15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Exhibitions:
There is a lot to learn when you attend your first exhibition as that is probably your first encounter at trying to market your brand in the presence of your competitors and numerous prospective clients.If you are lucky enough you would be provided training on the organization’s expectations, policies and procedures before heading to the event. However, it is more likely that you would learn on the go. Here are 15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Exhibitions.
1. Research Well: Every exhibition is going to be a fresh new experience, so do not assume that your organization’s reputation from the past events would make your task easier this time around. Make sure you research well about the exhibitions, the visitor’s demographics, competitors participating,etc., and get your goals straight.
2.It is not always pretty and perfect:
You might be shocked and surprised at the amount of drama and tension that would exist at exhibitions. Ranging from annoying visitors, other booth staff, people making snide passes,etc., to failed equipment or shortage of collaterals. There are numerous hurdles that might come across while at an exhibition.
3.You will make mistakes:
You are bound to make mistakes and learn from them,this holds true in the case of the exhibition industry as it is to any other field or professional. You might waste enormous of your time and energy on a casual visitor at a stall, as you have failed to evaluate your purpose. Or, you could be running out of collaterals, giveaways, etc., at your stall, or maybe you were just a bit nervous. This is all perfectly normal as people are bound to make mistakes and learn as time progresses.
4.You Have not Arrived:
Now that you have been selected to be a part of the exhibition and spend time away from your work desk, you do not get to sit back and relax. You should instead try to put your best foot forward and mileage your organization’s presence at the exhibition. Try to be more people focused, which would surely help you become successful.
5.You Represent Your Organization and Brand:
You are being judged every second as some visitor or the other is making their first impression on you and thereby your brand. Nobody would want to work with you if you come across as someone who is not professional. So, always remember that you represent your organization and brand.
6.Know Your Audience:
It would get easier for you to sell or get leads, if you know your target audience at a trade show. You sure would not want to waste your time on someone who is not a prospective lead. Just as before you got this new role,you need to make sure that you understand the expectations out of your trade show and understand how good you are making your brand and organization seem.
Try to stay in harmony with your booth staff and make sure you have trained them well to be there at the exhibition. Train them in the acceptable behaviour at the stall, you would surely be happy with the time you spent doing so.
8.Be Visible and Available:
Unlike other marketing attempts you are likely to come face to face with your competitor, leaving your visitor numerous options to chose from. So, make sure stall more prominent and visible. Also avoid talking to your booth staff a lot as if might send across a message that you are occupied and would not like to be interrupted.
9. Have Fun:
The exhibition is sure an important part in your career, but make sure you have fun and make the most out of your presence there. You might end up making some brilliant contacts when you head for a casual networking spree.
10. Dress for the occasion:
First impressions are made even before someone speaks so make sure you are dressed for the occasion and people would find you impressive,as that is how they would remember your brand and organization.
When you are at the helm of affairs, it requires you to take some quick decisions and not wait for the approval of your boss at all times. So, make decisions even if you are scared of making a wrong decision as any decision is better than a no decision stance. Take decisions and learn from it, in case it turns out to be wrong.
12. Take criticism positively:
Exhibitions and trade shows are the apt place to receive direct feedback about your product/service so make the most out of the opportunity and make a note of all the feedback you receive. Try and resolve what ever problems you can immediately. (Refer to Point 11).
Say thanks and be courteous always, as people would remember the way you made them feel, rather than what you said. So, in between all the carping, demanding, kicking and the screaming out of stress, being grateful would help you stay grounded.
14. Lead by Example:
At an exhibition you are being judged and compared among your peers, so stand out and set an example by every means. Even the simplest of actions like using the recent technology could help you Revolutionize tradeshows with Digital Brochures, Track your Business leads effectively at Trade Shows using QR code brochures etc.
15. Follow up:
The importance of Follow Up is stressed every time someone speaks about a business/marketing effort and the emphasis is worth it all as this is where the real lead conversion takes place. So, never ever underestimate the power of follow up post an exhibition.
It is all but natural for you to be overwhelmed while at an exhibition. However, take on the new role as just another challenge that has come your way and excel in it as you go on. Remember to stay people focused, while keeping the channels of communication open and have a positive attitude and you would see things fall in place.
For more guidance you can also read 5 Dos and Don’ts for Exhibitors for more tips on how you could make the most out of your first/ next exhibition.