With some extra planning and preparation, you can make sure you have the most successful expo stand possible!

Exhibiting at industry expos is a fantastic way to create exposure for your business, reaching your target audience quickly and easily.   We’ve put together a few ideas to help you get the most out of any expo event.

What should business women consider before deciding if running a successful expo stand at a business/industry expo is a smart move for their business?

First of all, you need to ensure that you are visible within the expo.  Ask the organisers how many other exhibitors are offering the same service or product as you. The last thing you want is to compete with multiple exhibitors of the same nature!

What types of businesses work best at expos?

Any business would work well at an expo, providing the business or service they are offering is relevant to the expo being held. It is obvious that a plumber would not suit a bridal expo; however if there was a home building expo, the plumber has a chance of success.

What are some traps to avoid when investing time and money in an expo display?

The first step is to avoid buying anything you cannot re-use at a later date.  It makes good business sense to invest money into generic marketing that can be reused.  In the case of expo materials, you want the process to be as cost-effective as possible.

What steps can first-time expo exhibitors do to boost their chances of success?

Getting social is always a great way to gain exposure – both to your current clientele as well as potential new clients. Some effective ways to get more coverage on social media are:

  • Posting on your own FB business wall about any promotions you are presenting on the day of the expo – we recommend always having promotions, offers or competitions running on the day.
  • Asking family and friends to share your post across their own social media accounts is a great way to spread the word.
  • Take advantage of all other social media platforms, such as twitter, Instagram, snapchat, and google+.
  • When you are posting online, within the copy of your post use phrases like “Exclusive to this expo” – this will increase your chances of getting more potential clientele coming through for an expo exclusive offer.
  • Aside from posting on your own social media accounts, ask the organisers if they are running a marketing campaign for the expo, and if your business can be included in any social posts and web features.  Make sure they tag your business or backlink to your website.

How can business people find details of different expos that may suit their business?

A great way to find out what expos are running throughout Melbourne is to check event sites such as Melbourne Bridal Expos.  There are also many other websites that list Melbourne events, or you can contact venues for a schedule of events.

And be sure to join relevant Facebook groups or like social media pages such as Melbourne Bridal Expo’s Facebook page or Instagram profile.  Your target audience is tuning into these groups every day to find out what’s on!

Networking with other businesses – pro or con?

Networking is a great way to keep informed of events, changes and news within your industry. By keeping in touch with other companies within your industry, you can see if they are attending any expos or taking advantage of other potential marketing opportunities.  It is advisable to attend any industry events – this ensures that your business gets exposure and that you know who your main competitors are!

How should exhibitors handle follow-up contact?

There are lots of little things that can turn a good stand into a highly successful expo stand.  Make sure you have a way of capturing the contact details of your visitors – you can do this by running a competition or offering a small enticing freebie for signing up to your mailing list.  Follow up is also critical – a non-pushy follow-up call or email to see how they are going with their plans could be the thing that turns them from a contact into a customer!

What else needs to be considered?

Always check the fine print when signing on to exhibit at an expo – find out whether you are covered by the expo organiser’s public liability insurance, marketing etc.  Also, keep an eye on what other exhibitors are doing in the lead up to the expo – follow their social media pages or websites for advertising and competition ideas.

Organising and running a successful expo stand doesn’t have to be a daunting process.  Sure, there are considerations and planning, but remember that the primary focus is that it is an opportunity to meet with people and develop a relationship face to face.  If you relax and enjoy the expo experience, the experience will be rewarding!