Business exhibitions can be a huge boon for leads, but can also backfire if you go about things the wrong way. To save you from embarrassment, here are five things you definitely should not be doing at a business exhibition if you want the best results.
1. Skip dressing your stall
Your stall’s appearance is hugely important – perhaps more important that you are giving it credit for. If you don’t pay attention to the way it looks, you might find people simply walking by without giving you a second glance.
Your company name should be displayed prominently, and you will also want to have either your products on display or a demonstration of your services. You should use roller banners and other display materials to showcase your brand, any deals you have on offer for the show, and other details.
Make sure that you use bold colours to grab attention, and simple words and phrasing that get the message across in a single glance. Place your banners in prominent locations so that everyone can see them whilst walking by for the best chance of success.
These materials will be what attracts people to your exhibition stand in the first place. No matter how good your pitch is, you won’t be able to drum up business if people simply don’t stop and talk to you.
2. Hire inexperienced staff
When you need to make up the numbers, it can be tempting to bring on your neighbour’s teenage son and his friends who want to make a bit of quick money. Especially when running a small business, you probably don’t have the staff already to fully man the stall – but taking the easy option would be a big mistake.
The stall staff are going to be the people who really drum up business for you. They will take curious glances and turn them into sales. This won’t happen if you have zombie-like teens repeating the same tired sales phrases over and again without enthusiasm – or worse, if they ignore customers to look at their phones.
You need staff members who know your business inside and out, have the outgoing personality required to grab attention and talk to strangers, and show enthusiasm when talking about your product or service. If you can manage it, it’s best to train staff before the event.
You are the best representative of your business, as you are the owner and the person who has both the passion and the understanding for everything you do. Where possible, you should always attend.
3. Neglect customers
While not having the right people on your stand will kill your pitches, not making them in the first place could be even worse. No matter how tired you get, no matter how busy you are, even if you are in the last few minutes of the exhibition – make sure that you acknowledge and talk to every interested customer.
You never know who that person is, and they could end up being your next big sale.
4. Under-order your resources
How many leaflets do you think you will need? How many business cards? How many samples? Whatever your answer may be, order more than that.
There’s nothing worse than going up to a stall only to find that they don’t have any materials left to hand out. For you as a business owner, there’s nothing worse than seeing an interested party walk away empty-handed. Don’t skimp on the ordering beforehand – you will regret it!
5. Fail to follow up on leads
When you get leads at the show, make sure that you take careful notes. Getting contact information isn’t always easy, but you will need it to follow up on those conversations. Take business cards, or ask interested customers to enter their details into a tablet.
When you have those leads, don’t fail to use them. Though you may be exhausted, following up the night of the show is the best time, and will get you the most responses.
A business exhibition is a great opportunity, so don’t waste it. By avoiding these five big mistakes, you will increase your chances of generating useful leads and making money.