Having a stand at a trade fair is a reasonable way of promoting your business and trying to attract new customers but if you want to really make an impact, hosting your own trade show is the way to go.
Creating a tailor-made setting that casts your products or services in the best possible light is just one of the positive aspects of hosting an exclusive event on your own, so here is a look at how you can set about creating the perfect event.
- Reasons for hosting your own show
There will obviously be costs involved in hosting your own trade show, so you have to look at the reasons why you are doing it and what you hope to get out of the event.
The main purpose is likely to be the chance to reach prospective customers without the distraction of competitors around you and if you have a new product or service to launch.
A launch event is a very good way of generating publicity and interest and when you use a company, you get the chance to design the exhibition surroundings that will work in the best way for you and what you want to do.
If your business provides a service, you might want to consider holding a seminar with some carefully chosen speakers to attract attention and boost attendance figures. Whatever type of business you are involved with the same principle applies, which is that customers often need a good reason to attend, so you have to plan your event around a specific purpose if it is going to be as successful as you want it to be.
There are a number of specific do’s and don’ts when it comes to planning and hosting a trade show, so here is a checklist of some of the things that you definitely need to do in order to maximise your return from the event itself.
1. Make sure you do your research. There is always an element of risk involved in running an event but the rewards can counteract that with ease, so make the effort to establish that there is interest in attending an event based on what you have to offer and how you are planning to present it.
2. Set an accurate budget. Costs can easily spiral out of control and spoil the benefits gained if you go over your intended budget for the event. It is sometimes hard to quantify the ROI for an event because the sales may come at a later date rather than directly from the show, but detailing your spend diligently, does allow you to quantify your return.
3. Get help where you need it. If you are holding a seminar and need a host or speaker with experience, it would often be better to plan for spending on an expert who will draw a crowd or if you aren’t comfortable with planning a show yourself, consider hiring an event management company to help.
4. Maximum effort is required when promoting the show or event. It should be an all-out onslaught with your sales and marketing strategy as well as publicising the event using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
There are also some don’ts that you want to be aware of if you want to get the most out of your trade show and give it every chance of succeeding.
1. Always try to stay on message, which means sticking to your original schedule and plans, as introducing some additional ideas or variations at the wrong time or unnecessarily, could easily create an unwelcome distraction that diverts attention from your original message or purpose.
2. Always put the same amount of effort into planning your event, regardless of the scale. Even a low-key event requires meticulous planning and a professional approach for maximum success, so whether you are planning to host 100 or 1000 guests, the same high standards are always needed.
3. Try to avoid cutting corners as any attempt to stage an event on the cheap will often be exposed for what it is. This scenario is a lose-lose situation as you are still spending money but reducing your chances of getting a good return and you also run the risk of damaging your company’s reputation.
4. The old adage about a job being worth doing well is certainly true when it comes to hosting a trade show, so make sure you take the time and effort to plan it properly.