Are trade shows and trade fairs part of your communication toolkit? Has your team become accustomed to the same habits year after year? Careful! To continue to stand out, you need to know how to question and critique yourself. Avoid falling into a routine: follow these three expert tips to stand out at an event.
Tip #1: Rely on the expertise of the event organizers
Each event attendance requires a period of preparation. Start by evaluating your performance at past events:
- Did you meet the objectives established in the development phase?
- Have you held on to the contact files you obtained?
- What analyses can you perform with the profile of potential clients you encountered?
- What relevant indicators can help you track converting contacts into customers?
This preparation phase is imperative to ensure that you reach your objectives. Concentrate on your target goal: What message are you trying to communicate? What exactly are your visitors expecting of you when they come to the event?
Do you feel ill-equipped or lack the time to prepare for your event? The event organizer will know how to advise you on standing out. For example, they can give you tips on where to set up your stand to meet the visitors that interest you most, on what methods of communication to use, or even how to promote your new products and updates.
The event organizer remains available to businesses to simplify and improve their experience. Think about it!
Remain visible year-round
Today, a trade show or exhibition is no longer simply a date in your calendar. It is a complete solution to your company’s visibility and offerings throughout your entire professional circle, all year long.
The event organizer offers a wide range of communication solutions whether they be before, during or after the event. For example, the online catalog or creation of online content during the event (podcasts, blogs, social media, etc.) can reinforce points in need of improvement.
Perhaps you’ve missed out on some solutions this year. To avoid making the same mistake next time, keep in touch with the event’s organizing team via its newsletter and social media networks, and don’t forget to ask for guidance. The team will be pleased to assist you.
Tip #2: Find inspiration at the event
Do you have a development or innovation to present? Having something new to share is the ideal way to stand out and become a topic of conversation at an event, right?
However, it’s not absolutely necessary to have something new to present in order to be original and stand out. To find ideas to distinguish yourself or change your habits from one year to the next, try looking for inspiration in the (best) practices of your competitors! This method can take several forms: observing other stands, applying lessons learned from previous years or other events, live discussions, etc. Some exchanges might even lead you to rethink your strategy!
For example, get inspired by:
- content created by the event organizer: white papers, conferences, etc. This content was created to help you!
- what other exhibitors are doing: how do they present their offers, innovations and customer reviews? Follow them on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, etc.
Don’t just send your sales teams at an event. Your research and development teams, your strategic directors and even certain members of your operational team will bring a different perspective to your business, its products and its stakes.
Your mere presence sends a message to your entire community: your business is part of the market. It is available and reactive. Your customers and prospective customers can count on you to be consistent. Know how to take advantage of this!
Renewing your participation: from consistency to trust
The visitor/buyer comes to a show in order to create a relationship based on trust through face-to-face interactions. This relationship is the foundation of all future transactions. It is also the result of your perseverance. It is therefore a question of arming yourself with patience by continuing certain exchanges from one event to another.
« Buyers need to know that they can find an exhibiting company in multiple editions of the same event. This sends a reassuring message and allows you to be more pertinent when presenting innovations. »*
Tip #3: take part in conversations about the future of your sector
As Vincent Larquet, director of strategy and sustainable development at UNIMEV (Union française des métiers de l'événement) recently stated, “[In a few years] the event organizer will no longer be a provider, but a strategist for the development of the community it continually leads.”
A trade show is not just a simple showcase, and the organizers are making sure to lead the discussions that will determine the future of the sector on which the show is focused. It’s up to the downstream exhibitor to be active: take advantage of the many meetings and conversations organized (conferences and round table discussions) to take part in strategic reflections about their sector.
Are you afraid of not mastering certain topics? Specialize in a given issue to complement other exhibitors.
"Today, a trade show is an all-encompassing part of its market. Through organized meetings and created content, we push the boundaries of each sector. We try to raise awareness amongst our audience according to our values. It’s up to the exhibitors to embrace topics and lead these conversations with us!"*
Exhibitors can become a source of inspiration to all players in the community. Becoming a thought leader is within the reach of anyone passionate and motivated enough, anxious to have a lasting impact on their sector.
Attending a professional event is a great opportunity! It’s an opportunity to renew your appeal by following the advice of the event organizers, capitalizing on your attendance to get your message across, and by being at the source of strategic discussions on the future of your sector. All of this is at your fingertips: ask us for advice to guide you!
*Marie Lagrenée - Business Unit Director at Comexposium