Why Exhibit at a Home Show Event?
Handled correctly, on their own events can be more effective than social media, digital marketing, print ads, radio or any other form of traditional advertising because we live in a world of experiential marketing.
People use their senses and if you limit your spread just to digital marketing ask yourself this question:
“How will your clients be able to tell if your products or services represent quality (comfortable, warm, sharp, cold, efficient)?”
How can they genuinely judge quality if they can’t touch or smell; open and close kitchen cupboards and drawers; hold a bathroom tap in their hand; see whether their feet reach the ground when they sit on a lounge suite; if they are the colour or texture they want; if a bed will provide the comfort they are looking for and finally, and most importantly, can they trust the person they’re dealing with.
If you are considering exhibiting, it is essential that you understand what marketing at a home show is all about.
Where clients may not necessarily be looking for your product or service (Print media, radio, websites, digital marketing).
Where clients are actively in the market specifically looking for products or services (e.g. Search engines, Yellow Pages, Showrooms).
Home shows are directive marketing with the opportunity of clients who have a passive interest, the majority of visitors are there for a specific reason (not just to fill in a few spare hours of their day).
They want to talk to a real person and use all their senses to experience your product or service.
Show visitors may not have ever experienced a brand like yours before, when they meet you at an event, they connect with a real person and yours will be the first brand they go to when needing a product/service in your field.
Companies utilising experiential marketing understand nearly every customer will appreciate interacting face-to-face with brands that interest them. It is in those moments attention is captured, connections are made and in the long run gets them much closer to sealing the deal.
Shopping malls and stores manipulate their customers senses to increase profitability.
You have a choice or popping into a local store for a specific product or take the time to ‘experience’ a shopping mall with the associated entertainment, design and environmental elements.
They create environments that smell, taste, look, sound & feel good.
Successful supermarkets do not just happen – they are a controlled environment, they are planned, designed & monitored every step of the way by skilled specialists.
Bar codes & computer technology ensure that every purchase is recorded, and the positions of the products can be changed, and the impact noted on a daily (or hourly) basis.
The route customers take around a supermarket determines what they buy, they have what they call ‘prime real estate’ within their stores.
Eye-level shelves are reserved for products which represent the best value or profit margin to the store.
Before you even collect your shopping cart your movements are being controlled. Those pesky bins & obstacles are there for a reason – to slow down the flow and to keep you on a particular track.
Even to the very last detail where they strategically place those tempting products to encourage impulse buying at the checkout where they know customers will have time on their hands to browse while they wait their turn.
You can apply the same basic principles to your stand at a home show
Not all Shows are Created Equal
Do the research – home shows represent a cooperative marketing opportunity, they are a partnership and as with any partnership you want to ensure you are associating your brand with like minded businesses.
Visitors to an event are not the only opportunity you have to do business. Networking at well run home shows is a major part of securing even more business. If you are surrounded by complimentary companies, you should spend time with fellow exhibitors.
You should invite your existing or potential clients and trade associates to view your display – if you are attending a quality home show with good brands and every exhibitor reaches out to their clients in the same way, everyone benefits (like attracts like).
You need to ask – “How am I going to get the maximum return for my effort?”
Large visitor numbers don’t always equate to big sales returns. You are better to spend your time with a smaller number of highly targeted potential clients who will convert to a genuine sale than to miss that opportunity while you hand out balloons or lollies to people who are just there for a day out.
Don’t get too focused on the visitor numbers, it’s the quality you need.
You need to know who your immediate neighbours are, the market the event is targeting, the focus of the event and, if possible, the % of visitors they have attracted in the past to your particular product or service.
Often if an event has ‘Lifestyle’ or ‘Living’ in its name, chances are it will include a variety of products that do not fall within the core home or garden products you expect to see at a home show (e.g. makeup, jewellery, health products, charitable organisations etc).
Check and see what the ratio or genuine home or garden products are versus unrelated items or services which may absorb any disposable income the visitors may have.
Training is the key to success
At Home & Interiors we provide a comprehensive Training Manual and offer free one-on-one sessions with our exhibitors to ensure they get the maximum value from our event. We cover everything from stand display, staff training, goal setting and pre-show promotion through to how to capture and follow up on business – make sure you ask for that support from your event organiser.
Many Home & Interiors exhibitors use our event to secure a full years’ worth of business – that is the ultimate goal.
Home shows can be exciting, filled with opportunities and extremely exhausting however the event organisers are just ‘facilitators’. The rewards are down to you so make sure you are well informed, organised and prepared to maximise what they have to offer.
Article provided by:
Christine Neil, Exhibition Director, Home & Interiors. firstname.lastname@example.org - homeandinteriors.nz
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