How do you attract visitors to your booth? Exhibition organizers usually lay the responsibility for this at the door of the exhibitors themselves. But what if the exhibitors are dissatisfied with the results and don’t participate next time? As an organizer, you can find better ways to support your exhibitors.
Once your exhibitors sign up, give them the tools, tips and tricks to enable them to maximize their investment. Feel free to make use of the following tips and share them with your exhibitors in a newsletter, or through social media.
The 12 tips:
1. Organize competitions
This is the most commonly used but also the most abused strategy to attract visitors to your exhibition stand. This strategy works best if you approach it intelligently. Make sure that the competition ties in with your product or brand and that it supports the message of your marketing campaign.
2. Share knowledge
One of the most effective strategies in terms of generating quality leads in a B2B context is sharing knowledge by offering free whitepapers, eBooks, reports etc. This can of course also be done online. Get the contact details of interested parties and send them the information via USB stick, email, NFC, RFID and so on.
3. Get 'Likes' offline
Invite your offline visitors to ‘like’ your product or service online as well. Discuss it with them during their visit to your trade booth. Try to combine more online and offline interaction.
A decent Wi-Fi connection even in the year 2013 is still a problem at most events and exhibitions. If you’re a smart exhibitor, you’ll make your Wi-Fi freely available to your visitors. But be sure to set a condition: they must give something in return, such as their contact information.
Organize a Tweetup. Invite visitors via Twitter to get together in person. For example, at your exhibition stand.
Free some space on your stand for a workstation. Offer visitors a place where they have access to an Internet connection and electrical power. It will afford them the opportunity to catch their breath in some peace and quiet, and possibly even do some work. Make sure that your salespeople do not bother them during this time. Turn that corner of your booth into a place where visitors can mentally and physically recharge their batteries. It will surely be appreciated!
7. Advertise on the event app
Buy advertising space on the mobile event app. More and more events have apps with all kinds of information. Of course, this app will put you right in the center of your target market. So make sure you have the best ad space and an engaging message!
8. Mini Conference
Make a small 'room' in your exhibition stand. Put some chairs in a row and have a speaker give a short seminar of about 15 minutes on a particular topic. Plan this at regular intervals and announce it on Twitter. By limiting the places, you will attract a lot of curious people who will join in. This is a nice alternative to sharing knowledge online through whitepapers, eBooks etc.
9. Product Launch
One of the main reasons visitors go to a trade show is to find out about new products. That’s why your participation in the expo will provide an excellent opportunity for a new product launch. If you grant your visitors exclusivity to be the first to learn about your new product, the launch simply cannot fail. Also use Twitter for the announcement.
10. Pre-event contact time
Conventions are commonly seen as an opportunity to gain new customers. The fact that this is an outstanding opportunity to make contact with existing customers before the event, is often overlooked. Inform your existing clientele in advance about your expo participation. Make sure that your customers know that you will be there and what you’ll be doing: lectures, promotions, campaigns... This is how they will recognize and acknowledge you immediately during their visit.
11. Ask questions
Another way to attract visitors, is to approach them with questions or polls. Visiting a trade fair can be a fairly passive affair: strolling along the stands, collecting brochures, and having goodies pressed in your hands. So if you are able to give your opinion or input, you suddenly feel a lot more involved and active as a visitor.
See this example:
12. Check in for the win
Check-ins are increasingly influencing our decisions. If you check in on Foursquare at a trade show, you immediately see which companies have been active on that channel. Those companies probably also encourage check in by giving out incentives at their booth, posting tips, and making clever to-do lists. Also, on mobile event apps you can check in and often link to the exhibitors offering incentives there (competitions, donations, discounts). It’s a smart tactic to become better known.