Standing out on the floor of a major exhibition is as tricky as you think. Not only will your competitors be pulling out all the stops on their stand, but they will be bombarding your potential customers with information, sales patter and promises at every turn. How are you going to get above the noise and give the visitor what they really want?
What are the right reasons?
To stand out on the floor of a major exhibition you have to go beyond meticulous stand design and flawless presentation. These are a given that should be a foundation of any stand, but to truly stand out amongst your competitors you have to do two things extremely well:
1. Understand what the visitor is looking for.
2. Give them what they’re after in greater quantity and greater quality than anyone else.
But how do you find out what visitors are after? Event organisers will be able to give you a good steer on who is attending, but we really want to know why they are visiting.
Understanding what the visitor is looking for
To understand what your audience is looking for, we need to understand why they are visiting.
If you take a look at the typical feedback form from any given event, you will see the following reasons cropping up again and again:
- ‘We visited to see what was new on the market’
- ‘We wanted to learn from industry leaders’
- ‘We thought it would be a good chance to meet people from our industry’
So aside from your inspiring stand design and sensational exhibition team, you need to ensure that you are aligning your content and approach with the wants of the visitor.
The starting point for aligning your content with the motivations of the visitor should be the exhibition website. Can you produce tailored content with the following mediums in mind?:
- Blog posts: You can easily create engaging content that educates readers on new trends in the industry.
- Whitepapers: Producing well-researched and executed whitepapers will set you up as industry experts
- Social media presence: generate a relevant social media presence around the event so people will be familiar with your brand.
- Collaborations with the exhibition organiser: Short video interviews and guest-posts on the organiser’s website can further enforce your relevance to visitors. Make sure the content is aligned with what you know the motives of attendees.
If visitors can align their motivations with your company before they have even attended the exhibition, they are extremely likely to seek you out on the day.
Make your stand relevant on the day
Once you’ve stood out from the crowd with your pre-exhibition release material, you need to make sure you continue that momentum on the day.
There will be a huge number of opportunities to do this:
Getting a slot on the speakers agenda: Work with the best presenter of your team to put together a unique and relevant presentation. Don’t talk about your product, instead think about how you can teach the audience something fresh about your industry. It will generate more interest and help build your reputation as a thought leader.
Sponsoring other areas of the exhibition space: Take any chance to sponsor floor tiles, or other areas of the exhibition venue. Use the additional space to generate intrigue and steer people towards your stand.
Launch new material: If there is a piece of innovative research or a whitepaper that you can unveil at the event, this can really help drive traffic to your stand. You can even make it exclusive to people who visit your exhibition.
Social media research: Social media can be a great barometer of what is generating interest at the event. If you can understand what people are looking forward to, you can leverage this interest for your own stand.
Product showcase: If you’ve got a new product that is going to be generating waves in the industry, use your exhibition to launch this. If you’re being listed by the organiser, make sure are happy with the way they are pushing people to your stand.
What’s in it for you?
Obviously before you make the decision to exhibit at an event you need to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons (read our blog on setting exhibition goals and measuring success for more insight on this).
But if you align yourself and your stand with the desires of the visitor, you are going to generate interest, trust and respect for your brand. The tricky part is generating the content that will be the driving force behind this. You don’t need a huge team and a massive budget to do this, you just need to understand your industry and remain relevant with everything you publish (but you already knew that!)
Visitors want to feel like they are part of the industry and being educated in the process. If you can make this a theme of your exhibition you will be well on your way to making the most of the events you attend.
If you want some help getting up and running, get in touch to chat through how we can help.