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4 Minute Read

6 Steps to stay ahead of the pack in an exhibition hall

4 Minute Read


6 key challenges and games to keep you sharp and ahead of the general exhibitor’s easy-going approach.

Yes we realise you are an old hand at the exhibition hall and all that goes with it.

Like someone with a platinum frequent flyer status you probably know all the shortcuts and tricks to get you out of the hall and into your vehicle five minutes earlier than the first timers you’ve watched across the aisle for the last two or three days.

Congratulations you’re a star performing exhibiting professional.

We’re not stupid. This release isn’t an appeal to persuade you to renew your pledges with exhibitions and restart your passion with trade shows. These are simple short challenges to keep you ahead of the pack as you power through customs and security while the general exhibiting crowd mingle around for their bags in the baggage hall.

01. Reduce the paper!

Exhibiting professionals know where to direct their efforts and energies and it’s certainly not carrying heavy boxes of flyers, catalogues and business cards across an exhibition hall.

Be a disrupter and make a resolution to enforce a paper reduction in your booth.

Forget about the flyers, folders and business cards and think of more attention-grabbing methods of engagement. Sell your products using a stand theme, stand staff personality and new technology.

Video brochures or branded merchandise leave a far longer and memorable impression than any paper flyer will.

Give them a good enough experience to remember you then follow up aggressively immediately after the show with your texts, emails and phone calls.

You will probably find most attendees thanking you for not burdening them with yet another bundle of brochures to tuck into their bag.

02. Farmers and Hunters:

One of the best exhibiting “games” around and it never fails to keep the competition healthy between your stand staff. It can also maximise your stand traffic.

Split your staff into two teams – they don’t have to be even, and one will be the farmers looking after meetings, sit downs, product demos and existing customers, and the others are hunters.

They look for new qualified leads and data contacts, and are out there making contact with as many as they can. Set the teams’ daily targets and even random hourly targets. Then watch the fight unfold and your targets get smashed!

Set up a stand staff competition to make you achieve your exhibiting objectives. Plan it with prizes awarded to teams or individuals, for meeting and beating targets at the end of the expo, and watch the competition hot up.

03. Stay Fluid:

In your body and mind! You probably know that about 73% of the brain is made up of water and that you should really be drinking about 2.5 litres of water a day.

But you don’t at tradeshows…!

If hydration levels drops by about 1 or 2% performance and response levels start diminishing quickly. And air-conditioned exhibition halls are well known for drying you up.

Star performers ignore the general rules and hydrate with water throughout the day.

There are a lot of water drinking games that you could set-up for your staff to play to make sure they stay hydrated. But even without games – make sure you have plenty of water on site for them to drink.

04. Collaborate & Network:

Before the show… What? – Yes I mean before the show. Find out what other companies will be exhibiting that are complementary to your company but not competing.

In any exhibition hall you will find at least 4 or 5 of these. The way to get more exposure – is have 3 or 4 stands and if you partner with the right exhibitors you will magically expand your presence by 300%!

Do your investigations and arrange a networking meeting with companies that you think could help drive visitors to each other’s exhibition stands.

Everyone knows how powerful word of mouth referrals are so make the most of it! Plan a way of introducing every visitor to your stand to the partners and watch your reputation grow and flourish.

05. Think Big – and Bigger still!

We often get comfortable with the all too familiar expo or show, so if you want to make a difference next time you need to realise that you need to break a few things to do it.

Keep ahead of the game and keep researching ideas, try new technology maybe even a completely new display will be what you need!

New graphics don’t make legends – new thinking does.

Issue a challenge to your stand designers and convey to them your ambition to be the dominating display in the hall and that you want as many people as possible to remember you.

If people don’t know you – how are they going to be able to buy from you…?

06. Give a sensory experience:

For some inexplicable reason, exhibitors have it in their minds that people are utterly lacking in glucose when attending a tradeshow.

The indescribable amount of minties, cupcakes, popcorn and jellybeans on offer is overwhelming.

A walk through the hall is enough to send your blood sugar levels through the ceiling. We know that sensory sensations linked to your stand objectives are great and work well – but mints in a bowl isn’t going to make anyone stand and talk to you!

Make sure you have all 5 senses involved to seduce and challenge your visitors’ discovery and learning of your products or services in a live environment.

Build the sensory exploration into your stand design to truly show the difference between the best and the rest on the floor.

Exhibition Strategy Session