How should you be approaching events?

When chatting to exhibitors, almost each and every one has mentioned the decline of sales at events or exhibitions. Wrong venue? Wrong weather? Wrong advertising? Maybe a mixture of all three? I, however, put this down to the economic climate, I can hear you groaning from here, more talk of this elusive “economic climate”.

People are still visiting exhibitors, but I don’t feel that people are able to buy anything on a whim, people are keeping the purse strings tied tight! If people are not buying, then why are they still coming? Probably because exhibitors still offer things the high streets don’t, unique products, interesting items, a personalised service and very often a more reasonable price. I believe people are attending these events to browse for gifts, collect some business cards and then go away, have a think and buy the items later.

Although these events are still being visited, how long for? I feel the small events, held at the back of a pub, or in a church hall are slowly dying out. If you want to build your business I believe it is time to start hitting the larger events, the larger price may put you off at first, but I believe it is a better investment. Sure, you can’t control the footfall at any event or even if the people attending are buying anything but, you can control the way your exhibition space looks, the way you act and the way you approach the event.

With the decline of people buying at events, when approaching events think about changing your target. Instead of setting a financial amount you would like to take, set a target of business cards to give out, or an amount of people you would like to talk to. Exhibitions and craft fairs are no longer about selling, but advertising. For the price of an exhibition space at an event, consider the impact of the advertising you could buy for the same amount. Sure, you could buy a magazine advert with the exhibition cost, but can you interact with potential customers with an advert? Would that cost be better invested into an interactive event, or an advert in a magazine?

When thinking about the right event to exhibit at, you need to check a couple of things.Of course, using events this way does rely on you interacting with the customers, putting a smile on your face, networking with other exhibitors and picking the right event to exhibit at.

–          Cost

  • How much does the event cost?
  • Is the event priced right?
  • More expensive does not always mean better!

–          Location

  • Is the event in an affluent area?
  • Are your products the right price for this area?
  • Will people attend this event or is the venue hidden away?
  • The location is vital when attending events!

–          Promotion

  • What advertising does the event organizer do?
  • Where is the event being advertised?
  • Generally, the more promotion, the higher the footfall!

Once you have chosen the right event and set your new goals reflecting marketing targets and not financial targets head to the event! When you are asked “how did you do?” before answering with “I sold this much” consider how many people you have networked with, how many potential customers now have your business card and how much of a fun day you had!

Tell us what you look for in an event and what your top tips are over on our Twitter or Facebook!