Statistics show too many SMEs let exhibitions pass them by

This is a guest post from Rebecca at Portfolio Displays

Staggering statistics have revealed that many of the UK’s SMEs are falling
by the wayside and letting the opportunities presented at exhibitions and trade
shows pass them by. It is estimated that around 80% of the leads generated at
trade fairs and other industry events are not followed up on, whilst 65% of the
specially printed literature created for the events is discarded at the end of
the day.

Around one fifth of the UK’s exhibition participants don’t even track the
ROI on their digitally
printed banners
. The figures demonstrate that many of the smaller
businesses in the UK are not capitalising on the exhibition season; these
important steps demonstrate how best to take advantage of these high-profile
events and use them to boost publicity, awareness and more importantly company

  1. The promotional taskforce should begin not on the
    morning of the exhibition, but weeks in advance. Identifying the target
    audience and contacting them informing them of the event beforehand is
    crucial; the more interested parties are aware of the event, the more
    chance there is of drumming up plenty of enquiries.
  2. The organisation should also identify personal targets
    and responsibilities for all the staff members who will be manning the
    exhibition displays and stands. Setting personal targets for each member
    of staff is a great way of motivating them to hit higher targets and
    attract more leads; having a stand manager also helps to monitor progress
    throughout the day.
  3. All staff should be briefed before the show opens,
    taking advantage of each staff member’s unique qualities; those
    particularly interested in technology should be giving demonstrations and
    using tablet
    display stands
    to show videos, whilst those with the customer facing
    experience can network and speak to the relevant people passing by.
  4. With well-trained staff and a coherent method statement
    in place for the exhibition, the next step is to ensure high-quality
    materials. Digitally printed Foamex displays and banners with eye-catching
    designs draw in the crowds, whilst supplementary leaflets, flyers and
    business cards ensure that everyone leaves the stand with something to
    consult later.
  5. Depending on the type of exhibition, it is likely that
    there will be a lull in visitor numbers at some point during the day; use
    this time to ensure the display area is immaculate, and consider making
    changes in accordance with visitor reactions.
  6. Take a walk round the exhibition and chat to other
    suppliers and network that way. You never know who may be exhibiting next
    door to you and referral business can be very powerful.
  7. If many visitors take leaflets but did not stop to
    engage with sales staff, encourage the team to ask open questions and
    attract more visitors. If there are still masses of promotional leaflets
    and flyers lying around, consider placing them somewhere more accessible,
    or having staff hand them out personally.
  8. And remember to smile and be polite, no one likes a
    pushy salesman. Try to be polite and attract the crowds to you.

Taking these basic steps and assessing progress at every opportunity is a
great way to track where the business is succeeding during exhibition season.
The simplest actions of training staff and ensuring high quality materials are
distributed can go a long way to ensuring a profitable event.