you are back in the office. Make that connection and you never know, they could develop into lasting and effective and prosperous relationships.
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