Home > Business and Strategy, Marketing > Making the most of expos

Making the most of expos

We attended the BizExpo at the Kingsgate at Te Rapa today. It could have been an excellent opportunity to network with local businesses, but sadly the word did not get out, or perhaps the weekend was the wrong time to hold a B2B event. It was extremely quiet, maybe half a dozen people attending. Some of the exhibitors told me they had got to know some of the other exhibitors and that they were likely to use each other’s services, so some felt it had paid its way. Others thought it had been a complete waste of time.

Networking with the other exhibitors is definitely a benefit of an expo or trade fair. However you also want to get in front of the visitors attending. When we went through, only one person encouraged us to hand over our business cards, or give over our email address. As there was almost no-one else there, I stopped to chat to most of the exhibitors, and still only one asked for my card. That’s leaving the best opportunity of an expo or trade fair untapped. If you are paying good money for a stand, the least you want to leave with are the contacts of all the people who took an interest in your products or services, so you can follow up afterwards. The opportunities are not necessarily on the day of expo itself, but in the follow up. If you are going to exhibit, its important to understand how to do that, and to have clear goals about the outcomes you want from your outlay. You also need a plan to resource the follow up activities.

Hopefully any expo you choose to exhibit at has a much larger number of visitors than this one. If so, you also need to staff it adequately with both enough people and the right sort of people. Expos can contribute to a growth strategy, through new client acquisition, but must be well targeted and well managed. It also pays to check out the track record of the company running the expo.

Jenni is the Director at Strategies Direct, where she helps clients in professional and services industries to develop unique strategy and implement it effectively to achieve their goals. She invites you to download your complimentary report ‘How to Think Strategically’ at http://www.strategies-direct.com

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