Planning a Successful Exhibition Belfast
Planning a Successful Exhibition
With Christmas well out of the way and spring just around the corner thoughts turn to … exhibitions. Spring and summer are traditionally peak season for business-to-business exhibitions, trade shows and regional business showcase events. And whether you have already booked your stand space, or you are still thinking about it here are a few tips and ideas on how to get the best out of an exhibition.
A good exhibition creates something akin to a retail environment, which for many companies working in the business-to-business arena, and especially for service sector firms, is unique. The beauty of an exhibition is that it is a neutral environment in which to do business. The visitor feels, and to some extent is, in control and therefore is more at ease and less pressured. Which is a good attitude for them to have when you open up a business dialogue with them.
Exhibitions give you a substantial opportunity to meet new prospects and sometimes even close a few sales. In most instances of course you will only be at stage one of the buying process – which is all about getting to know your prospect, and them getting to know you and your products, it’s about finding out what they need, what kind of problems they have and need to solve, getting an idea of whether they have money to spend and who else they are talking to – and not necessarily the time to go in for the kill.
Event based marketing gives you an opportunity to make a high impact impression on clients and prospects because you have the opportunity to attack all of their senses and they can engage interactively with you and potentially with your products, through demonstrations and trials.
As an added bonus, through exhibitions you can do some hands on research, see and talk to: competitors, potential suppliers, sector lead bodies and of course talk informally to potential customers themselves. For many businesses with new ideas in the pipeline exhibitions can be a great opportunity to find out what your market is ‘thinking’ at a moment in time.
OK – so now you’re convinced that exhibiting might be a good thing. What next?
The key to success, as you’ll often see me write in Practical Marketing, is thorough planning.
What is your primary reason for exhibiting? Your objectives might include:
- to raise awareness of your business in a given geographic location or industry sector
- to collect leads to follow up or to generate a mailing list
- to make direct sales
- to launch or promote a new product or service
- to meet and/or entertain existing customers
- to meet potential suppliers/partners/agents/distributors