Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR and Enterprise Nation Champion for Nottingham, explains why you SHOULD make an exhibition of yourself.
I’ve just got back from supporting our new client, ValueLicensing at Smarter Business Tech Live – a major exhibition with nearly 200 speakers including my client.
What stunned me was that I was one of very few people there from the marketing support perspective. Most exhibitors focused on getting there on time and standing on their shiny stand hoping people and prospects would drop by.
That’s crazy, exhibitions can cost a fortune in both time and money.
So, here’s some tips about what you should or could be doing the next time you book some space.
Tell your prospects and customers that you are going. They might be too or they might want to join you. Use it as a chance to have a conversation. Send them an eshot, blog about it, share it across social, drop them an email directly. Whatever you do, make sure that relevant prospects know.
See if you can get a speaking slot. If you can, you need to push this HARD as it is gold dust. It is a fantastic profile boost which can lead to prospects on the day and a host of new opportunities.
Try and arrange an interview with the exhibition show guide, either online, in print or both. They are keen to have as much news as possible as it helps to keep the content fresh and the punters buying tickets.
On the day, arrange for one of your team to be a ‘roving reporter’ taking in the show and sharing it on social media. The organisers will thank you for sharing their show with social shares a plenty and you will be positioning yourself as an expert on the industry.
If you have got a speaking slot, be sure to take ‘action’ shots of you or your colleague addressing the crowd. This builds authority for later articles and blogs.
Be sure to write up a short piece for your website and newsletter summarising the key points for those that couldn’t make it.
After the show is over, have an honest look at what worked and what didn’t from the stand and lead capture mechanisms to the PR and social element. Now is also a good time to pitch your expert speaker for some guest articles in relevant media. There should be list of reporters who attended that you can get from the organisers or at least the publications they work for. Pitch them first whilst the show is still fresh.
I hope that helps, don’t forget, when it comes to exhibitions it really is SHOW time so don’t just ‘stand’ around.