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Running a stand at a trade show or exhibition is hard work.  Booking the stand is the easy part.  There is a lot of planning and preparation that must take place in the run up to the event to ensure you get the greatest value out of the investment you’ve made in exhibiting.

On average, 75% of visitors to an exhibition are there to buy or plan to buy in the future – so make sure your impression is a memorable one! Here are our top tips to ensure you should be easily on your way to exhibiting success!

Sterling have been running and organising successful exhibitions for the last 10 years.  Here are our top tips for exhibition success:


Set Measurable Goals

Before you go, you need to know exactly why you want to exhibit and what you want to achieve from it.  Set a couple of specific and measurable targets to work towards, such as amount of potential contacts, leads or new partners, and plan how you’ll achieve them.


Design Your Stand to Showcase Your Objectives

Your stand is the first thing people will see so it needs to stand out and attract people to you. The design of your stand needs to reflect your objectives, whilst also being smart, attractive and on brand.  Make sure your message is short and targeted.


Advertise and Promote as Much as Possible

Let people know you are attending an exhibition and if you can invite people, do!  Your competition will! Nothing looks better than a full stand, so use social media, newsletters and your website to get the message out.


Make a checklist before you go
Make a checklist of the items you need to take to your exhibition.  Create an exhibition box and make sure you include items like business cards, pens, stapler, folders and spare stationery.


Dress comfortably and for the occasion
You know your audience and what is appropriate for the event you are going to, but remember exhibitions are long days and you will be on your feet most of the time. Dress comfortably, and prepare for different temperatures.


Know What to Do

80% of a stand’s success is you and your staff, so you need to look smart and fresh, make eye contact and smile at people as much as possible. Your aim is to speak to as many potential clients as possible, so keep conversations short and concise, whilst listening more than you talk. Make sure your phone is off, focus on visitors and if you listen to their needs, sell the benefits of your product or service rather than its features.


Know What Not to Do

It may seem like common sense, but we are going to say it anyway.  Don’t spend all your time talking on the phone, eating in full view, sitting behind a desk or having your back to people… oh and don’t make a mess or have cheap giveaways.


Attract People to Your Stand to Start the Conversation

One of the most effective ways to get people on your stand is to elicit curiosity.  It allows you to start a conversation and draw a crowd.  Try a game for a prize draw.  We have seen some amazing eye catching offers that work!  However, remember whatever you do it needs to be credible and related to your brand so that it is memorable and not tacky.


Write notes for your visitors
Exhibition visitors are bombarded with information from everyone and will take home a raft of information at the end of the day.  Make sure that when you hand out your literature you write a few key words that will remind them of what you discussed.  Why not print slightly bigger cards with a space to write on?  It is useful to hand out with your literature.


Keep a note of who you speak to!

You will be seeing a lot of people when you exhibit so you will need to find an easy system of classifying the people you meet. The easiest way would be leads, potential leads and general contacts (who could refer you to leads). Tip: Write on the back of the cards your collect or have a recording sheet, you won’t remember what people were interested in after the event.


Follow Up

One of the most important steps of exhibiting is following up on the people you met there! If you don’t, then why did you waste all your time and money on the exhibition in the first place?   Plan your follow up strategy in advance of the event and make sure you follow up as quickly as possible after the exhibition.


Review Your Success – how was it?

Was the exhibition worth it? Did you reach your goals? Or did you come out with other benefits such as other opportunities and referrals? The results might surprise you so make sure you sit down and reflect on the experience. You may even learn something new about your target audience that you could feed into your marketing strategy. There’s always room for improvement so would you go to another one? What would you do better next time?

For further information on our Worcester Expo click here -