How does anyone know if the exhibition turned out to be a success? That takes a few steps back – before you can evaluate the results, you need to figure out what your major objectives are. Based on that, you can adapt almost everything – your stand design, your communication, your POS-materials. So what could be the main exhibition objectives?
Meet new prospects
Exhibitions tend to have very narrow audience profile, which means that most of the visitors could be your prospects. Most of the companies have this objective on the top of their list. If that is the case, some preparation has to be made. Increase the pre-show awareness – post in social media, place the advertisements in the key industry magazines, send personalized invitations to people you believe could be interested in your brand. You can also try guest blogging to get more people to know that your company is about to participate in an event and that you are open to answering as many questions as there are going to be asked.
This objective is measurable. All the potential clients you meet during the exhibition could be added to your marketing database to follow up, and establishing qualified leads could also be a KPI of the exhibition participation.
Keep in touch with your existing clients
The cost of attracting a new client is always higher than the cost of retaining an existing one. An exhibition is a way to keep your attrition rate at the minimum by strengthening the connections with your existing clients. Chances are high they will come to the exhibition, but we would advise inviting them and making specific appointments to discuss the current state of things, to get them acquainted with what’s new and maybe even to push them into making another purchase.
Communicate new products
Most of the products that B2B companies present are complicated. The success depends on how you manage to communicate the benefits of the solution to the people who can become your clients. Exhibitions are great for making presentations as here you have all the necessary resources to make a presentation or to give a master-class. Usually, such live events are more effective than webinars, instruction videos and so on.
Find new employees
Finding a qualified employee is sometimes a challenge. You can meet someone really brilliant on an industry exhibition. You can have an informal interview with no strings attached and invite a person to work for your company. This is certainly not something to build the whole participation around, but finding a person with relevant expertise in the field could be a cherry on top of your participation.
Defining measurable exhibition objectives will help you evaluate the results correctly and make adjustments and improvements for further exhibitions participation. Even though some objectives cannot be measured accurately, they still add up to the overall exhibition participation.