The typical trade exhibition held over long hours and taking several days can be a test of your sales and marketing stamina. So make life easy for yourself. And get the kind of results that make meeting potential customers face-to-face a really worthwhile experience.

1. Share the load
Have enough of the right people from your company there to share the work. To be effective you need to be enthusiastic and have energy. Sparking off your colleagues can help. You also need the right mix of skills including sales and technical people so that you can handle the enquiries that come your way.

2. Make a stand with your stand
Give exhibition-goers reasons to pause and find out more. Make sure your exhibition stand and display materials have impact and make it absolutely clear what you have to offer. It’s essential for an effective exhibition.

These are examples of just some of the exhibition stands Marketing Zone has created which pack a punch.

Exhibition Stands

  • Coster stand for Pakex, the global processing & packaging trade exhibition
  • Smart3 home automation at the ever-popular Ideal Home exhibition for consumers
  • BA Benefit Benefit Fund, promoted to staff airside at Heathrow Airport

3. Think comfort
Yes you need to look presentable. But this is not a good time to wear those new shoes or squeeze into an old suit. If you do need new clothes or shoes, then give them a few test runs beforehand until they are comfortable.

4. Talk, talk, talk
Don’t hide at the back of the stand with colleagues. Talk to people passing by and give them reasons to come onto your stand. Everyone has their own favourite opening line. If you don’t, then try one of these until know what gives you the warmest response:

  • “Hi, how useful are you finding the show?”
  • “Good morning, have you been able to find the things you’re looking for?”
  • “Hello, how does the show compare with previous years?”

Then you can start the conversation to see what they might need and find if there is a fit with what you have to offer.

5. Keep refreshed
It can be very hard to grab moments away from the exhibition stand so keep a bottle of water handy. And some snacks. That way you won’t fade in between sandwich breaks. Don’t be seen chomping while on the stand of course.

6. Invite your contacts to the exhibition
This is your showcase. It’s a great opportunity to remind customers why they chose you and to show them new products and services you have available, so invite them along. Email and twitter are great for this. When they come, seeing these friendly faces is motivating and your busy stand will encourages more people to see what the buzz is about.

7. Follow up immediately
Keep clear records and then put a process in place so you can follow up enquiries as soon as you get them – rather than waiting until the exhibition is all over. It’s a sure way to impress. That might mean having someone to send out marketing brochures with a personal message from you about having met today. Or having the office make contact and schedule appointments for the weeks ahead that you can confirm personally once you’re free. Or you can call during a break to pass on the information they wanted. It’ll make your approach out-of-the-ordinary and that’ll get you extraordinary results.