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Five ways to maximise exhibition PR

Over the last few weeks I’ve been to Multimodal at NEC and FPS Expo (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) at Harrogate, and I thought I would share some examples of good practise.  Everything you do on a stand divulges a message to customers – make sure it’s one you intend to communicate.

1. Promote promote BEFORE the show

I always recommend customers modify their email signatures, 3 months before a show, to flag up the fact that they will be attending. And make sure the signature is consistent for all employees. That way, every time an email is sent, the recipient will be reminded of your exhibition.

2.Don’t forget press information

A preview release on what you are exhibiting should be sent to your key press 3 months before the show. (I speak from experience here… please don’t tell your press officer just one week before the show, and expect her to work her usual wonders!) Try to include something which will make your stand more attractive – a product launch, a key announcement are good news hooks, if relevant. At the show, bring along 20 press packs for the press office (unless of course there is a press office memory stick being issued). Afterwards… well, a review release is sometimes useful – but only if you have something interesting to say. (like £xK business done at show/booked again etc)

3. Make your stand attractive and professional

This is your shop window, make it count. I’ve seen massive companies with DIY stands – and small organisations with bespoke graphics and exhibition boards. We all know which look more professional. Exhibitions ARE costly, and particularly in terms of time for employees to organise and attend.  You do no-one any favours by skimping on the stand image. If you can’t afford a properly designed stand, you might be better to just ‘walk’ the show.

4. Capture details of everyone who visits your stand

I visited any number of stands these two shows, totally incognito. Few asked who I was. Yet it’s so easy to get peoples’ details. Some shows will rent out a ‘badge scanner’, but plain old paper does the trick just as well. Your team just need to be disciplined to fill the details in – AND FOLLOW THEM UP AFTERWARDS. One of the simplest ways to get details is to collect cards, in return for a prize draw. I’m delighted to say that the lovely people at Franceline did just that, and more to the point, phoned me up last week with those wonderful words “Amanda, do you like champagne?” Hurray, my name had been pulled out of the bowl and I had won a bottle of bubbly. However, Franceline Transport are the real winners, as cleverly, they have a record of everyone who visited their stand.

5. Do something to encourage people onto your stand

Just having your team, lovely though they are, on the stand is rarely enough these days. As I walked the shows, I was variously drawnto the wifi zones, the fabulous old motorbike, the working machines, the massive tankers.

They made me stop – and chat. The chocolate just made me guiltily rush in, and out again. One of the best examples of something good for the stand was the cartoonist on the Reynolds Logisticsstand. Unlike the various pens I’ve snaffled, this ‘give away’ I’ve kept. And will probably frame! (see below)  Thanks Reynolds – and I’ll probably hang onto your details on my cartoon longer than a branded pen or mug too.

Exhibitions are costly affairs – make sure that you use their PR potential to the max.

Amanda at FPS Expo

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