Exhibitions for Business Owners – What You Need to Know About Attending for the First Time
In recent years, a lot of focus on marketing has been placed in the digital realm. However, when it comes to forging industry partnerships and making industry connections, there’s often nothing quite like attending business fairs and exhibitions.
Going to these kinds of events for the first time can feel a little overwhelming, but there’s a lot of preparation you can do to make it more manageable. From setting objectives to getting the perfect exhibition stand, here’s what you need to know.
Set your objectives
It’s very important to set clear, actionable objectives before attending your first trade show. You need to know exactly why you’re attending, so that you can work towards a specific goal. Your objectives might be broad, like increasing general brand visibility or meeting new people in your field, or more specific such as launching an innovative product or finding a specific supplier. Write them down, and then work out exactly how you plan on meeting those targets.
Look for appropriate events
There are thousands of trade shows that happen across the country, and it’s important that you identify which ones will be most beneficial for your business. Do some online searches, but also ask other businesses in your niche which shows they’ll be attending. Stay involved on social media, and you’ll likely find some leads on where’s best to go from there as well.
Prepare your exhibition stand
Your exhibition stand will be the stage from which you deliver your brand. As a result, it’s important that you create a space that closely reflects what you offer, providing you with a setting to engage potential partners and clients. It’s best to work together with a specialist designer such as Focal Exhibitions, so that you don’t end up reinventing the wheel.
Promote your attendance
If it’s your first time attending one of these events, then it’s even more important to promote your attendance, as people won’t be expecting to see you there. Put it on your website, any newsletters, and on your social media, driving engagement through things such as Q and As. Encourage people to come and say hello at the event, by providing little insights into what you’ll be offering.
You don’t just want to talk to people at the show and then never see them again – the whole idea is to create connections that are beneficial for your business. That’s why it’s incredibly important to follow up with the people and brands that you meet.
To do this, you can collect contact information at the event, and then send out personalised emails or LinkedIn messages afterwards. If you think it’s appropriate, you can even give a brand a quick call, to show how interested you are in developing a partnership.
Attending your first trade show needn’t be overwhelming, as long as you prepare yourself properly. It’s important to evaluate your performance afterwards, so that you can build on your experience and make sure your performance at the next exhibition is even better than it was at your first.