When you run a small business exhibiting at expos becomes a regular expense.
Lots of businesses take the wrong approach though. They believe that the more conversations you have at an exhibition, the more leads you will get.
Contrary to these thoughts it really is more than just about leads and about how many people you talk to.
The Great British Business Show ran on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November 2016 at Kensington’s Olympia, and as usual there were thousands of small business owners visiting the show.
Based on the experiences that the JournoLink team have had at these exhibitions, we’ve come up with a short list of six things to remember when you exhibit your small business at an expo.
If you want to read more about our experience and get some concrete PR tips from a show, have a look at the next article: JournoLink's take on The Business Show 2016.
1) Make Sure You Have A Strategy For The Show:
Before you get to the show think about how you are going to approach leads and conversations.
How are you going to present your stand so it has maximum effect, and how will you ensure your leads are organised for your post-show strategy?
2) With Conversations, Quality Is More Important Than Quantity:
When you are exhibiting and hundreds of people are walking past your stand it’s very easy to get over-excited and want to talk to every person.
After all, the majority of them will be in business so will probably be potential customers, right?
If someone has stopped at your stand and has encountered your business for the first time, the chances are that they wont do business with you until they have more of a relationship with you.
To that end, having a conversation with someone will be able to start this process, and will be help to qualify what their needs are, and if you can actually help them.
3) Take A Look At Who Else Is Exhibiting:
There might be hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of visitors looking around the show, but they are not the only people you can do business with.
If you get a chance, walk around some of the other stands because you never know, some of them may be potential customers for your business too.
4) It’s Not Just About Selling:
While you will be able to find leads for your small business, you may also be able to find potential partners.
Remember, like in PR, building a network in business takes time and your credibility can be destroyed in an instant, so if you find a potential partner make sure you look after them because they may be able to introduce you to others.
5) You Can Test New Ideas:
Business Show’s are heaving with small business owners, and it’s likely that you wont know the majority of attendees.
If you have an idea you would like to test, or you would like to carry out some market research, a business show is your ideal opportunity to test the waters.
6) Remember To Have A Post-Show Strategy:
It’s all very well to have lots of conversations about business, but if there is no follow up then the initial conversations are pointless.
You will have had a strategy for your conversations and how you will collect the data, but now what is your strategy for follow-ups?
The best idea is to commit time the week after the show to email your leads, and then to make phone calls.
In business you are constantly learning new ways to improve, and with these six tips we hope you will be able to maximise any business shows you attend in the future.
If you would like to hear more of our business tips, or would like more information about how you can get more media coverage for your business, sign up for our email updates here.
Written by: Ben Caine, Copy and Content Writer
As a former journalist, Ben helps businesses using JournoLink to write their content, including press releases.