Your stand is the first thing your visitors see of you in an exhibition hall but it’s your overall appearance that’s most 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 and professionally-organised show or a small local event, careful planning and training of on-stand colleagues will allow you to drive visitors to your stand, generating those invaluable leads and sales.

We’ve been delivering live events for nearly 30 years, so here are the top 11 ways 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 colleagues are looking smart and professional. Exhibitions are unlike your day-to-day operations, you are living and breathing with your competition under one roof, so you need to take this time to plan and set up a great stand.

2. CHOOSE COLLEAGUES WISELY

You may have the best-looking stand at the show but if your colleagues are dressed inappropriately, have a poor attitude or are insufficiently experienced at generating sales, your efforts in exhibiting may be wasted. Therefore, it’s essential to choose those who best represent your brand values and key messaging to help 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 colleagues 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 jarring and negatively impact the user experience. 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’s 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, no matte the size of your 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

An inspiring stand begins with the design and concept, however this is only the first stage in encouraging individuals to engage with you. You need to inspire in all elements, using colleagues who are engaging and enthusiastic about the product or service you’re selling. A good way to interact with passersby is to run product demonstrations every so often and assisting your colleagues in explaining and presenting what you’re selling in a fun, exciting and ultimately engaging way.

7. ENHANCE YOUR AUDIENCE 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 engaging 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. DON’T NEGLECT SOCIAL

Social media is an important and influential part of exhibiting. A strong social media presence is key to help drive delegates to your stand and it also provides a look into how other competitors are behaving and other useful insights. The main factor behind a strong social media strategy is responsiveness, ensure all communications are quick and positive.

10. 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.

11. FOLLOW UP

After the event, it’s imperative 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 – make sure you leverage the momentum.

SUMMARY

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, please get in touch! Email us at letsalk@identitygroup.co.uk or give us a call on +44(0)1323 469111.