When we speak to people about what their return to trade shows will look like, some are treading with care, uncertain about what the landscape will look like, while others are grabbing a golden opportunity by the horns and going bigger than before because they want to capitalise on the business events grant and remind their customers they are here to stay.

However you chose to approach exhibitions, it is unwise to think things have returned to normal and everything is dandy. It is and it isn’t!

Our first show for the year is done and dusted and this was definitely the sentiment felt across the board. There is a mixture of nervous excitement and uncertainty in the air but mostly people feel privileged to be out and about and are grabbing hold of “normality”.

As we work with boarder restrictions and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to have some solid strategies in place to combat setbacks and put your best foot forward. We totally get it.. Everyone is out of practice! It’s like that that feeling you get when you ride a bike for the first time in what feels like a decade. You know how, but it feels odd. Don’t worry – We have your back!

One thing that you can bank on, is that those who make the effort to visit the event will be serious leads who can influence buying decisions. Numbers may be lower but the quality of those attendees will be higher.

Sure, there’s a thrill that comes with being the busy stand at the show that’s heaving with bodies, but it’s nothing compared to the buzz you get from having quality conversations that actually convert.

I’m not promising a bucket of gold at the end of a rainbow. You 100% have to work for it, but here are some key tips to make sure your return to trade shows is a wild success, especially right now in today’s expo climate.

Tip #1 – Pre-show marketing

Do it. This should be standard practice for you regardless of what is going on in the world, but the importance of doing so is even more important now!

A great way to make sure you are effectively marketing yourself is to treat the event as if it is your own. Whether you’re sponsoring the event or not, this attitude will help you gain the right perspective aroun what you need to do to get people to te show and find your exhibition stand. People are used to staying in now. Many work from home still and it takes a lot to get them out and about. Make it your mission to get them to your trade show booth.

A case study from the archives on how one company did beautiful pre-show marketing.

Tip #2 – Add a virtual element

We aren’t the biggest fans of virtual events, purely because they don’t achieve the same kind of result as a face-to-face one, but using online elements that work in conjunction with your physical event is a great way to extend your reach. There are lots of ways to do this. (It doesn’t have to be a full blown hybrid event either).

You could roll out a virtual element in conjunction with your physical stand to share your message with those who can’t make it to the show.  Facebook lives, a virtual exhibit or webinars work well. It’s just about having a platform for people to educate and connect with your team remotely.

   

Tip #3 – Have a solid end-to-end strategy

Work harder at developing youroverall exhibit strategy to maximise what you get out of the show and ensure it is aligned with your goals. It is important the team recognise that it isn’t 1-2 days out of the office “just to see what happens”. Everyone needs to be on board with how the show fits into a nurture funnel for converting leads and the role they play in doing so.

Your stand builder is a valuable asset you should be calling on for this. As custom exhibition stand builders we aren’t just designing a pretty stand for you, we are here to advise you and support you in getting the most out of your attendance.

Tip #4 – Make it fun

After all we have been through this last year, it’s a privilege to be out in numbers. Make your attendance light-hearted and fun. Get creative with how you share your point of difference. This is just as important for your team as it is for the crowd.

 

Tip #5 – Staff training

Now more than ever, your interactions matter. Staff training is at the core of your results.

With higher quality visitors you want to make the most of every conversation. It’s crazy important so make sure everyone understands their role and how to work towards your goals for the show. This the secret to helping people enjoy the experience and feel valued. Knowing exactly what they are meant to do, and how they are to do it, takes the scary and intimidating aspect out of the equation for your team and your presence will feel stronger.

The year is still young but already, 2021 is looking bright. Sure, some are looking to do more with less, but regardless of your situation, there is a golden opportunity to make a splash and capitalise on the quality visitors that with undoubtedly be at these events. For help developing a gangbuster strategy to make the most of the current climate, or just a quick chat, reach out today.