Whether you’re a newbie or have been exhibiting for years, everybody can feel the pressure of exhibiting. After all, as an exhibitor you’re at the front line for your business and will be expected to put on a good show to gain those leads, sales and brand awareness. But how exactly can you do this? Here are a few tips to make sure you’ll do yourself, and your business proud.
1. Breathe deep and embrace crazy
It’s a little known fact that exhibiting comes with a lot of crazy moments. Although not quite apocalyptic, there are a few things which can go wrong for you as an exhibitor that can feel like the end of the world and at times can make you want to pull your hair out. From troubles assembling your pop up display, to digital elements not working, to even an annoying blister that has just announced itself to the world. The key to defeating these is to take a moment to collect yourself, stay calm and think about how the problem can be solved. A lot of this also comes down to preparing for eventualities. There is always a way around, so consider your ‘just in case’ kit (which could include plasters, step ladders, string and sticky tape) and you’ll be as cool as a cucumber and ready to focus on your aims.
2. Don’t be one of those people
You know the ones? In their enthusiasm they over-zealously herd exhibition visitors somewhat unwillingly onto their stand without listening to their needs. It won’t help you, or your business in the long run to employ that tactic. Instead, be inviting and start with open questions about the visitor’s business and needs. Don’t dive in with “Hello, we’ve got a new learning technology platform which will revolutionise your company’s training, you must see it now!” Rather, make a more neutral introduction and start with an open question e.g. “The exhibition hall is busy today, isn’t it! What brings you to the event, are you looking for something specific?”
3. Know when to move on
Okay, it would be great if you only spoke to people who were really interested in your business, but you’ll find that people don’t often walk around with a neon sign to tell you if they are or not. A lot of people you speak to won’t be immediate or even long-term leads – they could even be students. Although you shouldn’t ignore these people, it is important to identify who is a potential lead and who is not by asking about their needs to assess how your business could help them. If you can’t, or it’s not an immediate need, perhaps offer to take their details to send them future offers or promotions, then quickly and politely close the conversation so that you can move on to another potential customer.
4. Take regular breaks
It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s really important that regular breaks are scheduled into your day and that you are strict about taking them! This will allow you to take a breather from the front line, rest your feet and even see the exhibition yourself. Being mentally (or indeed physically) tired or bored will affect your performance, especially by late afternoon, so rest up.
5. Consider how you look on-stand
To visitors, you are your brand. You’re on constant display and must act the part. If you’re standing at the back of your stand in a huddle with your colleagues, have your arms crossed, are sitting down with a coffee or even on your mobile phone, it’s likely that visitors will pass you by thinking that you’re disinterested. Banish your mobile to a safe storage area and make sure you are standing in a prime location to welcome people on-stand. Also, although chairs may look temptingly comfortable by mid-afternoon (or even mid-morning), don’t be tempted to sit down as you need to be ready to engage with potential visitors at all times.
Above all, remember to smile and enjoy the experience!
About the author: This helpful article has been put together by the Marketing Manager at Express Displays, Gemma Russo. If you need any tips or advice for exhibiting then visit the Express Displays blog where the team have some more great articles and advice to help with all your event needs.