Deciding what event to attend that will help benefit your business can be hard. You need to give up time, money and staff to be able to make it worthwhile, so you want to ensure you choose the right event to begin with.
You need to consider quite a few things before you even book to exhibit, so let’s break this down in to manageable chunks.
Who are your target audience, and what is your aim?
The first two things that you need to decide on is who your target audience are and what is your aim?
Undoubtedly, you already know who your target audience are, but do you know events they like to attend? Do you know if they attend to buy, or gain information? And what venue they would travel to? Once you have considered these, you can look at your aim.
Once you are at the event, what do you want to achieve? To measure the success of the event, and the work of your stand staff, you need to have a clear objective. Is this to do direct trade on the stand? Is this coming away with a full week of pre-booked meetings with prospects? Or are you a new business, and the purpose is more to get noticed, and be seen by, and talk to, x amount of people?
Once you have these two points clearly answered, you should have a much better idea, of what you want to achieve from an event, meaning they are a lot easier to narrow down.
Choosing an event
When choosing an event, ideally you should be scouting around to see if there are any industry ‘no gos’ or ‘must be ats’. If the reasons why people have labelled them one or the other appear valid, then take this into consideration. These people have already made the mistake of spending money on an event that didn’t work, or they are going back to the event year after year for a reason. Learn from their lessons.
Do those attending that event fit your target audience?
It could be the largest event, or a highly regarded event, but if your target audience aren’t there, it won’t be worth your time and money. Event companies are pretty good at making their events look amazing, and it is really easy to be drawn in. But, if it’s not going to bring you benefit, step away from the fancy website, and carry on your search.
You should also consider whether there will be enough visitors there? An event may look perfect for you, but if the expected turn out is low, will you still be able to achieve your aim?
Which of your competitors are there?
If your direct competitors are attending you need to be smart. Not that your business doesn’t trump theirs, but you are looking for a successful event. If you have a number of competitors at one event, prospects are more likely to shop around. Taking down your success rate.
Ideally you want to attend an event where you compliment the other exhibitors. So not only do your target audience naturally gravitate towards you, but you may also be able to do business with other stand holders. Event organisers have got a lot better at ensuring there is a balance of business. But you need to be aware yourself of who you will be surrounded by on the day.
Are you prepared?
Once you have narrowed down all of the above, you need to look at dates and your marketing material. To decide if you are prepared or not. If you need to update your marketing materials or your stand, you need to ensure you have time. For them to be designed, printed and delivered to you. And also include time for briefing a marketing agency. Getting the right message for that day to achieve your aim, and then briefing your staff on that message. Oh, and you will also want to ensure your current customers know you are attending, because nothing looks better than a busy stand, especially with a friendly, familiar atmosphere.
Can you prepare your marketing materials in time? We could do it for you!
We have many years of event and exhibition experience. We have been on the stands (both good and bad) and know the problems you will be facing on the day. As well as what works well. With this knowledge, we are able to work with you to create clear, strong messages, and create them into attractive marketing materials. We can aid you in organising your social media to advertise your attendance. Write blog posts about the effort you’ve put in. And even do an email campaign to tell your customers where you will be and when.
If you would like to see what we might be able to achieve together, why not give us a call to arrange a no obligation chat?
Your free guide to events and exhibitions in the Midlands in 2015
We will always go the extra mile. And have decided to give you a little helping hand by including a free downloadable guide to some of the events around the midlands. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there may be many more events in your industry, or further afield, but this is a good place to start!
Attending an event that isn’t listed? Let us know!
To read more blog posts in the “I Don’t Know Series”, click here.