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Advice For Businesses Investing in Exhibitions in 2024

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Author: Rachel
Date: April 9, 2024

Choosing to take your business to an exhibition or trade show is a big step. It can also get expensive, so you need to know that you’ll see a good return on your investment. Things like brand visibility can be difficult to quantify, so it’s vital to find more measurable metrics you can track.

If you’re thinking about signing up for an exhibition, read this guide first. This will enable you to maximise your time and make sure you squeeze every last bit of value from your time there.

Make a plan

Before committing to an exhibition or trade show, make sure you have enough time to prepare. You’ll need promotional materials, printed materials, banners, t-shirts for your team, a specialist landing page and marketing materials ready to go out to interested attendees. All of these things take time to plan, so don’t make the mistake of signing up too late and then having to miss out on key opportunities because you don’t have enough time.

Make your promotional giveaway items evergreen

Make your promotional giveaway items evergreen

Promotional items should be generalised and relevant to your business, not the event. If you include branding for the event, you run the risk of wasting stock that cannot be used for anything else. This is easily avoided by making your branded items evergreen. You can then include printed materials that are relevant to the event, but not as expensive to produce.

Ask for something in return for freebies

Before handing over anything for free, make sure you are capturing contact details from attendees. Segment your audiences in your email marketing software so you can reach them with a guided journey that introduces your business in more detail. If you offer freebies without a transaction, you run the risk of losing money and leaving with no leads.

Include your contact details on the freebie

You’d be surprised how often companies forget to include their contact details on their promotional giveaway item. There are always ways to include contact details in a way that doesn’t distract from your logo or brand name. Work with a graphic designer to ensure you can maximise the space available to you on your chosen promotional items.

Make the most of QR codes

Make the most of QR codes

People used to be very sceptical of QR codes, but then the pandemic changed everything. They are now widely used to help direct individuals to specific websites or social media channels. Create a landing page on your website that is relevant to the event and make it easier to capture interest from those you meet. Include a large QR code on your printed materials and banners so that people can navigate to your website from a distance.

Send your chattiest staff members

A huge part of the trade show experience is the conversations that you have. This is why it pays to send your most confident salespeople. Have a rota throughout the day so that everyone can take a break and come back feeling refreshed. You should also ensure that everyone has perfected their elevator pitch and knows how to approach common objections.

At the end of the exhibition, get together with the team for a debrief. This is a chance to download all of the insight that they gathered from the event while it is still fresh. This insight might help to inform how you approach future events, or if the event was even a useful exercise.

Connect with other business owners

Connect with other business owners

The conversations you have with other business owners and those in the same sector can be just as valuable as the conversations you have with prospective customers. The great thing about trade shows and exhibitions is that everyone lets their guard down and removes the barriers that might prevent them from talking openly about the experience.

Make the most of breakout sessions and approach those people who might have some insight into your sector that they might be willing to share. It is typically a very friendly and helpful environment where everyone is united behind the same goal of pushing the industry forward and learning from one another. 

Track your ROI

It can be difficult to track the ROI of more abstract concepts like brand awareness, but you can very easily track ROI of other metrics. You should be able to track email newsletter sign ups and then further interactions to assign a value to these interactions. You can also track website traffic by ensuring that visitors land on a specific landing page, or use a campaign URL in your QR code.

By keeping track of the ROI of attending the event, you can then determine if it’s worth attending other events in the future. Remember that some businesses choose to intentionally make a loss on events like exhibitions as the brand visibility and association with the event is more important to them.

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Our aim is to build a long term relationship with our customers as we develop an understanding of your requirements and what products work best for you, we are always here to help you with any last minute orders and to make sure your events run as smoothly as possible.
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