Sales and Sales Management Blog

February 15, 2013

Guest Article: “The Successful Secrets of Exhibition Management,” by James Barnett

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 10:10 am

 The Successful Secrets of Exhibition Management
by James Barnett

According to research from the Oxford Economics Facetime publication the Exhibitions Industry contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy.  Exhibitions if marketed correctly can provide more business for your company then all other sales initiatives combined. An important statistic from Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) states 88 per cent of exhibition visitors will not have been approached by a sales team in the last year. Therefore providing the right exhibition stand provides potential business for an organization.

There are a number of important elements to consider when putting together an exhibition. The exhibition team will need a strong sales force that can captivate an audience and demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for a product. Put in place a PR strategy that seeks to create excitement before, during, and after the show.  Digital media allows PR to become integrated within social channels; this can build relationships with customers and partnerships. Exhibition management is a crucial factor that will determine the outcome of an exhibit’s success, unless the exhibition is running effectively during the show the exhibition is unlikely to be a success. Top tips to succeed are outlined below.

1. Exhibition Planning. Think strategically in the planning process and ask yourself the following questions. Is your exhibition meeting the corporate strategy of the company? Does it meet the target audience and fit within the budget? Exhibitions often go wrong when they focus purely on the product demonstration but neglect the wider picture.  Plan against your objectives; not just for the moment.

2. Focus on the Detail. Exhibitions require a Microsoft Excel whiz that enjoys working with spread sheets. Each element of the show should be documented and later analyzed by the management team.  Form checklists and adhere to strict guidelines set out at the beginning of the show.

3. Savvy Marketing. Digital technology allows you to promote the event before, during, and after the show. A live brand experience provides excellent real-time exposure whilst the pre- and post-show marketing offers networking opportunities for your business.

4. Teamwork. The exhibition is a good opportunity to build team spirit and reward people for their efforts. Work on a shared bonus scheme and ensure you single out individuals for praise after producing good results. This could be a customer acquisition or a successful presentation.

5. Time Management.  Blink and you will miss it; an exhibition flies by whether you are busy selling or trying to get your exhibition on track.

Master the art of time management and the exhibition will become an enjoyable experience. Avoid procrastination at all times.

6. The Art of Negotiation. Research your customers and analyze their needs and wants. You should be able to connect with them on LinkedIn prior to the exhibit and gain an understanding of how your product will fulfill their business needs. Use your intuition, flexibility and concern to find a mutually beneficial agreement.

7. Positive Attitude. Success is surrounded by positive people with a can do attitude. Try using a vocabulary which reflects these thoughts and feelings and directs the conversation into a positive tone.  Exhibits often require performances from the sales staff and you should use your entrepreneurial skills to motivate staff. 

8. Evaluating Results. Create a system to analyze results by asking the public and staff for feedback on the show. Find out what they enjoyed from your display stand and what they wish to see improved.

9. Perpetual Learning. Embrace the information age and subscribe to influential blogs and industry resources which provide up to date tips. Analyze influential articles on exhibition management techniques and learn from these resources.

10. Keep Your Sense of Humor. Humor maintains sanity in challenging situations. Put things into perspective and learn to laugh at mistakes. This will reduce your stress levels and provide a relaxed environment for staff.   If a product demonstration goes wrong a relaxed approach will impress the audience more than ranting over the technology your company has developed. 

 

 James Barnett on behalf of Nimlok, providers of exhibition stand construction and design.

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