Correct preparation for the trade fairs.

Our success is measured by everyone’s satisfaction! Therefore, we’ve put together a short guide to a successful trade fair event. Just follow a few simple steps.

Step 1: to be done before the exhibition
Step 2:
a day before the exhibition
Step 3:
during the exhibition
Step 4 :
after the exhibition

Before the exhibition

Firstly, you have to clearly define your goal. What are you taking part in these trade fairs? What are you looking to achieve?

The most common goals of trade fairs exhibitors:

  • sales, signing contracts
  • market research and monitoring, keeping tabs on the competition
  • staying in touch with customers (partners) and establishing contacts with potential customers (partners)
  • building company image
  • presentation of your products and services and the company
  • launching new products/services

Defining goals is inextricably linked with making a decision as to who will attend the trade fairs to represent the company – whether it is going to be the head of marketing, a sales rep or technician; advertising materials to be presented at the stand have to be prepared in the context of the established goals, a decision has to be made as to which products will be exhibited. It is important to make a good impression on the visitors. Remember – you often make it or break it with the first impression. For many businesses who have a presence at various events every year, trade fairs are their “daily bread”, but do not forget that a given group of visitors comes to those given trade fairs and thus it is important to leave a good impression.

The issue of potential visitors is also associated with defining goals. Before the trade fairs ask yourself the question – who do you want to meet at the trade fairs, who should visit your stand? And now, meticulously put together invitations, so that your guests will find their way to your stand. Trade fairs organisers often provide advertising materials in the form of special invitations, banners etc. – use these opportunities and be part of the trade fairs communication campaign.

Trade fairs organisers usually ask the exhibitors about their products – be forthcoming with that information and be an active element of their communication campaign, otherwise your competitors will take advantage of it. When putting together press releases, trade fairs organisers require information from the exhibitors, and if the information is not provided, then they will either not mention the exhibitor or seek out information by themselves, however this means that you forgo the opportunity to have a say as to what is going to be published.

IMPORTANT – do not forget social media (Facebook, Linkedin and others), their role in the communication process is vast.

The appearance of your stand is extremely important – it would be best if its colour scheme reflected that of your brand. Most of us are visual learners and stands which reflect the appearance of the brand will be remembered for longer. The people at the stand are an inseparable from it. It is important, for these to be communicative individuals, who are able to establish a connection with potential customers. A situation where a customer is standing by your stand and browsing advertising material for a few minutes, without anyone approaching them to talk about the company or your products is unacceptable. You will not encourage anyone to work with you in this manner.

Appropriate materials at the stand are necessary successfully connect with a visitor. Apart from typical marketing materials, you should also provide some information materials, which should include product specifications. Sufficient stock of business cards under no circumstances can you run out. Visitor forms are also helpful, where you can enter the name and contact details of your customer or potential customer. This is a solution gaining in popularity.

Advertising gadgets also play an important role at the stand – they are to be eye-catchers for visitors and also act as a business card for your company – the more practical the longer they will remain in use and remind the visitor of your company.

Additional attractions – thinks about the viability of investing more to prepare additional attractions for your investors. There are many options, from lotteries to contests. Such attractions do turn heads and are remembered for a long time. It is no secret that each one of us likes to win and get prizes.

The media constitute an important group of trade fairs visitors – prepare special materials for them too, to attract their attention – that might pay off with press exposure after the trade fairs. It would be best to contact industry specific media in advance, so that they have a chance to become familiar with your products and your company. The more important your message is, the more interesting it will be for the media and the more likely that they will show interest in your product.

And do not forget about the trade fairs themselves. Make sure you are familiar with the list of exhibitors, perhaps your partners/customers are on it, or perhaps potential partners/customers and it would be worthwhile arranging a meeting with them.

 

A day before the exhibition

Go to the exhibition hall and check you stand (whether everything is in place), also from the technical point of view. If anything is missing, needs changing or if you are short of anything – contact the organisers immediately.

Collect the ID badges for your staff at the stand.

Prepare the stand: arrange promotional materials, make sure it looks neat.

Find out the exhibition opening hours and when you are allowed access to the hall in order to ready your stand.

On the exhibition day

Arrive at the stand an hour before the start of the exhibition and make sure everything looks as good as it can.

A morning briefing for the stand staff is a good idea, where the person responsible for the stand is designated. Get them ready for a day of sales talk and pitching, go over the most important points which they should mention to customers.

Make sure everything is ready for meeting customers (product brochures, notepad, pen, business cards).

Many accompanying events take place during trade fairs – find out what they are, perhaps it is worthwhile to take part.

Lectures and presentations are also an important meeting place for your industry – do not miss this opportunity, that’s where you might meet customers/partners interested in your industry. It is also a place for networking with other trade fairs participants or speakers.

Set some time aside to walk around the exhibition – make notes. Again, an end of day briefing at the end of a day for your staff, where the most important events of the day are discussed is a good idea. Check the list of visitors which your staff spoke to – note down all your observations meticulously, these might be useful when following up on these meetings. See what needs improving at your stand for the nest day (e.g. cleaning, stocking up on materials, etc.) Draft a meeting plan for the next trade fairs day.

Trade fairs organisers often include various types of contests and prizes in their programmes – whether for innovate products and technologies or the best stand – take part in these. Enter your company and products and remember to supply ample descriptions and photographs are always welcome. The more detailed the information, the more likely it is that you will be noticed.

After-hours meetings are a common occurrence at trade fairs – whether an exhibitors’ evening or meetings of a different kind – take part in these. Be seen. Contacts may be established after hours, over a glass of wine.

IMPORTANT: read all the information trade fairs organisers provide you with!!!

After the exhibition

Hold a post trade fairs internal company meeting, where the trade fairs results and impressions will be discussed. Remember to follow up and contact those who expressed such a desire at the trade fairs or are potentially important. Arrange mailing to persons who visited your stand, thank them for visiting you and see if a business relationship can be established. They will appreciate that.

And finally… do not forget about planning your next trade fairs.

 

 

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