Kent Vision LIVE is upon us next week (May 16th) and so I thought this would be a good time to give you some top tips on how you can make the most of the opportunities an exhibition gives you.
If you’re not exhibiting at Kent Vision LIVE, don’t switch off just yet – what I’m about to say applies to all exhibitions!
I exhibited last year and used my PR to:
Make sure visitors knew I’d be there
‘Meet’ fellow exhibitors on social media before the show
Engage with the organisers
Let people know what I’d be offering
You just need to plan your communications – and here are a few tips:
Before the show – post regularly in the build-up with the aim of creating interest for your stand before people have even got there.
Include your stand number in your posts / graphics.
Highlight any show offers or quirky bits you will have on your stand so people are curious enough to come and visit you. Use any relevant hashtags and tag in the event organiser or other exhibitors. It’s great if you can get some show-specific graphics created so that all of your show posts are branded.
You can even start to make LinkedIn connections by looking through the exhibitor list and getting in touch, then visit their stand on the say. It will be a quick visit because you’ll both want to be at your own stands but this first hello could lead somewhere.
On the day – post pictures of you, your team, your stand and the show across your media platforms. My advice is to take a few pix, pop away from the stand for a cuppa etc and upload them to your timelines. It’s not a good look to be on your phone on your stand with people walking past! Remember to use those hashtags and tag the organisers and others too if they are relevant.
After the show – Keep going with the socials, by tagging in all your new contacts, sharing their content, finding them on LinkedIn and arranging those 1-1 meetings etc. This is where the hard work is done! You don’t want to have spent a day exhibiting at cost, to then lose all of your lovely warm leads. Nurture them, build relationships and ensure your time was well spent.
Use your email database to let people know you’ll be at the show. If they are going too, they can pop by and say hello, which gives you the chance to re-connect, perhaps get a meet-up in the diary and they may also introduce you to their contacts too. You’re then telling customers and prospects where you’ll be – and could easily have several mini-meetings when in real life it would have taken you a long time to book up all of those appointments!
Make sure all your staff know that you will be at the show and ask them to share your company social media on their timelines. You won’t be able to take all staff, so by keeping them involved will keep them interested. Maybe have a competition on who can post the most, share the most and get the most shares etc!
Business journalists are usually at exhibitions, so use social media to find out who, plus head to the press area to see who’s in there on the day and get talking.
It would be a good idea to prepare a press release to hand to media on the day, so that they have your details, your story and have met you too.
Ask the organisers for the list of media who will be there – you can then pick off the ones that are relevant to you and make a beeline for them.
A blog about the show would update your website nicely and with a good photo of your stand, will look good too. Talk about how it went, who you met what you learnt and how it was helpful to you. You can also use this moment to showcase your expertise too – avoiding being salesy.
You could even include a last and final offer for people. Then post on your social media with a link to your website so they read the blog and hopefully share it too!
Keep a note of all leads you have. Most will have a business card, so pop a note on the back of it to remind you later when you go through them of who they were and what you talked about. You will be saying to lots of people that you’ll talk after the show and having a note of what you were going to talk about will make it easier! Make sure you have a system after the show to follow up your leads. Contact them within 48 hours of the show, then keep that communication up to start to build those all-important relationships with them. You never know where it may lead!
If you need a hand to plan, create content and post it for social media or write PR/blogs, just get in touch.