Posted on May 23, 2024 by Categories: Uncategorized

The time of the year has come around when business shows and expos appear all around the country. 

Some business owners swear by this type of PR (visibility) and others think it’s a waste of time. For me, it’s a really important part of my PR but you have to have the right mindset. Everyone goes to an expo or show to ‘sell’ their own stuff – not to buy stuff unless that show is a ‘buying opportunity’ within a particular niche sector or for a particular buying purpose. So an expo in the summer offering a range of Christmas goods for outlets that sell those Christmas goods ie. a trade or wholesaler show is about buying. 

In my world it’s not like that. You don’t go with an ‘I’m going to sell today’ mindset –  you go with a ‘I’m going to start to build new relationships and cement existing ones’ mindset. 

If you are unsure then the first thing to do is to go to your chosen show as a ‘punter’ and check it out. See if it’s a good fit for you before you decide to make that investment and pay attention to what others are doing which really works and creates energy around their stand – and also what is achieving the exact opposite. You will learn more than you realise. 

If it isn’t something you’ve done yet, here are some reasons why you shoud , and how to go about it.

Why do it?

Taking a stand at a business expo shows that you want to be taken seriously as part of a local business community or part of a sector. 

You understand the importance of getting your brand in front of others and it’s more about brand awareness than anything else. 

You’ll meet other local business owners – not just visitors, but the other stallholders!

Plan for the day:

Know what you want to get from the day and set little targets for yourself and your team, if relevant. 

Know who you want to talk to – are their specific people/ business sectors that you’re interested in connecting with? Can you find out on social media who else is going via the show’s hashtag? Then you can make gentle connections before you’ve even stepped into the room. 

Know what you want your team to talk about – have aims:

·      Do you want people to sign up to your mailing list; 

·      Invite people to join a group you run on FB

·      Share info about upcoming workshops/courses

*  Set up a meeting in the near or near-ish future. 

Make a list of things you need to take with you and know what your stand will look like before the day. Have things that draw people in to find out more.  Everyone has banners and fliers, and possibly sweets. How is your’s going to be different?

Collect cards from people who come and talk to you, and ensure you follow up with them all – or connect with them on social media in the moment with them there. You are increasing your circle of contacts by doing this, and you could possibly have positive outcomes too.

Take photos for your social media, and if people are happy to be photographed with you, make sure you tag them. It shows how present you are. 

How can you make the expo work for you?

Go with the right mindset – don’t expect to make immediate sales. That’s not what these events are designed to do. It can happen however it’s rare. Instead, be welcoming and take time to chat to people, asking them about their business, and you can guarantee, they’ll ask you what you do.

You can’t expect immediate ROI – appearing at an expo is about playing the long game. Being noticed, communicating with people, getting to know the other business people in your community.

Be constantly ready to talk to people, don’t sit behind your stand, working on your laptop or looking at your phone. If you do that, the expo certainly won’t work for you. Be ready to welcome people without looking as though you’re going to pounce on them!

If possible, have someone else with you, or even a team who can help manage your stand throughout the day. This means you can go and speak to other stall holders; listen to talks or even give them; have conversations over a coffee with people who have turned up specifically to meet you.  Without team members, you’re not free to do this.

If you are not sure how to approach this part of PR and if it’s a good fit for you consider booking a power hour with me here https://scottmedia.uk/pr-power-hour/

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