How to Tips for a Successful Exhibition

While the digital world is great for advertising, getting your message out there and generally being seen, nothing quite seals the deal on a sale more than talking to a person or seeing a live demonstration. That’s why shopping channels still work so well! While exhibitions are a major investment in time and money, they do offer great benefits that you simply can’t get online.

Running a stand at a trade show or exhibition is hard work, a lot of planning and preparation has to take place on the run up to the event to ensure you get the greatest value out of the opportunity. To help you make the most of your exhibition opportunity, here are our top tips to ensure exhibiting success!

12 Top Tips for Exhibition Success

1. Choose the Right Exhibition

Do your research and select the exhibition that attracts the visitors that you want to meet. Ask as many questions as possible about the event, such as the amount of visitors, who is sponsoring it and ask for their marketing plan!

2. Set Measurable Goals

Before you go, you need to know exactly why you want to exhibit and what you want to achieve from it. Set a couple of specific and measurable targets to work towards, such as amount of potential contacts, leads or new partners, and make a plan of how you’ll achieve them.

Read: Stop FOMO in your business

a sheet of paper with a marketing plan on it

3. Design Your Stand to Showcase Your Objectives

Your stand is the first thing people will see so it needs to stand out and attract people to you. The design of your stand needs to reflect your objectives, whilst also being smart, attractive and on brand. Make sure your message is short and targeted.

4. Attract People to Your Stand to Start the Conversation

One of the most effective ways to get people on your stand is to elicit curiosity. For example, try something a bit quirky, maybe a magician, something that will break the ice with passers by. This allows you to start a conversation and draw a crowd. A gimmick works really well to bring people to you, however it needs to be credible and related to your brand so that it is memorable and not tacky.

5. Advertise and Promote as Much as Possible

Let people know you are attending this exhibition and if you can invite people, do!
Your competition will! Nothing looks better than a full stand, so use social media, newsletters and your website to get the message out.

Read: 7 Reasons Why Not to Use Print in Your Marketing Mix

A tablet with social apps on it

6. Always Ask Open Questions

The way to get people talking is to ask open questions that require more than a one word answer. Open questions encourage prospective clients to talk about their company, issues and needs, instead of asking ‘can I help you?’ and getting a resounding ‘no’ with a walk by.

7. Manipulate the Senses!

Exhibiting is the only medium which allows you to interact with potential customers using all the five senses and people are more likely to remember you if you do! If you can, use this to your advantage. People love interacting with things by touching, tasting or smelling (which is why exhibitions work so well!), so if you can, make your products or services come to life in an unforgettable way!

8. Know What to Do

80% of a stand’s success is you and your staff, so you need to look smart and fresh, make eye contact and smile at people as much as possible. Your aim is to speak to as many potential clients as possible, so keep conversations short and concise, whilst listening more than you talk. Make sure your phone is off, focus on visitors and if you listen to their needs, sell the benefits of your product or service rather than its features.
For example – this would be great for you because… Always remember to take down contact details and information about the visitor, and make sure there is always someone on the stand.

9. Know What Not to Do

It may seem like common sense but we are going to say it anyway. Don’t spend all your time talking on the phone, eating in full view, sitting behind a desk or having your back to people… oh and don’t make a mess or have cheap naff giveaways.

10. Record, Record, Record!

You will be seeing a lot of people when you exhibit so you will need to find an easy system of classifying the people you meet. The easiest way would be leads, potential leads and general contacts (who could refer you to leads). Tip: Write on the back of the cards your collect or have a recording sheet, you won’tremember what people were interested in after the event.

files being stored

11. Follow Up

One of the most important steps of exhibiting is following up on the people you met there! If you don’t, then why did you waste all your time and money on the exhibition in the first place? A lot of the people you meet will be leads (as many people who attend have influence over the ‘buying’ decisions of the company), so make sure you follow up with these and at least six times with everyone else.

12. Review Your Success – how was it?

Was the exhibition worth it? Did you reach your goals? Or did you come out with other benefits such as other opportunities and referrals? The results might surprise you so make sure you sit down and reflect on the experience. You may even learn something new about your target audience that you could feed into your marketing strategy. There’s always room for improvement so would you go to another one? What would you do better next time?

On average, 75% of visitors to an exhibition are there to buy or plan to buy in the future – so make sure your impression is a memorable one! With these tips you should be easily on your way to exhibiting success!


If you need to create something memorable, feel free to get in touch…

Whether it’s coming up with ideas, or designing and printing marketing materials that stand out, get in touch and we’ll help you make a lasting impression among hundreds of other exhibitors.

Need more help with preparing for an exhibition?

Download our free Full Exhibition Guide and Checklist @


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