When yours is a young business, it may be the first industry expo that you plan to attend as an exhibitor. Perhaps you didn’t realise quite how much work was involved until you thought it through and are now looking for a little guidance?
Here are a few thoughts about how to get ready for your first business expo.
Getting Your Staff Into The Right Mindset
Even if you’ve already attended a business expo before, perhaps many of your staff haven’t. It’s useful to send them off to attend another expo event to get a feel for what’s involved. There’s nothing like seeing it from an attendee’s perspective, as well as observing what the staff at different stands had to do. The scope of what’s involved may surprise them and they’ll come back with a clearer idea of what to expect too.
What’s The Goal?
Start with a goal in mind for the upcoming expo. Start at least six months ahead of your team. What is the desired outcome of the expo? You need to justify the cost of booking the expo stand, getting the marketing materials printed, and diverting staff from their regular roles. Do you want to achieve a certain value of orders? Is the goal to have a series of follow-ups planned with new B2B contacts? Identify the goal because this will help guide you in what’s needed to get ready.
Get The Right Equipment
Along with getting the expo stand or booth designed for your company, the floor plan for where you’ll be situated helps organise what will go where. With a large enough space, you’ll want to use some queue barriers to section off different areas or provide some crowd management of new visitors for when it gets busy.
You can find various styles of queue barriers in stock at Discount Displays who have some useful information on their page about what you should consider when choosing one. They’re all heavy enough to stay in place, but not cumbersome so they can be moved around safely too. The barriers can also be used to close off the stand at finishing time, so staff can shut down without being interrupted.
Training The Staff
Training staff is necessary in many cases to get them used to the sales process. You may not have a retail location, so you only employ people who are only used to dealing with online orders or the occasional phone call. Nothing face-to-face. Even people who have previously done sales in a retail environment may be a little rusty.
Put staff through a training course to help them get used to being approached by strangers. Ask them questions about the company and the products. Mix up the questions to throw them off and see if they can get back on track. People at expos approach and ask the oddest of questions at times; staff must be nonplussed about this and positively expect it.
If you can afford to bring in someone with expo experience to guide staff through appropriate sales techniques in this kind of environment, do so. You can never prepare too far ahead for an industry event. They’ll still be unexpected last-minute things that crop up, but they’re easier to handle now.