Capturing business at an exhibition
Camilla Railton / Saturday, 1 May 2021 / Categories: Exhibitors, Exhibiting

Capturing business at an exhibition

Selling at an exhibition differs from your in-store, workshop or telephone selling techniques in several ways.   Promoting your product directly to your target audience is a powerful way of marketing your business and it is important to make sure you put your best foot forward to maximise on this opportunity.  By coming to the event the audience is interested and targeted but not necessarily to your product.

Some top things to consider:

  • The way you present your stand and yourself is what is going to capture their attention for you to begin to do business with them. 
  • There will be a lot of distractions and stimulation from other stands and visitors. 
  • Your stand is their window to your world.  Make it sparkle.
  • The exhibition timing is not of their choosing.

When the buyer is ready it is vital that you have a system in place to respond to their enquiry quickly and reliably in order to show you are capable and interested in taking on their business.  This is also an excellent way to work out how effective your marketing has been at the exhibition and your return on the investment.   Should the visitor be in the market and you have not taken their details or the time to follow up on them then this is ultimately lost business. 

Visitors come to the exhibition when it is on, which may not be the immediate time that they need your product or service.  If you have selected a show that is targeted towards the consumer that you are looking to reach then it is highly likely they may be in the market for your product at some time or that they will provide a referral to their connections in the future.  In the case of Home & Interiors, 90% of the visitors are homeowners or people who are investing in their homes so the market is highly qualified if you are a company that is supplying services and products for the home such as interior decor, kitchens, bathrooms, security, roofing, landscaping etc.  

When the buyer is not in the immediate need of your product it really is the time to make an impression while they are still gathering information so that when they come to choose their supplier you will are top of mind and having answered their questions they know you are a reputable source of information and a supplier that they can have confidence in working with so they need not look any further.  

You can address these differences by adjusting your selling methods, by questioning and qualifying you will be able to quickly work out who the prime potential clients are:

  • Ask opening questions so you can assess where they are in the purchasing process and can taylor accordingly
  • Qualify (do they live in the area that you service  ...etc)
  • Involve them in some way – touching product, measuring, sitting, viewing examples of work and product ranges etc
  • Give information in exchange for information (e.g. “What's the delivery time?” - “When do you want it?”)

The information in this article is part of the Home & Interiors exhibitor training manual that we distribute to exhibitors at Home & Interiors.  We will also be holding exhibitor workshops prior to our shows and are able to help those looking for ideas on how to exhibit successfully.   

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