Make the most of exhibitions

As a follow up to my post several weeks ago ranting about the quality of some of the exhibitors at WTM I thought I would mention a little more about exhibition PR, its benefits etc…  This is made all the more relevant by our trip to Barcelona  last week for EIBTM.

Any exhibition organiser worth his (or her) job title will be working flat out in the lead up to the exhibition to ensure footfall.  Through a combination of marketing and PR strategies they will be working day  and night to bring in more visitors of the right quality.  It is quite simply in their best interest to do so as a low number of poor quality visitors will disappoint and turn off the exhibitors, making their sales job even harder the next time around.

Once the organisers have done their job, it is up to the individual exhibitors.  If the organisers get it right in terms of visitor profiling then the exhibitors only have themselves to blame if visitors don’t visit their stand.  Floor space, location , stand design and staff all play their part in attracting visitors but even exhibitors on smaller budgets can make a significant impact.

Using PR at the right time in the build up to a show directly affects people’s awareness of your presence, stand, new products or indeed offers you are making.  By reading and hearing about you or seeing promotional material in advance, visitors will either plan a trip to your stand or be far more aware of what you offer when they catch a glimpse of you at a show.

The opportunities to promote your presence at a show are vast but the simplest starting point is the organiser – so talk to them.  They need case studies and stories to help them promote the show as a whole so get on board and benefit from their experience and media  links. Exhibitors should also try to get involved in new or fringe elements of a show, such as conferences – they offer yet more opportunities for PR and profiling.

Beyond that it is a case of seeking your own opportunities, understanding what media your potential clients are exposed to and achieving coverage where it is going to have the most impact for you and your attendance at the show.

The actual show days are obviously vital to achieving exhibiting goals  but the right application of pre-show promotion certainly shortens the odds and makes life a little easier.  The exhibitor, like any craftsman has many different tools available to him, they all have a purpose and if they are used in the right sequence the outcome will be successful. It is simply a matter of balance.

More on this subject soon…

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