We are Clothing Your Way Ltd, we specialise in affordable branded merchandise and this year we are taking to the road and exhibiting at various business expo events across the country including The Somerset Business Show (www.thesomersetbusinessshow.co.uk). We hope to see many of you there!
In preparation for these events we have put together some key info for you to look at and hopefully you can take some useful ideas away.
The Business Expo Guide....
Have you ever been to an expo as a delegate? Have you ever walked around the room and seen stand after stand but nothing really grabs your attention?? It's all sell sell sell right?
So.... what makes a stand actually stand out? If you are exhibiting at an expo how can you grab the attention of your next potential client? How can you think outside the box whilst being confined to a box?
We have a few simple, top tips to get you through your expo with maximum exposure, making your day a success long after the event itself has finished.
- Planning your set up- Work out what area you will have on the day and recreate it in your workplace. Look at it (a lot) and make sure your area is clutter free and interesting. If you have a special offer, is it prominent? Is your branding visible? Does your business name represent what you do? If not, are your services clearly visible? Remember... Less is more!
- Don't hide away-Are you planning on having a table inside your exhibition stand? If so does it have a table cloth? Does that table cloth display your branding along the front to promote you and your services? Are you planning on sitting behind your table for the duration of your event? With the high traffic volumes at these events, who is going to stop and talk to you if you are sat down tucked away behind a table? Stand up whenever you can, be interactive and engaging, make your stand as inviting as possible.
- Promotional material-What does your promotional material say about you? Do your leaflets / business cards / banners all have brand continuity? Do they all tie in with your branding and say the right things about you? If you are attending a sector specific event, is your promotional material promoting the right services to best suit that sector? When displaying your leaflets / business cards make sure they look their best and are neat and tidy throughout the day.
- The giveaway- When holding a competition at your stand, make sure you are targeting the right people. A bottle of bubbly will get you plenty of business cards but many of those handing over their cards may never need your services. Give away something relative to you and your industry. If you are a graphic designer perhaps give away 1x free leaflet design or perhaps offer your services at a discount to the winner.
- Merchandise- We all know the most common branded merchandise we hoover up at these events are pens and keyrings. There is a whole world of affordable branded merchandise out there that you could give away that will get potential customers to remember you well after the event whilst giving you the innovative edge. What about air fresheners for the car with your branding on, branded note pads or even cotton bags? Each one will carry your branding with them and keep you in the minds of potential customers.
- YOU!- (now this is the big one!) You are the face of your business. The first point of contact for perhaps hundreds or even thousands of delegates. The days of expo'ing can be long and tiring but a smile and approachable body language will go a very long way! When talking, be kind, ask about their day and expo experience. Show interest and LISTEN to what they have to say and don't even consider trying to sell them anything! (no one wants your services rammed in their faces without getting a word in) If you have advice, give it, if you have a service you think they will benefit from then offer to meet up away from the expo. Get a date in the diary when you can give them all of your time and attention. Then let them move on.... Time is precious at these events for everyone so don't be a time thief!
Look the part for YOUR business expo! Make sure you are dressed appropriately (with comfortable shoes!), if you are a personal trainer, you don't need to be in a suit. Wear branded clothing! If you leave your stand, you are still recognisable. Branded clothing boasts professionalism and pride in your brand and it instantly instils confidence in potential customers. You don't need your branded clothing to be brash and bold, just a subtle printed or embroidered logo will do the trick.
- Follow Ups- Once you have recovered from the business expo itself, get right back in the saddle and get onto those follow up emails and phone calls. Start with the ones you remember clearly and that showed real potential as future customers (if you haven't organised a meeting already). Make this as personal as possible to show the delegate you remember just who they are and what their need are. With the ones you aren't too sure about just send them a quick and super polite email reminding them of your services and the value you / your products can bring to their business. Make sure they know that you are there should they ever need you. Don't be afraid to ask them to recommend you. You never know who they know.
Good luck with your event, you are going to be a roaring success. Business Expo's are an unbeatable way to meet and engage with a huge audience all under one roof. Don't expect instant results, it takes time. Not everyone needs your services right now but since you have made such a great and lasting impression, you will be in the minds of all the people you met and spoke to. Have fun and we hope to see you there.