Update 20th May – ExhibitorLive 2020 has been postponed until February 28 – March 4, 2021. This change was made in response to public health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 and the restrictive constraints on large events.
NEWS ALERT: Exhibitor Live is one month away! If you haven’t started to plan for the biggest industry event of the year, now is the time (the same goes for any trade show you decide to exhibit at this season).
Without preparing in advance, there’s no guarantee that your strategy is capable of delivering your exhibition objectives. Thankfully, we can stop this from happening.
Keep reading to discover exactly how Expo Stars plans ahead when we exhibit and how we’re preparing for Exhibitor Live. Steal this plan to get the most out of your trade show team and reap a solid ROI.
Four weeks ago, Expo Stars had an in-depth strategy session in preparation for Exhibitor Live 2020. But we didn’t just include our marketing team. We ensured sales and operations were represented too, as well as our CEO. Why?
You’ve got to have the key people at the table who are involved in implementing the strategy and measuring success. Because an exhibition strategy needs expertise and buy-in from across the business for it to work. You’ll see why throughout our plan.
Working out exactly what you want to achieve from an exhibition can be an intimidating task. But it’s critical – without the numbers, you’ll be generating leads for the sake of leads with no clue on whether your investment was worth it.
Make this task breezy by breaking it down into simple steps. It’ll make your calculations more accurate and easier to understand for all key stakeholders.
This is how we approached our numbers during our strategy session.
First, we looked at our overall sales target for the year. We then asked ourselves: How much of that sales target do we want to achieve from Exhibitor Live? This helped us come up with the percentage of business we wanted to generate at the expo.
Once we had that number, we worked backwards to hash out exactly what we needed to do to generate that result.
This involved answering the following questions:
- How many people do we need to present to at the exhibition?
- How many people do we need to engage at our booth?
- How many conversations do we need to instigate to generate enough booth visitors?
We also divided those numbers over the three days of Exhibitor Live. We knew the first two days were the busiest last year and the peak times for footfall. With this information, we were able to develop key KPIs for each day.
As you can see, to accurately break down your numbers, you need to consider the specifics of your event in addition to your expectations and past performance.
Understanding our message was the next step in our plan. At this point, we knew what our goals were. We now needed a powerful message to capture attendees’ attention and achieve our exhibition objectives.
To form your message, think about what you want to articulate. It should be pertinent to your overarching goal. Your marketing team can lend their creativity to help you craft a message that is engaging and relevant.
You also need to consider your ideal customer. Who are you trying to attract? Their unique profiles should dictate the tone and value of your message.
The Engagement Strategy
Face-to-face engagement is the lifeblood of an exhibition strategy. It’s the difference between converting attendees and losing opportunities. If you can’t connect with visitors on an emotional level, your efforts will be for naught.
Understanding how your face-to-face engagement will work in advance gives your booth team time to prepare (and train up if necessary) so they can successfully qualify and convert at your booth.
During our session, we worked together to create an engagement strategy, ensuring we had everything we needed to captivate our visitors’ attention with the right information.
First, we identified:
- The marketing collateral needed for the event
- The presentations to be delivered
- Who’s going to deliver them
- How our message is going to be articulated
We also deep-dived into our face-to-face engagement methods, asking ourselves:
- Once we get people to the booth, what’s our process?
- What questions do we need to ask to ensure we’re talking to the right people?
- What technology do we need to offer an engaging experience?
- Are we going to do face-to-face presentations?
- Are we presenting to multiple people at multiple times?
Answering these questions helped us form a brief for our lead generators and presenters. This ensured they knew:
- Who they needed to speak to
- How many people they needed to engage
- The right questions to ask
So that they could optimise their engagement and not waste time talking to the wrong people.
We also discussed our tactic for closing leads. This included how we planned to capture customer details and the technology needed to make this swift and easy, such as tablets connected to our customer database.
In the final part of our strategy session, we concentrated on how we’re going to measure success.
This approach will change depending on your original goal. For example, if your goal is to capture X amount of leads, you’ll want to calculate how many meetings you secured or how many contact details you captured post-show. Then you need to compare the results to your original numbers to assess your performance.
On the other hand, maybe your objective is to build brand awareness, deliver an exciting experience or test out a new strategy. In this case, you need to measure your exhibition engagement.
We recently wrote a guide on the groundbreaking technologies you can use to do this, such as WiFi analytics and face detection. These tools are brilliant at understanding a visitor’s reactions to your presentations and booth. The results gained help you refine your engagement strategy to deliver an even better experience at your next show.
You’re all set
Now you know Expo Stars’ best practices when it comes to preparing for an important event. Using this plan will help you get the most out of your staff, your booth and your overall investment, helping you smash your exhibition objectives.
Is there something else we can help you within the run-up to the big day? Whether you need support hiring the best staff, training your team or building an effective strategy, we’re here to help. Talk to an Expo Stars consultant today on 0161 834 9478 (UK) or +1 702 608 8362 (USA).