Exhibiting is a great way to grow your business. It gets you in front of your customers and allows you to show off your products or services to a captive audience of potential purchasers.
But how do you know which exhibition is the right one for your business? With a fair upfront investment, you need to be able to justify that you’re giving exhibiting the best chance of success to drive more sales.
Here are three things to consider when figuring out how to choose the right exhibition for your business:
Local vs national shows
Thinking about your target audience, are they likely to live nearby, or could they be anywhere? If you’re a local producer of cheese, you’re more likely to have success at a local show – having the novelty of being a local producer, than at a national show. Especially if you’re starting out.
However, if you’re an online supplier for example where the novelty of being local may not be as strong then your audience could be potentially larger.
There’s also logistics to consider. Getting to a show that’s further away will cost more and may mean an overnight stay. Will your budget stretch that far? How is parking? Although most exhibition display stands are portable, you may live to regret pulling a pop up around in the London Underground on your own.
Who is your target audience? What sort of shows would they be interested in? If there’s a high chance that they wouldn’t go to the show you’re looking at, then it may not be the best idea to exhibit there.
What you’ll be looking for is a show where you have a high footfall of people who could be interested in your business. Not everybody in your target audience will be potential purchasers so you want to maximise the chance that they’ll stop!
Most shows that have been running for a few years will have a rundown of audience demographics from previous shows to help you decide whether it’s the right show for you.
Each exhibition will have a different cost for exhibiting. From a small stall at a craft fair to a large space-only stand in an exhibition hall as you can imagine the costs can start from pounds to a few hundred (if not more for the very large spaces!).
If the show looks like the right sort of environment for you, consider how much you’d have to make to break even from the event in terms of cost. Make sure you add in the hidden costs such as displays and transport in with your total costs. By working backwards, you can work out how much you’d be willing to spend on the stand space. If it seems achievable given the expected number of visitors, then go for it. If it seems completely unrealistic to make that volume of sales, then maybe the show isn’t the right one.
You may however consider having a smaller presence at a more expensive show in order to increase your brand awareness and start to be seen in the right circles with your competitors.