How to get the most out of exhibitions – the 4 Bs
Exhibiting remains an essential, classic route to market. A way to meld all the e-marketing, sales calls and social media contact into real people interactions with your brand. Especially B to B.
It can eat budget and marketing budgets are to be guarded, nurtured and made the most of – getting ROI and demonstrably fulfilling objectives will keep the FD happy and generous.
So here’s a quick check list to keep both your CMO and the FD onside and have the Sales Director basking in bonuses…
Have very clear and explicit objectives for specific target customers and outcomes:
Sign up new customers?
Build relationships with x, y, z?
Consolidate your positioning?
Launch a new product to xxx?
Out face the competition?
Be seen to be seen…. Whatever the reason you must be able to agree it before hand and make it part of the design, marketing and logistics briefs to external and internal colleagues and agencies so everyone knows what success will look like.
Brand is king. Brand authenticity, purpose, ethos, values must be through your exhibition presence like a stick of rock to maximise impact and effectiveness. - And not risk undermining the brand value you may have taken years to develop.
So create some brand personality: work with designers and marketers who understand that brand is so much more than a logo and a colour palette. It’s an experience, especially when interacting in a physical space on an exhibition stand. Be memorable – midst that sea of stand overkill you need to be the one they remember. Have some fun, add some humour, make people smile, wow or surprise them, after all people buy with emotions…. Even in business.
Your team must believe in what you’re doing and the stand created. Make it something they are proud to be part of as well as a practical space for them to work in. Involve them in creating the brief; ask them to ask their key customers for feedback – asking creates ownership which leads to buy in… and buying.
If you’re going to spend budget on travel, time, logistics, accommodation and… corporate polo shirts for your team, create the best stand you can. It doesn’t have to be huge – small can absolutely be beautiful and effective – but it does need to be well designed using expertise in 3D spaces, brand and marketing to fulfil your objectives.
So… and you can I’m sure hear it coming – remember the four Bs and you’ll have a real buzz around your stand next time you exhibit! (Sorry!)