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Choosing the right exhibitions: further thoughts

Sometimes it really can be difficult to decide which exhibitions or marketing events are right for your business – or indeed for a client. You may be looking for the events which will offer the best return on investment but choosing these is far from easy at times. The good news is that considering a few key factors can help you to whittle down the options and ultimately make the right choices.

Your marketing strategy.

One of the most important aspects to consider is whether a particular event fits in well with your overall marketing strategy. You might have the most outstanding exhibition stand designer on-hand to create the ultimate event presence to showcase your business or that of your client. But if an event is not complementary to the wider business picture than attending that particular exhibition may not be the wisest choice.

Look at what other exhibitors will be doing at the event. Is their focus largely on unveiling new products or services or brand marketing, for example? If so, decide whether this fits in with your aims for the next exhibition in which you choose to invest time, money and effort.

Who is organising the event?

Just as you might want to see examples of previous work before choosing an exhibition stand contractor, you should look into the background of exhibition organisers and their particular events. Consider factors such as how long an event has been running and past attendance figures to give you an indication as to a given organiser’s track record.

Most event websites will have a ‘why exhibit’ section on their website, which can prove useful in sourcing data such as past exhibitor and visitor numbers. You should be wary of relying on these alone, however. Instead, try to get in touch with at least one previous exhibitor to get an honest review of the event and its potential business benefits.

Consider the alternatives

Look at other events, especially if they are taking place at a similar time, and consider factors such as whether they are more or less expensive and how their attendance figures compare. You should also look at the type of floor space available as this can be a good indicator as to the popularity of the event and the potential on offer for your own business or the client.

Who else is exhibiting?

This can be extremely important; not only can it give you a good indication as to the importance and credence given to the event by industry professionals, it can also help prevent you from missing out on opportunities being seized by your competitors. You cannot afford to ignore an event where the competition will be out in force. And if the decision is to go, you will need to ensure that you have the right exhibition stand design to make your business interests stand out from a competitive crowd.

Who is the target audience?

Look at who is being targeted by the organisers in an effort to attract them to the event. Who is the exhibition really aimed at and does this fit in with the type of customers and clients you are trying to attract?

The wider opportunities

Will the exhibition boost brand exposure and deliver good PR opportunities? Events that are likely to be laden with leads involving journalists, editorials and trade magazines, for example, will have added value compared to some lower profile events.

It is also important to consider how the organisers are marketing the exhibition and what benefits this could have for your business. Will your company be featured on the exhibition’s official website, for example, or will you gain publicity from the event’s literature?

Another element to consider is whether the organisers will provide branding and the exhibition’s logo so that you can make use of it on your own social networking pages, websites or blogs.

Location, location, location

Look at the location of the event and whether this fits in with your target audience. A European exhibition may sound like a great idea, for example, but if you are not looking for specific overseas opportunities then it could prove to be little more than a very expensive ‘jolly’.

The location may also be important when it comes to ensuring that the exhibition stand is effectively staffed and that the core business is not neglected in the process.

Just considering these areas will not guarantee that every exhibition you get involved in is a runaway success – there are obviously many other factors that also need to fall into place – but at the very least, these considerations will help you to narrow down the options and prevent you from making potentially costly mistakes.

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