7 Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Exhibitions

August 9, 2015

Reno Macri

Reno Macri is a founder and director of UK based leading exhibition company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in exhibition design, event branding, interior design and retail branding. He specialises in experiential marketing and event productions.

Exhibitions and trade shows can be very productive events for businesses, but it is important to get the experience right in order to make the most of these kinds of opportunities to present your brand and products.

1. Choose the Right Exhibition: Attending the right exhibition can help you to reach out to the right audience, to make useful connections, and to focus on the right industry or geographical location, but spending time on the wrong event could be a serious waste of time and resources. It is essential to research an event before you decide to exhibit there so that you can be sure it will fit your purpose. Good ways to find the right exhibition include checking where your competitors exhibit and talking to trade associations to find out which events are recommended by specialists.

2. Learn from Your Competition: As well as using your competitors to find the best places to exhibit, you can learn a lot from them about the best ways to approach your target audience. What kinds of promotions are other companies running at the events? Are they running interactive or social media campaigns around their attendance? Have they created a specific micro-site or blog for their event? How can you make your business stand out from the rest?

3. Identify Your Targets: Knowing who you want to talk to at the event before it begins can help you to use your time more efficiently. Check the list of attendees to find out who else will be there and come up with a plan to reach out to the people you want to meet. You might want to conduct some background research so that you can make the right impression. You can also contact some people before the event to schedule a dinner or meeting, entice them to visit your stand with a personalized promotion, or find out whether they will be attending a particular event or giving a talk.

4. Don't Restrict Your Activities to the Exhibition Itself: Attending a well-respected event can boost your reputation, so make sure you mention it on your website and social media platforms. You can also use them to interact with attendees before, during and after the event in order to keep them engaged. You should also take advantage of the opportunity to arrange meetings and other activities outside the main schedule of events, and of any extra exhibition services such as changes to arrange private meetings or give presentations.

5. Make Yourself Stand Out: You need a clear message, a distinctive stand, and a reason for people to remember you. Come up with a promotion or interactive element that will direct people to your company website, or a giveaway that will actually come in useful. Be creative so that people will keep talking about your brand.

6. Be an Attendee, Not Just an Exhibitor: Don't tie yourself to your own stand. Make sure you have several people with you so that you can take turns to explore the rest of what the event has to offer. You can learn a lot and make some great contacts while you mingle, attend activities, and visit other exhibition stands.

7. Assess Your Success: Track how well you are achieving your goals so that you can learn how to do even better at your next event and calculate your ROI. Make sure you know how many people visit your booth, and how many leads and sales your attendance has generated, and what people thought about your presence at the event.

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Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.