With that big tradeshow just around the corner, you may think you have everything sorted, but what about the all-important plan that brings everything together?

Marketing Yourself at Conferences and Events

Knowing how to market yourself in the first place is the most important piece of the puzzle. Once you understand how to do it, everything else will fall neatly into place. To give you plenty of food for thought, we’re going to take a look at the key things every exhibitor needs to know.

Location, Location, Location

Some people will tell you that you have to get a stand right by the entrance so that everyone has to walk past you as they come in. Whilst this certainly isn’t a bad idea, there is a little more to it than that. What you really need to do is look at the overall layout of the exhibition hall before deciding where you want your stand or pitch to be. Remember that you might also not be able to choose the location yourself.

If possible, be at the very centre of the hall if the layout allows for larges avenues meeting at a central point. This is because people will naturally gravitate towards you, and you’ll be visible from the greatest number of positions. There’s certainly nothing wrong with occupying the entrance, but there are a few points to consider. Firstly, if the entrance is narrow, not everyone can stop there as they come in. And secondly, the people who miss you the first time will only likely come back if they’re already moving back towards the exit. If in doubt, try to be as central as possible.

Have Business Cards and Promotional Materials on Display 

Business cards and promotional materials are an obvious must, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses run out before lunch. Take more than you would need for two shows so that you never run out — the surplus can then form the starting point for another event in a couple of weeks’ time.

If you have boxes and boxes of brochures, place a healthy pile on your display table, but keep the rest out of sight. Boxes dumped all over your pitch will make it look unprofessional and will give the impression that no one is taking anything away with them. Task one member of the team with continuously topping up your supplies so that browsers never have to ask for a card or leaflet. That way you’ll never miss out on your next amazing lead just because you didn’t have the materials they wanted ready and waiting.

Use Banners and Flags to Catch the Eye 

An eye-catching banner or a pair of flags flanking your stand are a tried and tested ways to stand out from the crowd. Make sure you get the dimensions of your stall exactly right before having anything made, otherwise you may not be too pleased with the end result. Take the time to get things just right and you’ll be delighted with the slick professional look that comes together before your eyes as you set things up in the morning.

The secret is not to overdo things. If possible, have a banner outside the hall so that people know you’re inside. This will generate a degree of interest before people have even set foot in the hall itself. Once they make it to your stall, there’s nothing more off-putting than a cluttered and overly busy stand. It will overwhelm prospective customers and make them think that you’re desperate to connect. Keep things smart and on point and you’ll be far happier with the visual that you can create.

Dress to Impress: Show People Who You Work For  

The final piece of advice is all about the way you and your staff present yourselves. If you have a well-branded stall, printed materials, and attractive signage, it may seem like you have everything covered. The important thing to know is that you need to make it obvious to passersby who they should speak to. If you’re dressed in a generic shirt and smart trousers, you won’t stand out from the masses of attendees, even with your lanyard around your neck.

Opting for a set of company polo shirts is a great way to connect with people because they will instantly connect the colour and logo with your stand’s branding. It may not sound like the most drastic improvement you can make, but making an impact at these kinds of events is as much about removing the small sources of friction as it is about putting on a jaw-dropping performance.

Final Thoughts

When you want to market yourself at a trade show, there are 4 key things you need to consider: location, signage and branding, takeaway materials, and the way your team presents themselves. Tick all these boxes and you’ll be well on your way to filling your order book for the next 12 months.