Trade fairs are valuable sources of exposure and intelligence gathering on markets and commercial operations. They are “live and direct” and the best source of information in a given sector, and are also the largest nerve center for exchanging views and identifying emerging trends. Therefore, they are tools that must be used in an optimal and profitable way with the objective of promoting the development of your company.
There are numerous national and local trade fairs. In the face of such a prolific offering, the choice of which one to attend must be thought through carefully.
It’s recommended to properly research any trade fair: its age, its recognition within the sector, its national or international reach and, its periodicity, and what is more important, its convening power, since obviously when an economic effort is made like exhibiting at a trade fair, the ratio of cost per real impact must be carefully measured and sufficiently profitable for those who make that investment.
Choosing the most appropriate fair for the promotion of your company is vital. That is, you have to know how to choose the leading fair. Once chosen, you must know how to obtain the highest profitability. Here is a list of actions to optimize your trade fair attendance.
Checklist for Attending a Fair
- Appoint a responsible person to coordinate activities for the trade fair.
- Establish written objectives. The objectives can be very diverse, from getting new contacts or more sales to enhancing the image of the company.
- Define your target audience. Which visitors do you want to contact? Depending on the profile of the target audience you will do different communication actions before, during and after the fair.
- Get information about the visitor profile at the fair, sometimes the organizers prepare qualitative and quantitative studies for exhibitors.
- The location of your stand is essential to attract visitors. Find out where your competitors are going to be, as well as the companies that are going to be side-by-side with you at the event.
- Define the material that will be displayed on your stand.
- Set the budget for different items for the fair: audiovisual, pop up stand, giveaways, brochures, etc.
- Design the communication/publicity to attract visitors.
- Select and contact the installer of the stand to request a quote and model, in case you want it to be done externally.
- Design and manufacture the material to exhibit at the fair.
- Prepare the technical and commercial documentation that will be delivered at the event.
- Approve the stand model and the budget. Do not forget that the stand should achieve a great visual impact with visitors.
- Design and order the promotional items for the fair; for example, pop up display stands.
- Supervise the manufacture of the stand’s decorative elements (signs, photos, audiovisual material, etc.).
- Prepare your pricing for the event.
Start the Campaign to Attract Visitors:
- Buy advertising in the specialized press.
- Write press articles and a press dossier.
- Register in the exhibitors’ catalog.
- Posters and billboards at the fair venue (optional).
- Optimise SEO strategy.
- Supervise the production of brochures, catalogs, folders and business cards, etc.
- Check the invitations, exhibitor passes, parking cards, etc.
- Perform stand inventory: staplers, paper, promotional pens, giveaways, etc.
Continue the Campaign to Attract Visitors.
- Send personal invitations to current or potentially most important customers.
- Press releases in the main specialized magazines of your sector.
- Increase presence of social media networks as the event approaches.
- Prepare contact sheets for visitors to create an event database with valuable business intelligence data.
- Convene an informative-formative meeting with the staff that will be at the stand in order to remind them of the objectives, review sales techniques and behavior on the stand, establish incentives, etc.
Finally, do not forget that your team attending the event can be just as effective in attracting potential customers as your exhibition display stand. Make sure they are well motivated and incentivized to generate interest and sales!
- How to Build a Competitor Profile
- Market Segments of the Event and Meeting Planning Business
- 4 Steps to Writing a Newsworthy Press Release
- How to Start an Event and Meeting Planning Business
- 10 Event Marketing Tips for Your Small Business