14 Oct 2016

As part of the Beginner’s Guide to Trade Fairs, we’ve covered just about every single topic on the long process behind organizing a business trip with the goal to create visibility, attract fine clients and generate sales leads. If you’re investing in trade fair and exhibition participation, it pays off to do things just right. Last time, we started talking about what to do when you’re at the actual event, starting with your stand. Your stand should create a conversation, but don’t rely on pretty looks alone.

Engage with current and potential clients in every possible way!
Exhibitors should take charge of their marketing during the event – it’s how you play to win, especially at larger scale events. If you think about it, you’ll notice your competition is there and trying to get as many clients as possible. You need to come through above the rest!

Invest in additional promotional materials that guide traffic to your stand
You need to inform existing and potential clients where they can find you in the typically vast and identical exhibition halls. This is a viable strategy best suited for attracting new clients to the fold, who might be intrigued by the promotional material (design is everything!).

Invites work
Guarantee an influx of visitors using the simplest trick in the book – a personalized invitation. Written and presented the right way, you’ve managed to create a good impression. The earlier you lay down your groundwork the better as visitors to plan their time in advance. For smaller events, you may get away with attending matchmaking events on the spot, but for the industry leading events – you need to research this well in advance and then update your database to reflect changes! This strategy is best implemented to strengthen already existing partnerships.

How should you approach invitations to current clients
Seek out to become a frequent interaction in your client’s routine as the time nears. A truly classic approach here is to 1) send an initial email, 2) a physical invitation leading up to the event, and 3) get in a phone call a week or less before the event to guarantee participation. Remember that it’s crucial to guard your current client base while courting new clients. You’re not growing if you win new clients while simultaneously losing old ones to your competitors.

Fine, but how do I attract new clients?

Right, nobody knows your business and its needs better than you do. Take a long, hard look in where you are and what you need in order to grow as a company and brand. New clients never hurt and should be a priority, but you also need to know how many realistically is possible to service without putting a strain on resources and prioritizing one set of clients over the other. Do the math well before you arrive and calculate this expansion in your goals.

There are two main ways to go about attracting new clients
First is the proactive way
You do research prior to the event and target companies that you think are going to be a good fit. Reach out, invite them to meet you or invite them to attend the fair (always pays off) by explaining how their presence will reap its own rewards. This gives you an in before you even set up your stand, which is a huge advantage.

Second is the on-the-ground way
Here you rely both on your marketing materials as well as all existing event channels. Sign up for matchmaking services where you’ll get the chance to meet up with relevant potential clients. If it’s a product you want to break into new markets with and need buyers, organize demonstrations and enter it into the awards circuit. Attend the educational or congress track where you can capitalize on your expertize to attract clients.

If you stick to this outline and incorporate these elements in a combination that works best for your business’ nature and needs, you’ll have no trouble to meet your quota of new clients! But prepare extensively and be energetic, unique and charming. Because… your competitors will fight you tooth and nail for every client.

One thing you don’t have to think about is your hotel rooms. Go Fair ltd has you covered with a large database of hotels and guesthouses all over the world and we’re flexible when it comes to your budget. Give us a call and we’ll tailor your accommodation to your specifications in a single day. Enjoyed this article? Write to us at [email protected] and tell us. We want to hear from you and read your experiences. What works for you and what doesn’t!