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    Exhibition Success: Revive Your Exhibition Marketing Strategy (P3)

    Participating in trade and exhibition shows with the aim of retaining positive and sustainable results, without a resilient marketing strategy, is like buying curtains for a house that you’re building…before you have an architectural plan. Not ideal.

    Following Part 2 of “Exhibition Success: Revive Your Exhibition Marketing Strategy”, we continue the article with Part 3.

    Herewith are more steps to follow or at least consider, as an exhibitor, to revive your exhibition marketing strategy:

    Step 9: Selling from your exhibition stand

    It is important to ensure that your stand staff is thoroughly briefed on the show itself, the audience, and on the most suitable selling techniques they should implement. A recent study of executive decision makers found that:

    - 46 % of them purchased products while attending an exhibition
    - And 26 % signed purchase orders at the last show they attended.
    Therefore, it is considerably important for your team to be able to make sales on your exhibition stand, and not just obtain leads alone. Educate your staff on the basics of selling.

    Step 10: Working with the Press at your selected exhibition

    More than half of all exhibition visitors want to see “what’s new” in products and services. "New" is one of the two most effective words in communications today, which is why “new” and exhibitions are synonymous. Therefore, make sure your company promotes its new products, new services, new personnel, and even new facilities at exhibitions.

    Prepare and publish a Press Release that highlights and speaks on what’s “new” for your company, and how this will be experienced on your exhibition stand. During the exhibition show, schedule a Press Conference. This then includes sending out special invitations in advance, arranging for special treatment for VIP’s, speeches by company leaders, electronic and audio visual support materials etc. Successful media relations are highly important for a company’s marketing efforts.

    Step 11: Managing Expectations on your exhibition stand

    15% of a typical exhibition audience has a general interest, and 10% has a specific interest in products, services, or companies at the exhibition show. Therefore, target your sales or lead projections for this 10% audience segment. Any contacts or prospects exceeding that figure are an added bonus (and probably the result of excellent team work).

    Step 12: Networking and your Competition

    Networking, in general, is the responsibility of every employee, including management. But when it comes to networking on your exhibition stand, this rule is especially stricter. Face-to-face meetings with customers, prospects, the press, students, and industry leaders are extremely beneficial for future sales and company growth. Therefore, allocate time in each day of the show for this important function.
    Another staff responsibility is to see what the competition is doing at the exhibition. Observe their stand activity and, if possible, visit their stands to learn what they are introducing, demonstrating, selling, etc.

    Step 13: Meeting your current customers

    Exhibitions bring together many competing companies and visitors can easily compare many products and suppliers in a short time. Your stand is an excellent platform for your company to let your customers know how important they are.

    Find out, in advance, which of your customers are attending and plan to spend quality time with them, not only on your exhibition stand, but at social functions in the evenings. Find out if they have specific requirements or product questions, and have the appropriate staff members on hand to answer them. Don’t overlook this important customer activity, or your competition could seize the advantage.

    Step 14: Greeting Prospects on your exhibition stand

    It’s a general rule that at most exhibitions, 86% of the visitors have "buying power", meaning that they either make their company's purchases or directly influence the purchasing decisions. It is therefore smart marketing to treat everyone coming into your stand as a potential new Client.

    Research also shows that 94% of the buyers at exhibitions compare similar products, sometimes just for reassurance that they are getting the best products available. Many of these product comparisons involve your staff and their presentations, so remind them about the importance of being friendly, knowledgeable, and brief.

    Step 15: Qualifying Prospects on your exhibition stand

    Event though not all visitor prospects can make purchasing decisions at the exhibition, research shows that companies with formal staff training significantly increase their ability to convert their stand visitors into qualified leads. Exhibitions are an outstanding opportunity for obtaining qualified sales leads. In one recent study, 76% of executive decision makers asked for price quotations at the last exhibition they attended.

    In order to successfully qualify prospects, ensure that your exhibition stand staff understand what qualifying visitor prospects consist of:

    1. Be sure that there is a need for your product/service
    2. Be sure there is a reasonable buying time period
    3. Be sure that there is adequate funding or budget
    4. Be sure the contact has power to make or influence packages

    Step 16: Lead Classification

    Some companies use a “lead classification system” which reflects the two important variables affecting an exhibition lead: Time and Money.

    The time frame within which a product or service will be purchased by the visitor is the first critical consideration, so that your company’s response can be completed on time. The next consideration is the amount of money involved in the possible purchase, since this often dictates the level of your company’s effort in the lead follow-up process.

    Most importantly, keep track of all your exhibition leads so you can measure your ultimate sales success and overall results. This will also help you justify future exhibition investments, as well as compare results between different shows. It’s a proven fact: Companies that measure their results are far more successful at exhibition selling.

    Step 17: Working Smarter on your exhibition stand

    Research proves that we are at our peak performance level for a maximum of 4 to 6 hours on an exhibition stand. After that, we start to become exhausted, both physically and psychologically. It is important to recognize this situation and schedule your staff to work 4 hours maximum, if possible. Ensure that they’re hydrated at all times; encourage them to eat healthier meals particularly a good breakfast.

    With all three parts of “Exhibition Success: Revive your Exhibition Marketing Strategy” put together, you are fully equipped with the most fundamental knowledge on how to create an exhibition marketing strategy that will assist you in achieving and exceeding your set objectives.

    Information retrieved from the following source:
    - Successful Exhibit Marketing – by Bob Dallmeyer

    SSQ Exhibitions is a design and project management agency that is dedicated to creating targeted brand experiences, especially customised for YOU! If you would like to contact the SSQuad to discuss your latest project requirements, give us a ring on: 011 792 1241 or email us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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