Your stand is the first thing your visitors see of you in an exhibition hall, but your overall appearance is important to attracting those key customers. You need to follow through with a well-managed stand, to leave a good lasting impression in the minds of your visitors. This is no easy task, and with investing time, money and resources into the event, you need to make sure every element is to the best standard it can be.
Whether you’re attending a large, professionally-organised show, or a small local event, careful planning and training of staff will allow you to drive visitors to your stand, generating potential leads and sales.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to man your stand, to make your exhibition a resounding success.
1. BE PREPARED
Setting up is one of the most important elements to consider, so make sure you plan some time ahead to prepare for your event. Create a checklist to ensure you have the right tools to erect your displays, check stock levels are correct and that your staff are looking smart and professional. Exhibitions are unlike your day-to-day operations, you are living and breathing your competition under one roof, so you need to take this time to plan and set up a great stand.
2. CHOOSE YOUR STAFF WISELY
You may have the best-looking stand at the show but if your staff are dressed inappropriately, have a poor attitude or are insufficiently experienced at generating sales, your efforts in exhibiting may be wasted. Therefore, it is essential to choose employees who best represent your brands key messaging, ethos, who will drive potential customers to your stand and achieve your desired show targets.
As well as your staff image, establishing the right balance of your employees to customer ratio is important, as too many can be intimidating and too few could mean you miss out on sales opportunities.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM ARE THOROUGHLY BRIEFED
Your employees are the face of your brand; therefore, their actions and behaviour will impact customer perceptions, resulting in a decision to find out more, or walk past. Before the event begins, you need to thoroughly brief your staff on how to present themselves and your brand to possible clients. With a properly trained team it will improve your overall appearance, and they will feel more prepared and confident about approaching, engaging and selling your product or service.
4. OFFER THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF INFORMATION
Too much or too little information can be overwhelming and affect the user experience therefore becoming meaningless. The time you have to grab a visitor’s attention is very small, you need to have successfully conveyed the brands message and how your services can help them – make every minute count.
5. KEEP YOUR STAND WELL-STAFFED
Running a stand is a full-time job, and should never be left alone. Every minute it is left unmanned costs the company time and money that they could have otherwise invested in future leads and loyal prospects.
Due to the intense nature of this experience, make sure that you are not alone, even if you are a small business. Manage it so that there is always more than one person, rotating team members throughout the day, ensuring they are kept fresh and motivated to engage with visitors.
6. MAKE SURE YOUR STAND IS INSPIRING
To make a stand inspiring it begins with the design and concept, however this is only the first stage in driving those individuals to you. You need to inspire in all elements, using staff who are engaging and enthusiastic about the product or service you are selling. A good way to interact with passers-by is to run product demonstrations every so often, assisting your employees in explaining and presenting what you are selling in a fun, exciting way.
7. ENHANCE YOUR AUDIENCES EXPERIENCE
Individuals want to interact with your brand and look for a reason to do business with you, over one of the many other competitors at the show. Exhibitions are a great way of showcasing your company, so optimise this either on a large scale with a corporate entertainment section, offering potential customers a free glass of champagne and canapes, or on a small scale with specialised lighting or interactive displays.
8. QUALIFY YOUR VISITORS
Every customer could be a potential sale, so initially treat everyone with equal attention. As soon as you’ve engaged and established those who are interested, then you can begin to focus your efforts in converting a prospect into a sale.
Remember to always stay polite no matter how interested the individual is as you are representing the brand not yourself.
9. KEEP A NOTE
For the majority of professional businesses, events are generally more about finding quality prospects to follow up in the future, rather than necessarily looking for immediate buyers. Capturing the details of those you meet who are interested is the main goal for many brands, allowing them to focus their post-event marketing and promotions to those individuals who could be a future sale.
10. FOLLOW UP
After the event, it is important to follow up leads. Contact those keen individuals as soon as the event has finished and in the few weeks following, make sure to send out your post-show marketing and promotional materials to remind customers about you. Following up isn’t just about communicating in the weeks after, but developing an ongoing conversation with a possible sale.
Exhibitions are a fantastic way for brands to interact face-to-face with prospective and existing customers. Therefore, you need to make sure all stand elements are properly and professionally designed and managed, allowing your brand to portray your key messaging. Every visitor could become a potential sale, so make sure to maximise the importance of this at your next event.
If you’d like to know more about how to make the most from your exhibition, contact us at Identity on 01323 469111 or email us today.