I’ve just come back from the NEC – this week it was Subcon, a couple of months ago, Multimodal 2012. What brilliant shows they were. As a visitor, here are my top tips for making the most of visiting an exhibition:
- Before you go, make a list of the people you want to see
- For all us women, wear comfy shoes.
- Take plenty of business cards
- Follow up the people you met with an email and a phone call
- Make sure you keep hydrated
- Arrange to have 1-2-1’s in the central coffee point – so other people can see you
- Take photographs of stands that particularly grab your attention
- As a visitor, don’t try to sell to the exhibitors – they’ve paid more than the £8 parking to do that
- Preregister – it stops all that faffing about at the reception desk
- Before you go, make sure you email/send invites to all your customers
- Create a new exhibition ‘signature’ to go on your emails
- Have something eye catching or tactile on your stand – I was taken by the small putting courses; the full sized steel robot; the spring ‘stress ball’ giveaways and various engaging smiles
- Ensure your team are trained in what to do on a stand. Sadly, I saw many exhibitors just talking to their colleagues, scowling or just texting.
- Engage with people who stop on your stand – they might well be customers 6 months down the line
- Don’t have huge hard boiled sweets or, worse still, chewy ones on your stand… it hampers holding a conversation you can understand.
- Do a Twitter search to see who’s talking about the exhibition before/during and after the show. I got invited onto a stand because I’d mentioned #subcon
- Make sure giveaways have your phone number/website on them – I picked up 4 which either had nothing, or only had a logo…
- Scan the name of every visitor to your stand – even press officers might be a good connection 😉