So you’ve got the perfect stand, you’ve secured your exhibition spot and you’re all ready and raring to go. Whether it’s your first exhibition or your 100th, it’s still important to familiarise yourself with exhibition etiquette. By adhering to the following do’s and don’ts, you’ll find the experience more rewarding and a greater success story.
- Although the stand, visuals and product play a large part in selling themselves, you, as the physical embodiment of the brand also must play your part in representing your wares. For a first timer, this can often feel intimidating but once you get into the swing of things, liaising with the public will become second nature. It’s important to project a warm, friendly and welcoming exterior. Consider your body language, dress, tone of voice and eye contact. Assume an easy stance with passers-by as if you are in the company of friends. Remain present, engaged and available.
- Giving away freebies is, in our opinion, still one of the greatest ways to create an immediate connection between you and your target audience. The truth is, everybody wants a freebie and some people are making a beeline directly for those freebies! This gives people the opportunity to see, touch, taste, smell, hear and use your product first hand. By incorporating the senses directly, people are immediately more engaged and involved. Something that a person can take home will automatically remind them of your stand. Adorning the freebie with your brand name and contact details is even better. One of the best things about freebies is that even those who might not ordinarily be tempted to your stand may drop by in order to pick up the freebie alone. This automatically widens your audience, perhaps introducing you to un-thought of demographics.
- Exhibitions are all about networking not only with the visitors themselves, but also with other exhibitors. Maintaining an open and easy exterior whilst liaising with fellow exhibitors can often yield promising results and help you to forge new connections.
- Although often people will come to you, it’s also essential to be able to approach and communicate with people. In order to do so effectively it is important not to be pushy or domineering. Guide but don’t force. Talk but don’t pester. Be aware of your behaviour at the stand. Don’t sit there eating, talking on your phone or looking disinterested. Ask people open ended questions designed to encourage them to engage in friendly conversation, if they feel so inclined.
- Have something to offer. As discussed, this might be a freebie, a giveaway or perhaps a business card. By giving away something of yourself, people have a reason to come to you. They are able to learn about you and understand a little more about who you are.
- Those working on the stand need to be motivated self-starters who know what they are doing. Ensure that all stand staff are trained or if you are going it alone, make sure you know what you’re doing!
- Research the show you are attending. Who is turning up? Is the show successful? What kind of people does the show attract? By knowing what you are getting yourself into, you can adjust your presentation accordingly to maximise your impact.
- It’s good to talk but it’s also essential to listen. Listen to what the attendees are telling you; about the show, about the other exhibits, about your exhibit. You don’t have to take everything on board but being open to the process can yield promising results.
- Most importantly, have fun. Exhibitions are supposed to be fun, communicative, engaging spaces. Enjoy your day and make the most of it.