Top Tips to Avoid Failure At Your Exhibition

Category: Exhibition Stands

Tips to avoid Failure at ExhibitionTrade show exhibitions are an increasingly popular modern-day marketing medium, accounting for close to 40 percent of all B2B marketing budgets. With the right amount of care, they can also be extremely effective, providing an opportunity for face-to-face meetings with numerous prospects and customers at the same time. However, exhibition marketing is also surprisingly easy to get wrong and there are many pitfalls to steer clear of.

Here, we offer four top tips to help you avoid failure at your next exhibition.

1. Plan key aspects of your exhibition

Benjamin Franklin once said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and this is certainly the case when it comes to exhibition marketing. Whether you are working alongside a professional event company or going it alone, many of the most common exhibition mistakes can be avoided completely if you just work through a simple planning process and then use the resulting plan as a guide.

A good exhibition plan should include quantifiable objectives and goals, an understanding of what you are going to exhibit and who you are going to exhibit it to, as well as a clear marketing strategy. Moreover, during the planning process you should ask yourself questions regarding the logistics of attending the event. Which staff members will you take with you? How are you going to get to the trade show? How is your stand being transported? And so on...

2. Promote your appearance in advance

The importance of pre-show marketing cannot be stressed enough. Incomm Research learned that 76 percent of trade show visitors plan their schedule in advance, meaning they already know which exhibits they want to visit. Meanwhile, a study carried out by the Trade Show Bureau found that 45 percent of attendees are attracted to a company's exhibition either through pre-event marketing or direct invites, demonstrating effectiveness.

Despite this, 80 percent of companies do little or no promotion of their exhibition ahead of time and the average exhibitor allocates just 6 percent of their total show budget to promoting their appearance, according to the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). This means that advertising your appearance ahead of time is not only extremely effective, but it is also likely to provide you with a competitive edge.

3. Make sure your exhibition stand looks great

In order to attract visitors, your stand needs to look good and stand out from the crowd. Ideally, as well as being eye-catching, it should have a unique feature, which will draw people towards it and make them want to find out more. At the same time, it needs to be brand appropriate. While it can possible for some companies to design a perfectly good exhibition stand themselves, in many cases it is best to outsource this task to a professional exhibition company.

Additionally, a great exhibition stand should be well organised. For instance, trade show exhibitions are one of the best possible places to showcase new products or services, so your exhibition stand should be arranged to draw attention to these. In fact, according to CEIR, 92 percent of people going to exhibitions are actively on the lookout for new products, making it the single biggest reason for attending. Be sure to take advantage!

4. Don't neglect follow ups or post-event analysis

Market research carried out by Skyline Exhibits found that lead generation is among the three most common reasons for businesses engaging in exhibition marketing. Yet, generating leads is almost meaningless if there is no follow up process. Remember to follow up with potential clients and customers within a few days, and try to add a personal touch, so that you stand out from other companies who are likely to contact the same people at the same time.

Similarly, it is crucial that you carry out some post-event analysis of your own performance and draw useful conclusions from it. Reviewing your exhibition's successes and failures can help you to pin-point positive aspects, while helping you to avoid making any of the same mistakes next time round. Make sure you use the results of your analysis to aid in the planning process for your next exhibition.

Posted 14th December, 2016

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