What are you hoping to achieve when it comes to your marketing aims? Is your strategy clear and your objectives adequately set out?

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or part of a small team, there are times when your marketing plans need an overhaul. This is especially true if your marketing seems to be falling short of the mark and not getting you in front of your customers on a regular basis.

One thing you might consider to get your name in the spotlight, raise some brand awareness and get you talking face-to-face with the people you should, is an industry exhibition. In this guide we take a look at what exhibitions give you and how you can best prepare for one.

Why An Exhibition?

There are several reasons why exhibitions might work well for your company. The first is that they put you in front of your customer base. Usually held over several days, visitors will be able to put some personality to your brand and quiz you on your products or services up close and personal. This might feel a little daunting but with the right preparation it’s a powerful and effective tool.

The other reason is because your industry competitors will also be exhibiting. This isn’t the sole reason to exhibit but coupled with the reason above, it makes for a compelling argument.

But, planning, setting up, running and taking down an exhibition is hard work and it’s an investment in both your time and your money. That’s why getting the right exhibition is crucial. You will need to spend some time reading around the exhibition. Find out the likely number of visitors over the duration, how many people will there be each day and where will they be from? Are they industry professionals? The general public or the media?

Figure out what, if any, the benefits are and you’ll be in a strong position to start your negotiations for stand space.

The Hall

If you’re early enough to book, you’ll probably be offered the choice between several stand spaces. Here you’ll need to make a smart decision and work out which position works best for you. You might also want to try and get hold of a list of exhibitors who have already signed up and see where you might want to be placed in relation to them, including of course your industry rivals.

Make sure that wherever you are in the hall, you have access to everything you need to make your stand function properly including multiple power points and a strong wifi signal. Check all this out with the onsite exhibition team before you sign on the dotted line.

Pre-Exhibition Work

This is where the majority of the hard work lies. The planning and setting up can take weeks if not months and you don’t want to start this process too late. At the very least make sure anything that needs printing or designing is given priority, including your exhibition media boards and any banners that you plan on using.

Printed material too will need time to be fully written, reviewed and printed to make sure that everything is perfect. One typo or grammar mistake and you’d have to consider throwing away the whole lot.

You might also want to consider what kind of promotional merchandise you’re offering and dynamicgift.co.nz is a great place to start. If you’re worried about not really being able to identify your customer properly, now is a great time to get that research back on track. Figure out who you want to talk to and how you will best attract them to your stand. Have gifts that are either lots of fun or highly practical, depending on what you know your customer will prefer.

You might want to include sporting goods like bike lights, golf tees and score cards or something more on the technical side of things.

It might be that Bluetooth speakers are right up your customers’ street or that branded pocket torch will be found on keyrings for many more months to come.

You only have one shot at getting your first exhibition right so getting your research done correctly is the best way of making this happen. When your marketing needs a welcome boost and you need to talk to your customers directly, then take a look at exhibition marketing.

Take a chance and invest some budget and your best people on the job and see if you can bring your marketing back to life with an exhibition that ticks all the boxes.