Differentiating your company from the many others at an exhibition isn’t just about purchasing stand A1 closest to the entrance and giving away some branded bags full of pens, USB sticks and posters. For a company to really stand out from the crowd, a lot of the work needs to be done before the doors even open. The key to high stand footfall is a clearly defined pre-show strategy.
First and foremost, pre-show visibility is key. Your audience needs to know you will be there. The further you can spread the news of your attendance through the relevant industry, the higher the chance of the right people visiting your stand. Of course, visibility is only half the formula to gaining high footfall at your stand. You must also think, WHY? Why should the CEO of a potential client come and visit you over the hundreds of other, exhibitors?
Once you have defined why people should come to your stand, you need to consider how to get them there. You know you have the latest products the industry audience will be interested in, so to stand out from competitors, convert this news into content they can consume. It’s important to create content that your audience will read and think ‘That’s beneficial to me, I must talk to that company about these products.’ By linking your product alongside a change in industry legislation, a new market trend, or a time-reducing update you can position your company as an industry leader.
Now that you have a firm understanding of the products you have at the show and the benefits of these products to your audience’s business, you need to deliver this information. One way is through industry media. Which magazines do your target audience read? Which websites do they use? Are they on social media? Having a good working relationship with industry media enables you to project a voice. Positioning your content is a skill that is achieved by ensuring a publication realises the benefits of your work to its readers.
Positioning your company prior to an exhibition as a leader in the industry and highlighting the fact you have the products the market needs, is what will ultimately deliver high footfall. So, next time you think of paying out for prime retail, or giving away thousands of pounds’ worth of freebies, think instead of the benefits of a good pre, during and post show communications strategy.