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Exhibitions, events and trade shows are a big part of a lot of businesses’ marketing calendars. Maybe you’re venturing into the exhibition scene for the first time, or just looking to up your game. With so much time and money invested, you want to make sure you have a successful show.

Every element of your prep and execution of the show will reflect on your brand. You’ll want to make sure you get it right the first time. Follow our top tips and you will be well underway to making the most of your time exhibiting at shows.

1. Choose your stand carefully

Investing in a good quality display is key! Especially if you’re going to be attending multiple shows and exhibitions. You need to attract as many people to you as possible.

Fabric backdrops are a great solution.

  • They can be used over and over again – if they do start to look a little grubby just pop them in the washing machine.
  • Lightweight and compact. Transportation and storage is stress-free.
  • Quick and easy to assemble.
  • The quality is fantastic. They can be printed double sided too so you can have a different message on both sides making them a very versatile option.

Choose and design something that is going to really make you stand out. Be imaginative with the design, find an interesting way to get your message.

Think about what else you could take along to create an inviting and engaging space:

  • Branded tablecloth. A table covered with your brand is going to look much better than a plain table where you can see boxes of literature and your bag underneath.
  • Somewhere to sit. Encourage visitors to stay longer and have a chat. But don’t fall into the trap of sitting behind a table yourself – not very inviting!
  • How about a flag. Pop one of these at the front of your stand, people will be able to spot you all the way down the aisle.
  • Displays to hold your literature, a tablet or TV. It’s common knowledge that having something interactive on your stand is more likely to get people to swing by.

There is still a place for the humble roller banner. They are a great affordable option if you are very new to the exhibition scene and just testing the waters to see if they will work out for you. But if you are going to be making them a common feature, considering investing in longer-term options.

2. Be prepared!

If you get the chance to, it’s a good idea to attend an exhibition or show as a guest first. This will give you an idea of what to expect. You will also pick up ideas on what works and what doesn’t in this kind of environment, meaning you are better prepared for when it’s your turn.

Before your show, make sure you have got your literature and display stands designed and printed in plenty of time. There is nothing worse than rushing at the last minute and risking making mistakes!

Have everything you need ready no later than a week before your exhibition. For your peace of mind if nothing else! It will also allow a little wiggle room in case your order is delayed. Imagine how much of a nightmare it would be if you had to turn up to the expo unprepared because you ordered your bits a day too late!

Being able to see what you’re going to take along may help you plan the logistics of the trip or influence the number of people you would like to take along.

Don’t skimp on your print

Make sure you have a nice selection of literature to take along. Business cards, brochures and leaflets with special show offers are a must. Customers will be able to take these away with them and remember you after the show. Choose good quality stock. Add pizazz with luxury finishes like foiling and spot UV.

3. First impressions count

You want your stand to reflect the personality of your brand. If you see yourself as a fun and relaxed company, don’t show up in suit and tie. Be creative with your stand design.

Think about your audience: what is going to make them choose you? If you are trying to appeal to professionals, polo shirts and trainers aren’t going to work.

4. Take the right people

If you have staff, make sure you take the right people. You want to have your most engaging, friendly and professional staff members there representing your business.

Someone could know all the information there is to know but if they aren’t easy to talk to, they’re not likely to be the right person in this environment.

5. Let people know you’re going

Exhibitions aren’t just about getting new customers. They are also about building relationships and putting a face to your brand.

Let your customers know that you’re going to be attending an event. Chances are that they could be going too. Invite them to swing by to say hello. This is a great way to get a rapport going with clients.

Be social

Shout about it on social media. Add a footer to your emails. Mention it when chatting to customers on the phone. Make sure you advertise exactly where you will be located so you are easy to find on the day.

If customers aren’t already going to the event, give them a reason to. If you are going to be offering special show prices make customers aware. It might be enough to get them to pop along.

6. Follow up after the show

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the show is over when you leave the exhibition centre. The majority of sales are closed after the show has finished. You should have got details from people you have spoken to, follow up on these. They would have had a full-on day seeing a number of businesses so remind them who you are.

7. Use your experience to help you prepare for future exhibitions

Whilst it is still fresh in your mind, review how the event was for you. What worked really well? Is there anything that you could do better next time?

You now have an idea of how these exhibitions work and how other businesses make the most of their time at the exhibition. Gather as much information as you can and take photos of things that work well. Look back over the photos and your notes when you are preparing for your next show.

Exhibitions are a big outgoing. They are not cheap to attend, set up or provide material for, but if they are going to help your business grow it is worth the investment. Getting all these elements right will help you see a return on your investment.

Hopefully you now feel much more prepared for your next event. Email [email protected] if you would like to talk through your fabric display options.