How to Succeed?
Trade fairs, when used properly, are a very powerful marketing medium. To maximise your investment and make the most of your trade fair participation, you need to plan your attendance carefully in advance. Underestimating the amount of planning and preparation required to exhibit successfully is one of the biggest reasons for disappointment and failure. If you are going to invest in a stand, you must also be prepared to invest the necessary time, effort and resources. A well-planned, creatively executed exhibition will generate results impacting far into the future.
For your success it is essential that the trade fair you want to exhibit at, has the right type of people and products. Discuss your options with us! We help you choose a trade fair that best suits your objectives and offer our individual advice and assistance during the entire process. With our full range of services we help you get the best out of the exhibition and ensure that your participation in the trade fair is as successful as possible.
Here are some key ways to maximize the benefits:
Before the trade fair
- Contact Fairpros or the trade fair organizer 6-12 months before the event – note the application deadlines. By booking early you benefit the most. Many trade fair organizers offer discount off the stand price (early bird) when booking well enough in advance. The earlier you book the better is also your chance of getting perfect location and having advantage over your competitors.
- Take advantage of Fairpros exhibitor training to maximize your investment – by attending our customized exhibitor training you can make your trade fair participation even more productive and profitable.
- Appoint an exhibition coordinator – to maximise efficiency, appoint one person with overall responsibility for planning and budgeting.
- Set clear measurable business objectives – define what you want to achieve from the trade fair. To get the most out of trade fair attendance, it is worth setting specific targets so you can measure the success of the exhibition after the event. The trade fair objectives should be coordinated within the scope of medium-term corporate planning with the corporate and marketing objectives.
- Prepare a detailed budget – in addition to stand rental, design and construction, also other cost factors should be considered when planning a budget. This includes stand service and communication, transport and waste disposal, personnel and travel costs as well as other costs like advertising, hospitality etc.
- Choose the most suitable solution for your stand construction – a good stand should always be planned in line with a company’s marketing strategy and the goals that have been set for the participation in the trade fair.
- Book stand furnishings, equipment and services you may need on the stand.
- Staff your stand appropriately – someone to start contact with visitors, someone to manage the stand, someone to conduct negotiations etc. Plan the number of staff at your stand accordingly, so that your stand remains adequately staffed at all times.
- Make sure your stand is staffed with knowledgeable people who see the trade fair presence as an effective sales platform.
- Contact Fairpros 2-3 months before the event – we provide you with additional exhibitor passes (ITB Berlin) and all the documents required for your visa application i.e. invitation letter and/or travel health insurance – avoid stress and save money.
- Book your flight and hotel well in advance – reservations are required also for your visa application.
- Make an exhibition marketing and communications plan. Well-executed exhibition communications can clearly enhance the effectiveness of your participation.
- Plan to organize a reception or other special event at your stand – a successful stand program and activities attract visitors and helps in the achievement of your exhibition goals. Invite your customers and business partners well in advance in writing to make sure that they plan their schedule accordingly.
- Add value to your trade fair participation by attending relevant events that are running alongside the fair – speeches, presentations, workshops, seminars and panel discussions give a lot of additional visibility to the attendees, their companies and products.
- Make use of additional marketing tools – in order to get the maximum benefit out of the exhibitions, the organizers offer exhibitors the opportunity to enhance their trade fair participation with additional marketing tools (advertising space, print media, PR services, press releases, press conferences etc.). These tools give exhibitors the possibility to boost their visibility and set them apart from their competitors.
- Enter your company, product and contact details into the trade fair catalogues and online directories – most visitors pre-plan their visit on the event website, so use web advertising options to let them know you are there. Note the closing dates for trade fair catalogues.
- Invite customers and prospects to the trade fair – issuing personal invitations and sending tickets is the best way to reach your existing and potential customers. Inform your business partners and invited visitors about which entrance to use and the most direct way to your stand.
- Set up meetings in advance – take advantage of the appointment setting systems of the trade fair organizer or contact personally the people you want to see to make an appointment. Pay attention to requests for appointments from visitors in advance of the trade fair.
- Ensure you have the mobile telephone number of the people with whom you have made appointments.
- Bring plenty of business cards, any literature and giveaways you want to hand out.
- Note the stand construction and dismantling times of the trade fair.
At the trade fair
- Put your exhibition plan into action – your good preparations make your trade fair participation easier and more hassle-free, save your time and help you achieve better results at the trade fair.
- Check up that your stand personnel are aware of their tasks and are sufficiently trained.
- Make sure that your stand remains adequately staffed at all times.
- Qualify visitors – identify your potential customers and their need for your product or service.
- Make sure that you receive a business card or fill up a contact form for all qualified contacts.
- Attend evening receptions at other exhibitors’ stands and organize your own to make new business contacts and develop existing ones.
- Trade fairs are ideal environments for networking. Introduce yourself – everyone is wearing a badge and is there to talk business. By taking the initiative, you can promote yourself and your business and make valuable contacts. Make sure you carry your badge as well and have enough business cards to hand out.
After the trade fair
- Respond promptly to customer enquiries – information is still fresh in your memory and a quick response to discussions will give you a competitive advantage.
- Maintain and develop contacts made at the trade fair – personal contacts made at the trade fair are a good start for long lasting successful business relationships.
- Evaluate your participation as soon as possible after the trade fair – identify if your objectives were met and if the cost of attending the trade fair has a positive long-term effect for you and your business.
- Evaluate if you had not attended the trade fair, what would have been the cost and time to achieve the same amount of business.
- If you planned your visit carefully and carry out your follow-up activities efficiently, you will be confident in knowing the time you have spent at the fair was worthwhile.