How to make a bang at exhibitions Posted on: November 5, 2014 by Andrew Pocock The exhibition space is very much like the sky on fireworks night – crowded with bright sparks all vying for attention. So how do you avoid looking like a damp sparkler and make a bang at exhibitions? Put on a good show It’s not always the biggest and brashest fireworks that get all the ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the audience, there’s also clever little rockets that give an extra flurry right at the end. So while exhibiting can be an expensive business, don’t think that you’re out of the game just because you don’t have a budget to match big competitors. Think creatively about where to position yourself on the exhibition floor, where you’ll sit in relation to footfall and competitors, and how you can attract people to your stand. Lots of exhibitors use giveaway tricks and competitions to draw people in, so think about how you can do this without breaking the bank, whilst promoting your brand at the same time. Sync to the music We love a bit of music as the backdrop to a fireworks display, but when it’s an out of sync ‘80s rock ballad it can do more harm than good. We’re not suggesting you blast out a soundtrack on your exhibitions stand, but rather plan, practice and refine your approach. Exhibition marketing is a complex, multifaceted affair which requires a huge amount of planning prior to the event, with everything coming together for one key, non-negotiable date. Set one person as the project owner and work to a critical path to make sure that all elements are synced to deliver on time and to budget. The logistics alone are a huge job for the set up and break down of an event, so you might want to think about outsourcing this. Live up to your name There’s nothing worse than buying the ‘atomic blaster’ rocket only to find it barely gets lift off. And the same can be said for stands at exhibitions. Make sure your branding reflects the services you’re providing, so that any footfall you do attract is relevant and hopefully converts. Take time and attention and use professionals to create backdrops, AV, giveaway literature and general stand furnishing. Include your logo, strap line and if you’re at an event to promote a new product make sure that this is championed through branding on the stand. Make some noise Fireworks night is not just about the pretty colours in the sky, it’s about the big bangs as well. It’s all very well having a beautiful display stand but if nobody knows you’re at the exhibition then what’s the point? Set up a communications strategy for how you’ll promote yourself before, during and after the event. Use email to speak to existing customers and social and PR to speak to potential customers. Keep track on social during the exhibition to pick up on event conversations and make sure you follow up after the event to capitalise on PR and chase conversions on new contacts. Be the main attraction There’s hot dogs, the bonfire, candy floss, sparklers, toffee apples, the burning of the Guy, but at the end of the day the main attraction is always the fireworks display. On the exhibition floor you’ll be one stand among a whole of host of other businesses, some of whom will be competitors. As well good branding, an eye catching exhibition stand and clever PR, another way to boost your profile is to be the main attraction. If you think you’ve got some real insight into your industry and feel able to present an informative – rather than sales heavy – seminar or keynote speech then this is a great way to capture the undivided attention of the audience, build awareness of your brand, and drive footfall to your business.