By Scott Girling-Heathcote, Senior Account Manager
Within the financial services industry, there are a host of events that bring together the biggest names and brightest minds in the sector. However, exhibiting at a trade show can be a significant investment, especially for smaller businesses, so getting the most out of any trade show you attend is important.
However, start planning your trade show presence and you’ll soon have a to-do list as long as your arm. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the preparations. However, by planning effectively in advance and setting yourself clear goals, you can be confident that you will make the most of it. By investing in the short term, you can reap the benefits in the long term, turning the leads collected at an exhibition into loyal and repeatable customers. Here’s how we at SkyParlour plan to achieve maximum impact at a trade show…
Preparing for the event
It’s important to ensure your objectives are clear and measurable and you have a plan in place as early as possible. This should include all deadlines for getting the stand designed and the graphics submitted. It’s also important to have completed the necessary research on the right exhibitions and conferences and be up to speed on who is attending so you can target your messaging effectively.
Messaging is a vital part of any marketing activity. The message you want to deliver should be decided in advance of the event and consistent across your stand, company literature and press material. This will ensure you’re communicating clearly who you are and what you are showcasing. Finally, take advantage of media opportunities through editorial placements in the build up to an event, or secure space in a show daily or event publication.
During the event
Exhibitions, conferences and trade shows provide a great opportunity to meet with new and existing connections in your industry, giving you the chance to market your business face-to-face. Always take plenty of business cards and remember to collect them from the people you meet with, as you’ll need them after the event to follow-up. Use the event as a research exercise – ask people questions, gather opinions and check out your competition.
Furthermore, try implementing some creativity in your booth. This can include mini events, media meetings to raise your profile pre-event and with media at the event, and digital communications from the event.
After the event
The work doesn’t end when you’ve packed up and gone home. Afterwards, review what you’ve done and ask yourself questions, such as, was the event successful against your objectives? Then, follow-up with all the leads you’ve generated. This increases your chance of converting your leads into sales.
All in all, exhibitions provide an excellent platform for building brand awareness and generating sales leads, provided you have done the right planning. It’s important to continually build your funnel of new business opportunities while also engaging with existing customers to ensure that you are meeting their needs.
Trade shows are a vital part of any marketing activity. At SkyParlour, we have the experience and expertise you need to help you make the most of the trade shows you attend. If you would like to hear more, contact us today.