Taking part in an Expo is a wonderful marketing strategy for your business and exposure for your Brand. Making the most out of such an opportunity is another thing. So much money and precious time is being wasted in this way by business owners. I want to share some key mistakes they make, what you need to consider and what to focus on. Today I am going to keep this one short and sharp. I am at the Professional Speakers Association annual convention taking part as their top diamond Sponsor and have a Trade table set up for 4 days. That's me above in the pic yesterday.
So lets do this... WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER:
- Where are you going to exhibit or take part with a stall? It needs to be a place that will be swarming with your ideal clients. For me speakers are those people thus investing in the sponsorship opportunity I am taking part in.
- What is your goal out of the strategy? Expo's can have a hefty price tag, so what do you need to achieve to have made this exercise a profitable one? Test and measure all the way. I do it up to 12 months after the expo as all the business doesn't hit immediately.
- How are you doing to dress up your stand?
- How will you collect peoples information?
- Will you have Expo specials?
Next are the TOP 5 MISTAKES SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE AT EXPO'S:
- Try to sell their stuff to the patrons. Not just small priced items, I have seen them trying to sell the biggest program or offering they have.
- Let themselves down on a less than exciting stand. They put up a few things, but it's so plain that everyone just walks past and doesn't stop.
- They don't have a way of collecting information from patrons. They think if people take a business card and brochure it will do the trick and business will come.
- They don't engage in helpers trying to do it alone.
- They don't network with the other stall holders.
HERE ARE MY TOP 5 TIPS ON MAKING AN EXPO A SUPER SUCCESS:
- Focus on building relationships with those that stop at your stand. Engage in small talk, have a meaningful conversation and get the person to enter your awesome competition. If you end up having a more specific chat, write more info on them on a piece of paper so that you remember who they were so that you can follow up after the expo and take the relationship and conversation further.
- Cover your exhibiting space as much as possible. Do not leave your walls empty or half empty. This is the only time that more is good, make it match and tasteful and it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Check out at the top and bottom how we dress up our stands with all the books we have helped create, simply laminated A4 sheets either with Velcro or Blu Tac depending on the surface you can stick on. My stand has always been the most eye catching getting people interested to stop and have a chat and explore all the different books.
- Enlist in helpers. Ideally have 2 extras that will help you set up, man the stand if you need to eat, go to the toilet and train them up on what you need them to focus on and do. Set a goal together in the morning of each day as to how many entries you'd like to get into the competition or how many Hot Leads you will have to follow up with. If you run a competition, broadcast it on social media and get more people to enter online. Draw the winner by doing a video and sharing the link. It is all exposure, broadcast most things on Live Streaming... Get Creative!
- Take time to network with fellow stand owners. Guess what they are there because most likely they have the same target market but they are not in competition with you. This is the perfect place to begin wonderful strategic alliances and find referral partners. Go to every stand, build rapport and take their stuff to connect with them afterwards and approach those that are more ideal.
- Look like you are having fun. You can get tired at expos as they are long days and sometimes go over a period of 1-4 days. Take breaks with your helpers and swap around so that you all stay fresh and enthusiastic. No one is going to talk to someone distracted, tired and lacking in energy. Eat well, go prepared and drink lots of water. Expo's are a lot of fun so make your stand fun, get into a fun mood and have fun meeting new people.
Here is to Your Exhibiting Success!
Love Nat x