Many Fire & Security professionals tell us:
Most of our work comes from word of mouth or from having a stand at an event.
But exhibitions are a big investment. You want to make the most of the time and money
you are putting into every show you attend.
So Lollipop asked our two favourite exhibition specialists for their top tips.
They both have many years of experience working with Fire & Security companies at events such as IFSEC and FIREX (at the Excel in London in June).
And this year, two events were held in Birmingham – The Security TWENTY 19 Birmingham Conference and Exhibition in February. Plus The Security Event and The Fire Safety Event were at the NEC in early April.
1. Getting the best stand for your budget
Doing your own stand build may seem like a money saving idea but it’s a huge false economy. Know what you want and create a brief with a build budget. Keep it small and simple. And then consult an experienced professional. Where possible, you will be able to reuse items that your stand contractor has in stock, like reception desks.
2. Shell scheme stands
These are a low-cost display system that organisers can offer to their exhibitors. They don’t give the best visibility. Remove the fascia panel at the front to make your stand appear bigger and more open. There is usually no cost associated with doing this but you will need to advise the show’s stand coordinator beforehand.
3. Think about graphics and lighting
Again, DIY may sound cheap, but it can cost you in the long run. Hire a professional to produce quality graphics and then plan how you will use these.
A 3D cut out logo may cost more initially but may last a dozen shows or more. Use Velcro and stand-off fixings rather than pinning graphic panels to the wall. This will keep them damage free.
And then light the stand so visitors can see what you are displaying. Lightboxes can be used as the rear or side walls of your stand. They make a great impact for relatively low cost.
4. Power, drinks and crockery
Whilst it’s nice to have a coffee machine or a kettle to dispense hot drinks to visitors in mugs, these can be a huge expense. It’s all down to the power required for heating your beverages and washing up the cups. We’re talking the best part of £1k for the electrics. Unless you really need high end hospitality to uphold your company reputation, paper cups and a fridge with cold drinks is a no brainer.
5. Getting engagement
It’s not hard to spot the difference between experienced and committed eventers and staff who have been opted in to make up the numbers.
Some are out in the aisles, desperate to engage with passersby. Whilst others will hunch over their mobile phones at the back of the stand avoiding eye contact at all costs. Hiring a professional stand staffer to work with your business can make a huge difference to the value of orders that could be won.
6. Following up
THE cardinal sin of exhibiting. You’ve had a great show, got loads of great quality leads, then fail to follow up properly after the show, wasting all that effort – not to mention money – that you’ve invested.
Well thought out, persistent follow up is an essential ingredient to any show. Many prospects don’t buy there and then at the show and you’ll need to keep in touch until they’re ready to buy.
Nurture the relationship you began to build at the show and don’t give up until they either say no or place an order! Some people will place orders several years after a show, because the exhibitor had stayed in touch and not given up on following up.
How to make your Fire & Security website more fruitful
Your stand is just one part of your marketing. It’s a way to get in front of your ideal customers but you have to go to the event. So you can sell to them in person.
Your website’s role is to get in front of the right people so you can sell to them… 24/7… even when you’re asleep or on holiday.
Some of the same rules that we talked about above for your exhibition stand also apply to your website.
DIY and off the shelf may be cheaper but there are drawbacks. And you have to find ways to engage and follow up.
Just as your stand at an event needs some thought and TLC, so does your website and ongoing sales and marketing.
Download our guide to get 30 top tips on how to improve the performance of your website. Just click the image below.