Attending an exhibition can be a massive undertaking, requiring huge amounts of planning and a big investment in both time and money. Just one mistake can often bring the whole process to its knees, meaning that you have to vigilant at all times and ensure you never let a single thing slip. We can’t tell you about every possible mistake you could make on this page – there are literally hundreds – but we have detailed five big ones below, to help you make sure your exhibition visit is as successful as possible.
Scrimping on Costs
Exhibitions are not cheap, but if you try to make them cheap, you will almost certainly fail. If you are constantly trying to shave off £10 here and £20 there, you will end up with an exhibit that looks bad, feels bad and provides absolutely no conversions at all. So, spend a bit of cash on extra posters, higher quality banners and better flooring – the money you spend is not wasted, it is an investment that will lead to better results.
Not Following Up on Leads
It is great getting sales at exhibitions, but the majority of money you make will come from following up on leads and keeping in contact with potential customers who have given you their details. So, if you don’t properly follow leads, you will find that your exhibitions are never profitable – and that disappointed customers will cause your reputation to fall drastically.
Sending Inexperienced Staff Members
Staffing your exhibit is vital, and you should never, ever rely on inexperienced members of staff to make those all-important sales and contacts. Most things at an exhibition are time sensitive and therefore need someone with an in-depth knowledge of what to do. Therefore, send experienced staff members and let the more inexperienced ones find their feet in the office before letting them loose in the big wide world. What’s more, make sure all staff members are trained prior to attending, focusing on how to clinch leads and brushing up on their product knowledge.
Not Forward Planning
It is your hope that your stand will be incredibly busy. Therefore, you will need a well drilled plan on how to deal with all situations. If you go in blind and simply scribble down notes on scrap paper, offer potential customers random deals and not understand how your different forms need filling out, you are destined for failure. Investigate every part of your plan and scrutinise every minute piece of detail – then you will be prepared for everything!
Keeping Poor Records
If this exhibition is a success, you’ll want to go to more in the future. But how will you know whether it was a success or not? You must ensure you keep records not just on sales, but on how many cards are handed out, what your footfall was and how every single penny was spent while there. These records should also be kept up after you leave, noting down all the deals you manage to make after the show with those you spoke to there.