Exhibitions are the top-rated and most preferred tools for marketing and sales and also act as a distribution channel for products and services, alongside being a hub that attracts potential buyers and gives you a chance to acquire your competitor's clients too!

It is infact a colossal opportunity to boost your Return on Investment (ROI) by several notches and I am going to tell you exactly how you can do that.

Hi! This is your very own Exhibition Expert and Consultant, Kompal Bhardwaj, from Dsigner Studio, and before I share with you, the few sure-shot ways to maximize your ROI at every exhibition you take part in, let me educate you on the primary factor that decides the ROI you generate - the type of exhibitor.

Studies have concluded that the ROI from an exhibition is the highest for active exhibitors rather than normal and passive ones. Exhibitors who plan well ahead, invest in creating large innovative stall designs, actively market and promote themselves even before the start of the exhibition, and boost their sales leads fall into the category of an active exhibitor, as compared to the passive exhibitors who merely participate without any proper planning or execution.

The ROI gained by the active exhibitors is ten times more than that of the passive ones. Therefore, the key to maximizing your ROI lies in becoming an active exhibitor and the steps to becoming one are what I shall be sharing with you all now:

1) Do your research months in advance to know who your competitors are and the nature of your potential clients. Moreover, you will also be able to choose wisely when it comes to what kind of exhibition you would want to participate in.

Ensure that you choose the exhibitions that are prominent in your industry so that you can target the right bunch of customers. Visit similar exhibitions if required so that you get a larger perspective on how you need to strategize to maximize your ROI.

2) Plan your entire exhibition routine well in advance starting from pre-booking your slot in the exhibition of your choice at least 6 - 8 months in advance. From hiring an exhibition stand design company who listen to your requirements and no matter what size you demand for, it will still completely do justice to what is in your mind by giving innovative stall design solutions.

3) Advertise and market your participation post exhibition so that people get familiarized with your brand and company even before their visit to the exhibition. This will increase the foot traffic in your stall on the day of the exhibition.

Begin by publishing your stall details on your company's website and sharing flyers or brochures physically as well as on social media. Another great alternative is to advertise these details in the leading trade magazines so that you have a wider reach. Also, advertise your brand, products and services on the show organizer’s websites by striking a fair deal with them.

Without post-exhibition activity, you’re missing an opportunity to amplify both the sales and marketing impact of exhibiting.

4) Set up meetings

Contacting potential leads before the trade show is such an easy way to make sure that you spend your time effectively while you are there. Most people in attendance will likely have their own personal schedule, so trying to arrange meetings at the time may be futile.

Following up before the event to confirm your meeting is also paramount. Potential customers are much more likely to follow through with a meeting if they feel a personal connection to you. A social obligation has been created, which does not happen when dealing with a name on a computer screen.

5) Have an active sales team that can interact with your visitors rather than merely handing out leaflets or brochures. Hire people who can connect easily with people and can make them feel welcome, and train them to be well-versed at every aspect of your company’s products and services. Encourage the rest of your staff as well to engage your visitors for longer durations in order to improve the chances of sales.

This would also be a great opportunity to gather the contact information of your visitors and later use it for converting them into your customers. Having a proactive sales team who can provide a first-hand experience of your products and services can increase the flow of foot traffic in your stall.

6) Offer Something That Will Make Attendees Hang Around

Once you attract someone to your booth, you’ll want to offer them an incentive to hang around your space. The longer they are there, the more opportunity you have to make a lasting brand impression. Not to mention, if other people see a crowd at your booth, they will be intrigued by the offering. Here are a few ideas :-

a) Comfortable seating with mobile charging stations so attendees can recharge all of their batteries. If your space isn't large enough for seating, mobile charging towers are also a great option.

b) Laptop or iPad stations that allow guests to check and respond to emails.

c) An interesting video that is relatable to the trade-show itself.

d) Interactive elements and/or games and activities.

e) Cold beverages and packaged healthy snacks.

7) Develop a lead-grouping and prioritization strategy

"The major post-exhibition problem encountered by most exhibitors is follow-up on leads and contacts generated". Some of the enquiries may have been of a very general nature, needing conversion to a specific product or service. Others will require technical data from other departments. Some may need follow-up visits and meetings, others just need postal communication. The key issue for businesses with grouping and prioritizing leads by establishing a regimented system before the exhibition.

You don't just want a generic list of names and contact details once the event is over. You want a pre-classified list so you can hand leads out quickly to the relevant teams once the exhibition is over. The important thing is to have a structured method of classifying, grouping and prioritizing leads so you know every lead gets the right follow-up as promptly as possible.

The secret to benefitting the most from an exhibition doesn’t just lie in the number of sales you make but in the steps that you take to reach there sooner. And that starts with you following the pearls of wisdom I had shared above and I can proudly say that for the past 15 years, Dsigner Studio has been transforming various clients into active exhibitors who have reaped an enormous ROI from the exhibitions that they were a part of!

In hopes that this would help the newbie exhibitor in you to outshine everyone, this is Kompal Bhardwaj signing off. Ciao.

"For any further advice or suggestions, please feel free to mail your queries to our Exhibition Expert & Consultant, Mr. Kompal Bhardwaj at kompal@dsignerstudio.com and visit our website dsignerstudio.com/ for more details."


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