I thought it might be useful to share how you can make the most of any baby fairs, markets or shows you exhibit at. Events can be expensive to exhibit at. You have to consider the time out of work or your weekend, plus the preparation time and any hired help or staff costs. However sometimes people only consider the event to have been a success based on what they have sold and how much they have taken. There so much more benefit that can come from exhibiting. I have listed some things you might want to try, before, during and after the event…
- Check the exhibitor list. Is there anyone in particular that you would like to meet during the show? Consider reaching out in advance and tell them you are looking forward to meeting at the show.
- Utilize all of the opportunities to get your name out there by the organisers through their social channels. Tag posts and use their hashtag. Chances are they will re share.
- Offer the organisers some of your best imagery (lifestyle and product shots) for them to share in the run up to the event. They will be grateful to receive images (you would be amazed how many people don’t bother sending!) and chances are they will share, if you are lucky more than once.
- Get involved in any PR opportunities eg if the organisers are hosting a giveaway.
- Opportunity to clear old stock / discounted.
- Prepare a show deal. Give an incentive to buy from you there and then on the day.
- Plan your stand. You want to make sure your stand looks fantastic, not only will this attract more visitors but you are more likely to feature in any event photographs. I always have a plan of my stand drawn up, or pics to hand of my previous stand if it is an event I have done before. Time is of the essence when you are setting up and this really helps.
- Do you have a range of price points? If your items are high end and expensive, you may want to consider some lower priced items just for the show.
- Consider what you or your team will be wearing. You may want to consider branded t shirts. Sure that new dress you bought will be so much nicer but t shirts are a great marketing opportunity.
- Invite bloggers or influencers to visit your stand. Often you can get details of who will be attending from the organisers.
During the event
- Ask for feedback on new ideas/ designs from people when they buy. They are your target market, this is a great opportunity.
- Collect emails from customers and people who look at your stand, to add to your email marketing list.
- Incentivise people to follow you with a giveaway.
- Take photos of the event for your social media.
- Take photos of your happy customers with their products.
- Make videos of the event.
- Do demo videos of your products or just short videos showing your range for IGTV or YouTube.
- Ask for testimonials, if you see people there who are already customers.
- Connect with other business owners. Take pictures of stands you like and share them on social media, tagging the brand and the event and using the relevant hashtag.
- The more you share, the more visibility you will have.
- I have been at shows where we have created flatlays for Instagram using products from different brands while the show was quiet.
- Meet the bloggers or influencers who are attending. You may want to gift them something or just have a chat. Chances are if you chat to them, they will take a picture of your stand and share on their social media. Get your picture taken with them and share on your stories.
After the event
- Connect with your new customers via email marketing. Thank them for their purchase, tell them a bit about your brand/ business.
- Connect with the other business owners that you met. Some of my oldest business friends were people who I met at trade or consumer shows.
- Connect with the influencers that you met at the show. Be sociable, comment on their posts!
- Keep a log of what you sold by product/size etc so you know what to take to the next event.
- Stay in touch!