Five Equine Tradeshow Survival Tips For Exhibitors
Over the last 16 years I’ve exhibited at BETA, Spoga & AETA as well as visiting dozens of equine and giftware tradeshows as a buyer. I believe that tradeshows can still be a great way to generate new customers and orders for your equine business, but with costs soaring each year, it’s crucial to maximise your chances of success.
So here’s my 5 top survival tips for those of you exhibiting at an equine tradeshow, whether it’s your first time or you’re an old timer.
1) Have a way to quickly capture information from visitors on your stand
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review “Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour.”
You may be at the exhibition with your entire team which makes it hard to get back to leads quickly but you can use technology to help you get a head start on your competition. Input contact information straight into your CRM or email system and set up an automated email to send a welcome email and some information on your offerings, even before the visitors have left your stand.
Many systems including Mailchimp have apps to allow you to use your phone or tablet to enter the information into your database.
2) A coffee machine
Because you’ll need lots of caffeine to get through several long days and you don’t want to waste time and money ducking out to coffee stands in the exhibition halls for a mediocre cup at a premium price.
3) Get outside the exhibition halls
Preferably into the fresh air, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. It’s also a great chance to grab a bite to eat. Manning an exhibition stand is intense. By getting some food & fresh air, you’ll step back onto the stand looking and feeling fresher. We’ve all seen the middle of the afternoon zombies looking vacant on stands. Don’t be one of them!
4) Go to the afterparties
You’ll be knackered and the temptation is to head straight back to your hotel but there’s good networking to do, industry friends to make and you’ll have earnt a free glass of wine or two.
5) Pack an emergency kit
Have a box of easily accessible essentials in your set up vehicle and then on the stand. Things I normally include in mine include gaffer / duck tape, cable ties, velcro tape, a spare 4 way socket gang, string and a pair of scissors. You can sort most things with that collection – even if it’s only a temporary fix until your stand builders or hall contractors can come to the rescue.
Now over to you – if you have a tip for exhibition success that you think I’ve missed, pop it in the comments below.