Business exhibitions, fairs and trade shows can be extremely beneficial for the growth of your company. They are an excellent source to secure new clients and potential business leads, while also being able to provide great opportunities to market and promote your company to those who haven’t heard about you before.

Many companies now see business exhibitions as one of the key factors in their overall marketing strategy; therefore they make it their aim to attend several different events every year. Though it can be difficult to know exactly how to make the most out of exhibitions and be able to get the right value for the time you have invested. That’s why we have come up with some top tips to help you make sure that the exhibitions you attend are as productive, encouraging and beneficial to your company as possible.

  1. Take a look at the show guides
One of the first things that you should ensure is that your company details are featured correctly on all of the promotional material that has been produced for the event. You should double check all of the exhibitor materials, such as catalogues, preview guides and websites to guarantee that they have featured your company in the correct manner.

One of the main ways that people will discover about your company is by carrying out research beforehand or reading about you on the day within the promotional material. Ensuring that the spelling of your company name is correct and there is a description about what you do, can lead to more interest on the day of the event, offering you the chance to interact with new people, and by looking busy to bystanders you are able to improve your image on the day.

  1. Use your own website
An easy way to promote your presence at an exhibition or fair is by adding a landing page or something similar to your own website. This will give people who are interested in your services a clear reason to come and see you at the exhibition, in addition to notifying them if they haven’t already heard about the upcoming exhibition.

You can include a link for people to register for the show and add details to it of how they can attend and find you during the exhibition. This will result in anyone who visits your website being informed about the exhibition, therefore encouraging them to consider attending if they haven’t already.

  1. Give people a reason to find you
Get the word out in as many possible ways as you can and ensure that people know about the exhibition. You can send out teaser mailers to all of your mailing list with dates and information defining the upcoming shows. You should also harness the power of social media, in order for you to build excitement for the event before the date.

Use the exhibition hashtag on Twitter to make sure people know you are associated with the exhibition and gain interest from those who are definitely attending, even those who are considering it. Follow the hashtag stream to keep up to date on what people have to say in regards to the exhibition and start to build conversation with those who are in attendance. By actively promoting the event in these ways you are giving people a compelling reason to not only attend this event, but to come and seek you out, whilst they are there.

  1. Pre-book appointments
If you target your prospects correctly through the previous methods, then you might get enquiries from people about what they can expect from you at the exhibition. A great way to ensure that you have visitors is by pre-booking appointments with interested parties before the event date. This means you can be sure you will have some visitors who are genuinely interested.

It can also make your stand look busy and more approachable to those who are walking passed. By doing this you will be able to predict your stand traffic, allowing you the ability to plan ahead for busy periods with stand staffing, therefore ensuring that you can see and talk to as many people as possible.

  1. Make use of the Organiser’s PR
Contact the exhibition organisers as soon as you have booked your stand, guaranteeing your presence and ask about their PR team. As in most cases the event organisers will have their own PR team working on promotional material in order for them to build interest and excitement for the exhibition.

It is worth getting in contact with them to ask about any publicity opportunities that may arise and for access to their media contacts. For established shows and exhibitions, they will often have gained a large following on social media therefore it can be a great opportunity for you to be able to grow your own following at the same time.

Once you begin to think of ways to ensure you are able to get the best out of your pre-event marketing, you can try new methods and ways of thinking in order to allow your company to be able to stand out from the crowd. If you don’t let people know that you will be attending before the event, then they might not even know you’re there. If they’re not in tune with industry news then they might not even know about the event at all. Make it clear that you’re attending plenty of time before the event takes place. With these five tips, we hope that you have gained some valid knowledge on ensuring you make the most of pre-event marketing and have a successful day at the exhibition.

By Rasa Jonuskiene, MJ Exhibitions