Many small businesses perceive exhibiting at trade shows & expos as an insurmountable task that is only for bigger companies with more revenue and a larger sales force but that simply isn’t true. I won’t deny that exhibiting is a big invest however I’d like to bust the myth that having a big stand or a massive banner equals success because it doesn’t! You can do some much with a smaller space & a modest budget and I’m passionate about helping small businesses getting face to face with their ideal client without the money hangover!
It’s all about the 3 B’s – Big Stands, Banners & Business Cards. By considering each of these points you will be well on your way to planning a show with a smaller investment and a bigger ROI!
1. Big stands
More space, more lights or more staff does not always equal more leads, more sales or more success. Booking a bigger stand could actually cause more problems by having to spend more money dressing the stand and potentially employing more staff or taking your current staff away from their day to day work in order to manage it. You may have the answer to making the stand look great with a few pop up banners but with a space to large it’s going to look sparse and even a little sad! In my opinion, if you are exhibiting on a budget or attending a show for the first time start small! You can do more with it and create more of an impact with a much smaller stand.
Pop banners are great, they’re compact and can be used again & again. They are an investment so get good quality, make sure they’ll last for at least 2 or 3 events to get your monies worth and really consider the message emblazoned across them. You could use one to display some kind of offer however this could expire but on the other hand just having your logo etc might not have enough of an impact so really consider the content. Provide valuable information that will be relevant regardless of the type of event or show you’re attending such as a testimonial. It’s also massively important to have other ways of attracting potential clients, they show off your brand but it’s not enough on it’s own! So to summarise … banners – invest in them, use them and reuse them but don’t solely depend on them!
3. Business Cards (a.k.a Leads)
Now when I say business cards I’m not actually talking about the ones that you give out to your potential clients, giving someone a business card and relying on them to get in touch with you never leads to consistent sales! No I’m talking about their business cards (or general details if you are not/provide a B2B service/product), it’s so important to collect those leads! Get the details of your potential clients and follow them up, it’s the only way to ensure you will be making a return on your investment. You don’t have to be pushy or ‘salesy’ to get the lead, you simply have to chat with them and get them interested enough in your business then asking for their information will be natural. You can also get creative with your lead collection, make sure it is in line with your product or brand and try to steer clear of anything too generic i.e free bottle of champagne or gift vouchers!
The most important thing to do when considering the above is be aware of your limitations, your budget and the impact that you want to have – once you’ve thought this through you’re far more likely to attract the right type of client and win new business!
I hope you’ve found so handy nuggets of information from this blog or nave been inspired to try a new approach at your next trade show! If you’d like to chat about it in more detail then please get in touch either via the contact page, on Facebook or Instagram @TheBrandChamp