Corporate Exhibition Secrets
Shh! Don’t share these corporate exhibitions’ insider secrets
Here at Inspired Occasions, we work closely with businesses across the UK, helping them to make the most of their corporate exhibitions.
If you’ve ever looked at the cost of exhibiting at a conference or networking event, you’ll know that the sky is the limit for eye-catching stand designs. Your priority will be building new relationships with potential customers while maximising any return on investment.
For large businesses with in-house marketing and events teams, attending events can significantly build up your database and raise awareness of your business. But smaller companies may find it much harder to determine how to increase the value of any corporate exhibitions or events.
As experienced event planners, we’re sharing some of our insider secrets to help you determine ways to make the most of your next corporate event.
If you need help or assistance in the planning stages, please email us via email@example.com
Your exhibition success depends on the early preparation
A lot of the hard work starts when you decide to exhibit at a conference or event.
The in-house event team will provide you with joining instructions that outline everything you need to know about the event, from setting up times to stand locations and further sponsorship opportunities. These instructions will be essential to the smooth running of your day.
Choose the right location
Your first decision is where your stand should be located. We often recommend to clients that stands near the entrance/exit or near toilets get higher footfall traffic. If these are unavailable, you may wish to be as close to the end of the aisles as possible – simply because it increases the visibility of your stand.
Many exhibitions have different stand requirements. For example, you could choose to make the most of pop-up banners as a backdrop to your stand (which you can use again), or you could choose to have shell scheme graphics that are flush with the wall and designed and printed specifically for that one event.
There are pros and cons to each style of stand design – some reusable stands may offer better value for money, but could be at risk of being torn or damaged.
You may also want to factor in what storage you need, whether you need any chairs or tables, and how you plan to display your products or marketing materials.
We can discuss all of this (and more), helping you to make the most of your event space.
Working backward from your deadlines
We always recommend working backward from your deadlines. When you know the event date, you can figure out when you need printed materials or social media activity published. In addition, confirming hotel bookings or train ticket dates can help reduce stress levels ahead of your event.
As a secret tip, if you have printed materials created for your event, try to have them ready 10-14 days before your final deadline. That way, if there are any issues, you have time to fix any problems!
Having the right marketing collateral
You need to ensure you have the right marketing collateral for potential customers to take away with them.
Your choice will depend hugely on each event – different audiences and sectors may have different expectations. But as a minimum, you need to make sure that you have enough business cards at hand, as well as details of where a customer can contact you post-event.
As part of your planning, we’ll always discuss options, from flyers and leaflets to printed pens, mugs, or other sustainable giveaways. In addition, our relationships with suppliers mean we can manage the entire print process for you, giving you more value for money.
Setting up on the day
Within your joining instructions, you’ll have details of the set-up times and locations – make sure you double-check these to know where to go. Your stand maybe further away from the drop off point than you anticipate!
Before you set off, consider what equipment you need to take. For example, will you need to take an extension lead with you if you have a power supply and AV equipment on your stand? Does this need to be PAT tested?
Our role as event organisers is to think of the unexpected.
To help cope with any situation, we take a toolbox with us. It’s packed with pens, pencils, Sellotape, blu tack, paperclips, scissors, and even a hammer! It’s all about anticipating what you might need to help set up on the day.
Set-up can be lengthy and time-consuming. It can also be dusty and sweaty, so you might want to take a spare pair of clothes with you to change into.
Making the most of lead capture
Your attendance aims to meet potential new customers and facilitate a way to remain in touch long after the event. So it’s essential that you think of how you can capture customer details as part of your planning.
In days gone by, the easiest solution for corporate events was to ask visitors to leave their business cards in a bowl. Often, companies use an incentive such as a small prize draw to encourage this. But we believe there could be huge GDPR considerations here – what would happen if you mislaid that bowl with people’s contact details?
Also, taking physical cards means you need to spend time manually adding those new contacts to your database post-event. This might be time that you don’t have to spare.
There are ways that you can automate this, from QR codes to tablets and scanning devices. Your event organiser may have something in place already. But if they don’t, there are ways around this.
We’ve had plenty of experience helping clients make the most of their corporate exhibitions and events, so feel free to email us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss your options.
For any exhibition to be successful, you need to let your customers know that you will be there and invite them to come and see you. Pre-event marketing is key. This can be from social media posts to email newsletters, even blog articles announcing your attendance.
In our experience, it’s always worth following the event organisers on social media. Tagging them into your posts, and sharing their content, is a great way to build a two-way relationship and encourage them to highlight to their audience that you will be at the event.
Check you joining instructions or packs for any key hashtags to use!
On the day advertising
On the day itself, you and your time will likely be extremely busy greeting new customers and working hard to build new relationships. But you do need to try to remind people to come and see you on your stand.
Photos and videos are a great way to boost engagement on your social media channels, again, tagging in your event organisers’ social media handles. You want to drum up interest and raise awareness of what you do at the event and why.
One of our top tips for on-the-day advertising is to make the most of scheduling tools. Resources like Later, Hootsuite, Sprout, or Buffer will help you to schedule social media posts in advance. This will allow you to seamlessly update your social media platforms and join in the online buzz with little effort involved on the day.
Finally, after the event is over, the work doesn’t end there.
You must schedule in time to send a thank you message to everyone you met on the day. If you’ve got their details, why not remind them that they visited you and invite them to sign up to join your mailing list or visit your website? That way, you are gaining their consent to add them to your list of contacts, and you can start building a post-event relationship with your audiences.
We also recommend highlighting key event photos or sharing details of any common questions/conversations with your content team. That way, they can ensure that any digital marketing content relates specifically to your customers’ questions.
We offer full support for all corporate exhibitions and events, from start-to-finish
Are you looking to attend more corporate events this year? Our corporate event division can offer you and your team the help you need to maximize your budget.
We hope this guide offers practical support to help you visualise how much work is involved in corporate exhibitions.
After all, if you’re spending your marketing budget on events, you need to feel confident that you will have a positive return on your investment.
We want that too.
We work with businesses across the UK, helping firms like yours to make the most of your event budget.
We can arrange entire events for you from scratch or help organise an exhibition stand for an existing event. Alternatively, why not invest in our consultancy support, allowing you to make the most of your corporate event strategy? To find out more about what we can do for you and your business, why not email us on email@example.com or use our contact us form.
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