So you are all set to be a part of that big Exhibition everyone is raving about, and you know that it will be a great opportunity to showcase your business. Exhibitions can be a great platform to give small businesses that extra push, and most often they do, which is why they are so popular among businesses. I have a few hacks for you in order to not just have a good experience in the exhibition but to successfully meet your business goals for the exhibition.
What is your sales pitch?
Do you want to be profitable as well as successful at the exhibition? Prepare a sales pitch. You are going to be talking to hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers in a span of 1 or 2 days. You don’t have the time to improvise every time, so write down the info about your products and services and create a pitch that you can present everyone who comes looking. Make sure to keep it short and precise but informational nonetheless. This pitch will not only save you a lot of time but also make you seem more confident to people.
Create a budget
Exhibitions are a good way to make extra cash but if not kept in check, your expenses can run haywire too. You need to calculate the costs and make a budget. Your budget can be as low or as high as you like, but make sure that it lines up with your objectives and fulfills your requirements. This will ensure that when you start brainstorming for marketing ideas or decide on packaging, you know exactly how much you can spend and plan accordingly.
Stand out-marketing like a pro
Exhibitions are a great way to get some exposure for your business but in order to make the most out of it, you need to stand out. There can be over a 100 stalls in an exhibition for the customers to pay attention to. SO why would they come to yours?
You can stand out in multiple ways. If your product is unique and good quality, a lot of your job is simplified. You can market the same through banners and standees. But almost everyone has banners to advertise, what you need is something different!
What is your Unique selling point? Do you have customized cosmetics, or pure silk sarees? Do you guarantee the quality? Is you stock from a tribal area? Enhance these USPs. A customer will more likely be attracted to a stall that looks like Lucknow, if you are selling chikenkari clothing. Additionally, offer them small gifts or freebies to attract more people.
Identify the crowd and deliver
For an exhibition, you can’t have a one-size-fits-all formula. As per the location, culture, weather, season, trends, and many other factors, your crowd and their preferences will keep changing. Identify who is going to be at the exhibition, and plan as per that. For example, if you know that majority of the crowd is going to be students and young people, you might want to display more of your small, reasonably prices products. If the exhibition is at a tourist spot, display products that can be picked up as souvenirs. This will help you sell very easily.
Networking your way for lasting benefits
One of the major benefits of Exhibition marketing is that you can meet all sorts of people over here. If you want to make the most out of it, go ahead and network. It doesn’t have to be card-exchange. You can socialize and talk to people to understand their needs, preferences, why they are here, and just get to know them. Networking may sound like socializing but it leads to most of the sales for small businesses. You can get your next big order, or the partner you need this way.
Make it easy to pay you
This is one of the most crucial parts that most marketers don’t identify. Don’t assume that your customers will have cash. Keep multiple options at hand. Get a card swipe machine and keep your e-wallets handy to make sure that the customers can pay you easily. You will very quickly realize just how many customers you saved from losing.
Help your customers
Make them feel that you really care. Most exhibitions are extremely tiring even for customers. Offer them a glass of water or a cool drink.
If the customer is accompanied by kids, offer the kid a sweet or a cookie.
The customer may not buy immediately but will definitely remember the kind gesture.
You need to take care of yourself – that is priority one! You cannot push yourself so much that you fall sick for the next week. Keep hydrated, take breaks, and make sure you get at least 6 hours of sleep. This way, you will be on your toes and be prepared to deal with everything.
Don’t run out of breath, refer to our checklist
If all of this information seems too much for you to process, don’t worry. I have made a checklist that you can refer to easily when you start planning for the exhibition so that you don’t miss anything. Check it out, print it, and get going!
Post exhibition debrief
It’s a good idea to record all your thoughts and experiences to prepare better for next event. So here are some question for you to chew upon
1. What product was your bestseller?
2. What product was the worst? Why?
3. What marketing tactic worked for you?
4. What could you have done better?
5. What was the most common question asked by visitor at your stall? How can you help them with this info in the future?
6. Describe the people who bought your products – what are the similarities between them?
7. Describe the people who visited your stall but did not buy -what was common between them?
8. What suggestions did you receive from your visitors?
9. What were the compliments you received?
10. What’s your next plan of action?
Any experience is fruitful if you remember to have fun doing it. Don’t let a dull day bother you. Meet your fellow stall vendors, if possible, play music, and have a blast!
Do let me know in the comments if you find this helpful or if you wish me to write on any specific topic.