How to prepare for exhibiting at the festival to gain more exposure for your your business/franchise opportunity
The event’s organisers are responsible for ensuring quality leads come through the door on the days of the festival but as an exhibitor it is your responsibility to attract visitor to your exhibition stand. Here are some suggestions to help you gain more exposure at festivals and trade shows.
As an exhibitor it is important that you use your own marketing channels as well as the festival’s marketing channels to get the most out of advertising your franchise or service to gain maximum exposure.
It is important to leverage the 3 stages of exhibiting. Leverage marketing opportunities:
- Before the date of the event. This gives you on average 6 months worth of exposure.
- During the event, at the exhibition. You get the opportunity to speak face-to-face with potential buyers, which is still the most powerful form of marketing.
- After the event. Follow up, build a relationship and place your leads into a funnel. Mary may buy from you today but John may only buy from you in 6 months time.
It’s about creating a buzz and an experience before, during and after the event. Give people the opportunity to get the know the people behind your franchise. Inform them of available opportunities and give them insights into what they can expect as a franchisee, invite people to come and ask questions.
- When you book your exhibition stand find out how you can assist event organisers with marketing the event.
- Ask event organisers what marketing material you can supply them with to help advertise that you will be exhibiting.
- Advertise on your website that you will be at the franchise exhibition to answer questions and to invite people interested in your franchise.
- Create content to help event organisers and participants of the event to promote you. People do not share adverts on the internet. People share inspiring, informative and entertaining content. Informative articles are not an advertisement piece of your franchise offering but instead are informative articles to educate and offer value to your readers.
- Aim to create at least 2 pieces of content a month giving you 8 in total. 8 articles, 8 videos, a mix and match and send to the event organisers to help promote you.
– Record behind the scene videos of your business operation and, if video is not your thing, take photos, or write articles.
– Interview franchisees, ask them to share stories of what it takes to run a franchise business, the challenges they face or what they love about it.
Don’t always talk about your offer. Talk about why you do what you do. Talk about the types of people who fit within your values or tell stories of your customers. Even better let your customers tell stories. Make it fun and light-hearted. You want potential investors to make a connection with you. When choosing a franchisee to join your business you don’t want to just take someone’s money. No, you want to find the best of the best for your business and that means finding the right people who resonate with you and align with what you do. From your staff, to your managers, to your customers, to your suppliers.
Encourage your employees to explore their talents – many are naturally talented in taking photos, writing content or coming up with marketing campaigns – and reward them for the contribution.
Add to your cloud box to share with the event organisers the following:
- Event speakers, upload professional head and shoulder photographs of your speakers. Photographs must be high resolution, file size more than 1mb in size.
- Staff representatives, include photos of your representatives at the event so people can associate and connect. (optional)
- Content creators, upload professional photographs of your content creators, ie: the ones who are writing your articles. If someone is writing on your behalf then you need to use your own photograph. Photographs must be high in resolution. File size more than 1MB in size.
- Biographies, Upload short biographies of your content creators and your speakers to the same folder. When writing a biography, keep it short, maximum 6 lines. Online should include who you are and what you specialise in. People do not need to know your history. They need to know why you are an expert on the topic you are writing or speaking about. Make use of a copywriter who specialises in storytelling or writing biographies for the Internet. The virtual world has a different style to the real world. The easier it is to read the better. Just be conversational and professional.
Why do you want to do this?
Social media managers are hungry for content they can use to promote you and to promote the exhibition. This is normally included in your exhibition pack, make the most of it.
You know how valuable your email database is – which you may have paid for. Think of social media in the same way. Connect with the event organisers or the social media managers and see how you can collaborate with them to maximise your return on investment. When you see posts about the exhibition, always share them to let your followers know you will be at the exhibition and available for one-on-one conversation.
Also remember to comment on the expos fan page to increase your visibility and exposure. Don’t advertise, rather participate in the conversation. Give people a reason to know like and trust you to want to come and see you about your franchise or business offering.
This you need to continue for the duration of the 4 months. Create a build-up by continually connecting and networking with potential customers strategically online, so that by the time the event happens, it’s just a matter of meeting face to face.
Sometimes we need to make the time to put things in place to work smarter and not harder in the future. The biggest advantage to you taking the time to put these bits in place is that once it’s done, its done. Most of the information you upload will most likely stay the same. The only change is creating new content.
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