Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My 2c on exhibitions

With three successful exhibitions under my belt – I’m beginning to slowly feel like a little exhibition pro. Each expo though it seems comes with its very own set of valuable little lessons.

Working with a small biz for just over a year now, and of the marketing tools employed thus far, I have high praises for exhibitions.

Flippin hard work though, there’s (1) the planning and preparation phase: deciding on specific objectives, stand design, promotional material, staff etc. (2) your implementation phase: 3 days of utter madness… set-up preparations, long hours, those weird and wonderful questions, blabbering non-stop. (3) the after: lead handling, networks … those valuable contacts.

I firmly believe exhibitions, if appropriately matched with the event, carefully planned, and flexibly run – are invaluable for the brand and business concerned. As the old saying goes – absolutely nothing can replace the face-to-face. Even with today’s technological age, social media etc. … that face-to-face just cannot be beaten.

Despite each event being different – with its unique set of visitors carefully targeted by event organizers- I have noticed a usual trend. Day 1 is always super slow – your “strollers” or “browsers”… where a few business contacts is what would make it worthwhile. Day 2 is traffic traffic traffic and, if you’re selling a product, a sale or two. Day 3… the remainder of the world descends on your stand and is guaranteed to be your busiest day and best day for sales. I’ve concluded that the reason for last day scurry is simply cos its that precious last and thus- it helps to be a little extra prepared.

One important little note though – exhibitions are not the place if your sole objective is to make sales. Exhibitions are more about those intangible benefits – getting your brand out there, interacting with your market and learning more about them… what they like …what they don’t like, making valuable contacts and leads.

It can be a little costly to pull off – but for a small business- exhibitions are a fantastic marketing tool.


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