The satisfaction of exhibitors is the first objective of an exhibition event. A satisfied exhibitor will also return for the next edition and may even increase his investment.
Any Event Manager knows that exhibitors only care about one thing: a return on their investment. This means that they must be happy with the traffic at their pavilion or stand, and that they are also the type of audience that fits their ideal demographic target group.
To win the exhibitors' favor, they must therefore be able to bring home a concrete result.
Here are some tips on how to satisfy exhibitors in 8 moves:
1. A return on investment justifies the costs of participating in the trade show
If an exhibitor is not convinced to attend your event again, the gist of the matter probably goes far beyond the mere cost of the stand. It should not be considered a "cost" or a "participation fee", but a real investment. If his or her participation in the trade show leads to a significant increase in sales, new customers and a strengthening of relationships with existing customers, the perceived return will have far exceeded the investment, and the simple cost of the stand will no longer be a problem. Exhibitors exhibit first and foremost in terms of marketing. If participation in your event is unable to ensure a concrete and measurable return, they will be inclined to invest time and money elsewhere.
2. Ensure first-class material, online and offline
If exhibitors have been satisfied with previous editions of your event, they may consider new ways to increase their investment. Make sure you can provide a variety of sponsorship packages, promotional and information materials, and up-to-date and accurate online information. It should be remembered that marketing strategies within a company are often agreed between different people, so it is essential that all stakeholders have access to the same information.
3. Provide customized solutions to help exhibitors reach their market target audience
Establish a dialogue with exhibitors to learn about their specific marketing needs. They may be interested in sponsorship options that you have not considered. In recent years, for example, classic packages that provide greater or lesser brand visibility through the display of the company logo have given way to custom formulas that directly involve the sponsor and give them a greater say in writing the event program. It's clear that this is your trade show, and it must remain so, but as such you need to be clear about what can lead to optimal results and what can't, guiding the potential sponsor towards a tailor-made solution that meets their needs and that has a real advantage for the event itself. Without forgetting that a customized sponsorship formula will be perceived by the exhibitor as something unique and special that will differentiate it from its competitors.
4. Rely on Content Marketing
Knowing how to provide useful information to the public that will visit your trade show is the basis of an effective Content Marketing strategy, aimed at creating editorial content that is not only advertising but that has a real illustrative and informative value. It is therefore necessary to provide exhibitors with the tools to establish a significant connection with the public, through information points located in strategic points outside the trade show, an efficient social media network, an updated website, a blog that vehicles content and attracts potential visitors.
5. Direct the public towards exhibitors
There are many ways to direct the public to the exhibitors' stands. Contests, apps and even gamification proposals are increasingly being used for this purpose. It should be borne in mind that an exhibitor is relatively interested in the audience turnout at the trade show itself. What they are really interested in is the number of visitors to their stand. The scheduling of seminars, conferences, presentations, but also exhibitions and shows must therefore be carefully studied to be able to create public attractiveness without diverting attention from the exhibitors.
6. Provide meeting points outside the stands
Conveying the public to the various halls is important, but it is also good to give exhibitors the opportunity to meet potential customers in a less formal environment than the stand. If the location allows it, you have relaxation areas where exhibitors and the public can meet and interact, perhaps sipping an aperitif or a drink in the open air and away from the buzz of the pavilion.
7. Provide simple and intuitive tools
If you want to facilitate the relationship between exhibitors and the public, provide effective but easy-to-use online tools that allow a potential customer, for example, to book a private appointment with the exhibitor. If you are considering creating an app dedicated to your trade show, think of it as a function of how exhibitors use it.
8. Facilitate follow up between exhibitors and the public
Post-exhibition follows up is crucial for exhibitors as it establishes a lasting connection with potential customers. If you have the opportunity, help exhibitors to collect names and email addresses, for example by preparing a pre-filled form available in both paper and digital formats. Using a scanner to scan business cards is much more effective than simply collecting them, with the risk of them being lost. Suggest that your exhibitors equip themselves with the appropriate tools and, if necessary, put them at their disposal, giving them the possibility to rent them on site, for example.
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