Committing to a stand at the next manufacturing expo isn't something to be done lightly. It involves a large investment in budget, time and people, so you need to ensure that you have everything covered from why you are choosing to attend,
We have supported our client's in delivering their most successful expos to date and filling that all important 'sales funnel'.
Before we take you through how to get your expo right, here is a summary of the topics we will be covering:
What are your business goals from the expo?
Who you are trying to attract to your stand?
Which expo should you be showcasing at?
How are you going to make your expo booth stand out?
Those manufacturers that create a pre-show plan 'and conducted a pre-show campaign raised their attraction efficiency by 46%' - Deloitte
It could be enough that your competitors always attend and you feel you need to be seen, but is this really enough for the investment required?
Think about your business objectives for the year, does
This is key to fulfilling your business objectives. Are you hoping to attract:
industry partners customers?
new leads to nurture into customers of the future?
We're sure you've Googled "which manufacturing expo should I attend?". The page you see is inundated with 'the best manufacturing expos'. How do you see the wood for the trees?
Remember your business objective, and
We will keep coming back to those objectives... think about what you deliver at the expo and whether it will achieve your goals. Are you promoting products? Problem-solving? With this in mind, think about what is the best way to deliver this.
All exhibition centres will have their own rules, so ensure you understand these before you start getting creative. Think outside the four walls of your exhibition stand - also bear in mind that you don't want to be so innovative that your audience doesn't know who you are, or what your product is.
Have a consistent message across all your exhibition branding so that your audience know who you are and what your key takeaway message was.
Having a plan makes everything much more achievable.
Download our simple Expo planner to start planning today, or continue reading to find out how to get the right people to your stand.
You are going to be asking your target audience to take time out of their already busy schedules to attend this expo. Getting your pre-expo marketing right will be the key to your success.
'Those exhibitors who conducted a pre-show campaign raised their attraction efficiency by 46%' - Deloitte
Whichever route you take to advertising your expo, the optimal approach will be to drive your prospects to your website for event information and registration.
You've encouraged your prospects to click through to your website, but you will only have 15 seconds to get them to stay (according to HubSpot) and click that registration button before they click elsewhere.
Grab their attention by:
Making event information stand out across your website
Have a stand-alone page for expo registration
Your CTA should be about one thing only - Expo Registration
Remember your key audience you are looking to attract to fulfil your business objectives. Target your personas with what they would benefit from when visiting your stand. What content would resonate with them? When your prospects read your content, ensure they see your Expo CTA to enable them to come and meet you face to face.
Once your content is in place, don't forget to optimise your website and check your SEO!
You don't need to start from scratch, utilise your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. These contacts will have been nurtured and have already heard of your product and business. Reach out to those which match your audience profile with personalised messages, encourage them to make appointments to speak to your team.
Use social media platforms to post regularly about your expo journey and attract prospects with posts about why they should be coming to see you.
Having made the investment to attend the expo, another investment should be in attracting your key audience by advertising, think about scheduling adverts in e.g. key manufacturing magazines and/or invest in some Google AdWords.
Keep up the momentum
Don't forget about your registrants, you don't want your expo appointment to get removed for a seemingly more important appointment. Keep your expo at the top of their list and in their mind with follow up information/promotions.
Ensure your business is making the most out of
Matt Baumber, Matcon
It is time to remember those business objectives for attending the expo - ensure that your whole team understands your aim and what their priorities are.
You want to get the balance right - don't have a team who hide in the stand and wait for visitors to come to them and don't have a team who are pouncing on anyone as soon as they show the slightest interest.
Your stand should be welcoming and your team should look available to chat if questions are asked.
Due to all that great pre-expo engagement, there will be a number of visitors who are solely there to meet you and your team, but you also want to meet new prospects and capture their information. How do you get these visitors to your stand instead of a competitor's stand?
What you need is to build and maintain a buzz around your stand which attracts all visitors attention so that they come and see what you are offering and what they are missing out on.
How to create a buzz? Visitors react well to product demonstrations, interactive displays, and video. Things which capture the attention from a distance but keep their interest when they get closer and speak to your team.
Your objective is to gain their details for future nurturing and future business so your giveaway needs to be worth exchanging their details for. Also, ensure you have enough packs/freebies for the duration of the expo.
While you want as many details as you can collect, remember to do this in a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) approved way and that you gain their permission to contact them in the future.
Don't just go posting to all platforms, do some research around your target audience and find which platforms they use
Build and map out your expo journey as soon as you book the event
Keep an eye out for new followers and reach out to them
You want all your posts to be shareable
What re-usable assets have you archived from previous expos?
Use the available #tag whenever you post about the expo
Remember that interactive wall your stand has - use it to display social posts
Take photos/videos when your stand is busy
Capture short videos of visitors/moments to remember
Note that bad news travels quicker than good so respond to all comments in a timely and positive manner
Just because the expo is over, social shouldn't be
Use all those assets you created
Share customer and team experiences
Use our template to pull together your Manufacturing Expo Social Media campaign.
First things first, remove all expo registration marketing from your website - yes, it sounds obvious but would you want a hot prospect finding your product and having a chance to meet you only to then be told the date has passed? What would that make you think of that business?
This is when you need to leverage those all-important leads you captured during the expo, they won't nurture themselves. Remember those objectives, you now need to
Every new contact you made should be followed-up to generate a conversation, if you said you would send information, send it across, if you're not the right person to speak to - put your colleague in touch.
Think about how long a company's buying cycle is likely to be - 1x contact is not going to make any impact. Schedule a nurturing calendar and reach out regularly (unless they request otherwise) using automated workflows. Not all leads will turn into
Show them what they missed, use your assets (photos, social posts, videos from the event) to show them why they should come and visit you at the next expo you have a stand at.
You worked so hard to create assets to incentivise visitors to your stand, use them now - create testimonials/montages of the event to continue your social media journey.
Your team at the expo will all have had different experiences at the expo, ask them to write a short blog about their experiences. This shows that your business isn't only about the product or service you provide but about the people who work there too.
Does your website content need updating after the expo? Were questions asked that could be easily answered in content? Reach out to those prospects who asked the question and demonstration to them that you listened.
Management team - report back against the initial goals/objectives.
The expo team - feedback about the event to build internal motivation.
The wider business - send out an update of how the expo went and link to assets the sales team can use.
Committing to an expo stand takes a lot of budget, time and resource, we want you to fulfil your objectives and gain traction in your market.
There is a lot to think about. That's why engaging with a team who can create your entire online marketing campaign around your expo is essential.
We can generate the right assets and gain traction with your target audience getting them to your expo stand.