So you’ve been working on expanding your business, and you’re looking to expand your horizons. Seeing an advertisement for a local expo, you decide to sign up, thinking that it’s a great way to get exposure for your business.
But how do you get your brand recognized at an expo? From a small local convention to global conferences, being able to identify your brand amongst the pack is critical for future retention. In this piece, we’ll discuss five key ways to prepare your business for its very first expo, to get the most out of the experience, and the best chance to gain and retain potential leads.
Have a Calling Card
Before anything else, ensure that you have a calling card so that visitors can identify your product. This could be as simple as a pamphlet or a flyer, advertising the product or service your business offers to clients.
For those that are looking for a more permanent addition, a custom-printed lanyard from a well-known group such as Express Lanyards is a great way to get your brand out to customers. Quite often, you’ll see conference attendees clip their identity cards to your lanyard, and it becomes a great launching point to have a discussion about your product.
Develop a Stall Layout
Your stall should be designed to tell a story, if possible. While you can use any free space to make your pitch, having a functional space can be a great way to tell your product’s story without saying a word.
Consider designing a layout that uses space to tell your story. A big, open stall is handy but doesn’t help explain what your product is and what it does.
Ultimately, the most successful stalls use available space to present a story to the customer – what the business is, what they do, and how the product can help you. The best in their class take advantage of visual elements to present a story, even when the stall isn’t staffed!
Organize Your Merchandising
While having a calling card is incredibly useful, it’s just as important to identify what other merchandising may be best utilized for your display. From a small poster on a desk to a standing banner, what you need will vary, depending on your exhibition and stall space.
For smaller conferences, this may be as simple as a single noticeable banner, with additional flyers and calling cards. These needs will grow as the size of an expo grows – this could involve additional merchandising, promotional videos, or even potentially giveaways for your customers.
Don’t be afraid to try something different with your merchandising – unique displays are a great way to draw attention to your stand.
Have Your Pitch Ready
You’re here to tell a story about your product. After all, you don’t walk into a conference and say, “Hi, I’m Jerry, and I sell cookies.”.
Nobody cares that you sell cookies. They would, however, like to know why they should buy your cookies. Why your product is unique, and why you should give it a go.
Consider the two pitches here:
Pitch 1: “Hi, I’m Jerry, and I sell cookies.”
Pitch 2: “Hi, I’m Jerry, and here at Jerry’s Cooking Cookies, we offer a high variety of organic oatmeal cookies that taste fantastic.”
Sure, Pitch 1 gets the point across, but it tells a potential customer nothing about the product. Pitch 2, on the other hand, tells you what the product is, and a great feature about it (that is, they taste great!).
Be honest about your product – you don’t need to sell your potential customers the world; you just need to pitch them your product.
Set Up Early
On the day of the expo, ensure that you get in early to set up. Having a stall presented organized and good to go the minute the expo starts is a great way to get the best possible pitch out to potential customers.
It also sets a great look for customers – it indicates that you care, want their business, and a raring to go. Brand engagement can have a significant positive impact on the bottom line of the business, so don’t be afraid to get involved and give it a go.