The whole purpose of exhibiting at fairs around the country and those held overseas is to get noticed by prospective customers, whether they happen to be individual consumers or other companies. However, if you are to enjoy a good return on the money that you invest in such activities, you will need to ensure that the impression you make on potential clients is a lasting one. Your target audience are far more likely to place an order in the future if they find it easy to remember who you are and what you do. The following points should help you to create a lasting impression that will maximise your chances of creating new business opportunities from the contacts you make at conventions and fairs.
- Design a stand that really draws attention to your products. Many companies make the mistake of focusing almost entirely on their corporate image when putting a stand together, which is understandable but is often not the most effective approach. It is the products or services that your company provide which visitors will be most interested in and these should therefore take centre stage whenever possible. If you are a completely new entrant into the market then you may have to pay more attention to establishing an easily identifiable corporate and brand image but otherwise, try to let your products speak for themselves.
- Use promotional giveaways that people will want to use long after the trade fair is over. If your company uses corporate gifts such as wristbands for promotional purposes, choose ones that are genuinely useful. A band that features an inexpensive watch is far more likely to be worn in the future than one that features nothing more than your company name and logo so it is worth spending a little extra money in order to maximise the exposure you receive. In addition to ensuring that more people are exposed to the advertising on your giveaways, the people that they were presented to will be more likely to contact your firm in the future if they regularly wear something embroidered with your phone number and email.
- Treat every visitor to your stand as a valued customer even if they have never placed an order with your firm in the past. Making potential clients feel important is half the battle when attempting to drum up new business so it is vital that you make the people who visit your stand feel as if they are the centre of attention and that you would gladly spend all day talking to them if they desire. Everybody likes to feel special and when they meet somebody that obviously likes them they will be inclined to reciprocate those feelings, which can be very good for business.
- Follow up on the contacts that you make at each trade fair. In addition to making sure that prospective customers have your contact details before they leave your stand, make sure that you have theirs too. This is obviously much easier when marketing to other businesses but it is possible to persuade consumers to part with their contact details too if they have an incentive, such as free entry in a prize draw, and it can be well worth the effort.
As you can see from the above points, simply turning up at a trade fair, setting up a stand and waiting for people to appear is not good enough if you want to make the most of the opportunities that such events present. You need to make a real effort to get noticed and to connect with visitors that show an interest in your firm.