A conference or exhibition can be an excellent opportunity for your business to generate leads, advocate its brand and network effectively with potential suppliers and partners.
However, not only is it a challenge to attract attendees to your stand, ensuring they remain engaged once you’ve got their attention may also be tricky.
With a little preparation and hard work, you can give your exhibition stand the best chance of success. Here are some simple measures you can employ to entice a bigger crowd at your next event.
1. Provide free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi can be difficult to come across at some events, which can be frustrating for delegates who want to check their email or post on social media about the exhibition.
Offering free Wi-Fi is one way of attracting people to your stand, but you’ll probably want to consider a ‘quid pro quo’ arrangement. In other words, if someone asks to use your connection, request they provide contact details so that you can follow up with them later.
Furthermore, providing Wi-Fi services isn’t usually cheap, so you might want to examine more cost-effective alternatives. For example, set up a Wi-Fi hotspot using a dongle connected to a laptop or organise a small seating area with connected devices.
2. Pick the right exhibition team
You will need friendly, approachable employees manning your stand, as it can be extremely off-putting for attendees if exhibitors are too pushy, lacking in knowledge or don’t seem to care.
Rapport during the sales process is important, so you may want to include a range of personalities among your team to cater to different customer demographics.
3. Do your research
Don’t just focus on your stand, check what other exhibitors will be in attendance, as well as the kinds of delegates that will be there on the day.
This allows you to tailor any presentations and marketing materials specifically towards potential audience members, while avoiding being too similar to competitors’ offerings.
4. Knowledge sharing
Business attending B2B conferences will often be looking to expand their industry knowledge, so bear this in mind when bringing company literature and handouts.
Whitepapers and reports will identify you as a thought leader in your market segment, and gives you an opportunity to highlight industry challenges and the ways to overcome them.
People are also more likely to give up their email address or contact details if they receive something in return, such as PDF copies of insightful market research.
5. Offer freebies
One of the best ways to entice a crowd to your stand is to offer freebies, although it is important that these items tie into your overall brand message and services.
Also, simply handing out free merchandise is unlikely to foster engagement. Chances are, people will pick up their free stuff and merge back into the crowd – so make your giveaways memorable.
A quick and easy way to get more visitors is to offer free coffee or snacks. A small rest area with chairs, internet and refreshments can be a surprisingly effective way of attracting weary attendees.
While serving food and drink, your representatives will have a chance to chat to people and spark their interest in your goods and services.
7. Appeal to the senses
Setting up a stall that appeals to the senses should attract more people, so using video and audio presentations is often recommended.
Giving attendees the opportunity to test out your products and services is also important, particularly at technology-driven conferences where speed and functionality are key factors when purchasing.
8. Get the word out in advance
Whether it’s through press releases, social media or email, make sure your attendance at the conference is known to all your followers and customers.
Don’t rely on the event organisers to do all the promotion on your behalf, as you’ll be missing a valuable opportunity to build interest in your brand.
Once the event starts, provide regular updates on social media – using the relevant hashtags – to maintain visibility and maximise exposure.