Showcasing your brand at an exhibition can be a game-changer for small businesses. You can display your products or services, generate leads, build relationships, and gain insights. But it can also be a tough and tricky task, especially if you’re new to it. You need to plan and prepare well before you can wow your audience and reach your goals.
In this blog, we’ll show you what every SME needs to know before their first exhibition, from choosing the right exhibition, setting goals and budget, designing an attractive booth, networking and pitching, to following up with leads. We’ll also tell you about a top-notch provider of custom exhibition stands that can help you create a unique and memorable brand experience for your visitors.
Before anything else, you must choose the right exhibition, which involves doing a lot of research ahead of time. You can use online platforms like Eventbrite or 10times to browse and filter thousands of exhibitions around the world by category, date, location, and more. You can also check industry publications, newsletters, blogs, or social media to find out about the latest and upcoming exhibitions in your niche. You can also ask your peers, customers, suppliers, or competitors for recommendations or feedback on exhibitions they have attended or exhibited at.
Once you have a list of potential exhibitions, you need to narrow it down by evaluating each one based on some criteria. For instance, you can seek to uncover the reputation of the organisers, how experienced they are, how many people are expected to attend, and the costs associated with the event. By answering these questions, you can compare different exhibitions and choose the one that offers the most value for your business.
By choosing the right exhibition for your small business, you can increase your chances of having a successful and rewarding experience. You can also avoid wasting your resources on exhibitions that don’t suit your needs or expectations. It is vital to do your homework before you book your space and register your attendance.
Another crucial step to featuring at an exhibition is setting goals and a budget for your small business. You don’t want to go into an exhibition without a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how much you can afford to spend.
To avoid this, you’ll need to set SMART goals for your exhibition. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These are the characteristics of effective goals that can help you focus your efforts and track your progress. Here are some examples of SMART goals you are likely to set yourself at an exhibition:
By setting SMART goals for your exhibition, you can have a clear direction and motivation for your exhibition activities. You can also measure your success and evaluate your performance at the end of the event.
You also need to create a realistic budget for your exhibition. A budget can help you manage your finances and avoid overspending or underspending on your exhibition. Here are some of the main categories of costs that you need to consider when creating a budget for your exhibition:
One of the most valuable steps to exhibiting at an exhibition is networking and pitching your business. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to connect and communicate with potential customers and other exhibitors at the exhibition. So, how do you network and pitch effectively at an exhibition?
The first thing you need to do is to prepare an elevator pitch for your small business. An elevator pitch is a short and concise summary of your value proposition, benefits, and differentiation that you can deliver in less than a minute. Here are some tips on how to prepare an elevator pitch for your small business:
By preparing an elevator pitch for your business, you can have a ready-made speech that you can use to introduce yourself and your small business to anyone at the exhibition. You can also adapt and customise your elevator pitch according to the situation and the audience.
The second thing you need to do is to engage visitors with open-ended questions, demonstrations, testimonials, or incentives. These are some of the ways that you can chat with your visitors and show them your products or services in an engaging way. Here are some tips on how to use these ways:
Networking and pitching effectively at an exhibition can boost your chances of generating leads, making sales, building relationships, and gaining insights. You can also communicate your value proposition, benefits, and differentiation to potential customers and other exhibitors. So don’t forget to brush up on your networking and pitching skills!
The final step to exhibiting at an exhibition is following up with leads that you have collected from the exhibition. To convert your leads into customers or referrals after the event, here are some tips on how to follow up:
By following up with leads after an exhibition, you can maintain and strengthen your relationship with your leads and increase your chances of converting them into customers or referrals. You can also avoid losing your leads to your competitors or forgetting about them altogether.
One of the most important steps to exhibiting at an exhibition is designing an attractive booth for your small business. After all, for those attending, this will be their first impression of your business, so you’ll want something that stands out and amplifies your brand’s persona.
To go about designing a booth that reflects your brand identity, the first thing you need to do is to choose the right size, layout, location, and lighting. These are the basic elements that determine how your booth looks and functions at the exhibition.
Here are some tips on how to choose these elements:
The second thing you need to do is to use custom exhibition stands to create a unique and memorable impression on your audience. Custom exhibition stands are bespoke structures that are designed and built according to your specifications and preferences. They can help you showcase your products or services, convey your brand message, and differentiate yourself from other exhibitors. Here are some benefits of using custom exhibition stands:
One of the leading providers of custom exhibition stands is Quadrant2Design. Quadrant2Design is a UK-based company that offers high-quality design, installation, and support services for custom exhibition stands. They have over 20 years of experience in creating stunning custom exhibition stands for various industries and events. They use their own modular system called Prestige Events System to create custom exhibition stands that are flexible, reusable, and eco-friendly. They also offer free 3D design visuals and no-obligation quotations for their clients.
If you are interested in using custom exhibition stands for your small business, you can visit the Quadrant2Design website or contact them for a quote.
If you are ready to take your small business to the next level by attending an exhibition, but you need some financial assistance to make it happen, we have a solution for you. Here at Nucleus, we offer flexible and tailored funding solutions for small businesses. We can help you get the cash you need to cover your exhibition expenses and grow your business. Get in touch with us today.