How to Make The Most of A Business Show

Posted on May 11, 2023 by Categories: Uncategorized

How to Make The Most of A Business Show 

It’s the start of Business Show season so a good time to focus on how you can make the most from any show you invest in – these tips apply to all types of shows. This could be something small in your own community or much larger specialist trade shows in the UK’s biggest venues.

I have taken a stand at all of the Great Business Expos this year, and I’m one of the workshop leaders at every show too including the one at STEAM in Swindon in July this year. If a speaker bows out, or is ill, then the organisers know I’ll step up at a moment’s notice so it’s very handy!

I will be exhibiting and speaking at the Midlands Expo in Birmingham, the Thames Valley Expo in Twickenham, the Thames Valley Expo, Reading, the North West Expo in Manchester and South West Expo, Bristol.


So, why should you be investing your time and money into business shows?

Exhibiting at these events, demonstrates that you are serious about your business and you are investing in your business locally and nationally – regardless of how big or small your company may be. You are showing up.

You are also getting your brand in front of other businesses, both those visiting the show and other exhibitors and often it’s the latter which yields the best fruit. These shows allow for the start of great conversations and the key is in what you do next.

Having invested in a show, you have to have a strategy for that event. Then you look at what worked well, what didn’t go well, and flex that plan for subsequent events.


Planning for the day:

Know what you want to get from the day.

  • Who you want to talk to – are there specific sectors you are interested in connecting with?
  • What do you want your team to talk about to others – do you have particular services you want to flag up?

For example: you might want your team to chat to people, ask them to sign up to your mailing list, invite them to join a group you run on FB, or to book a discovery call with you.


How do you get people to stop by your stand?   

Beforehand, know what your stand is going to look like. Make sure it is inviting, not just banners and fliers etc, but you need things to draw people in to your stand as an ice-breaker or conversation starter.

I have regularly done charity raffles and it works brilliantly. Everyone wants to buy a ticket, especially when they know it’s for charity, which we tell them a little about.

Ask visitors to your stand for their card, and make sure that you follow up with everyone. You are increasing your circle of contacts and you never know when you might get some positive outcomes.

Take lots of photos for your social media, and if people are happy, get photos with them, and make sure you tag them and mention their business.


Unrealistic outcomes:

  • Don’t expect to make sales on the day and be grateful if you do!
  • Don’t expect to get a rush of emails offering you work. However, if you do talk to anyone and you swap cards, make sure you say hello to them by email, or social media, thanking them for taking the time to visit your stand.
  • If your expectation of ROI means making money on the day, then an expo isn’t for you. ROI is about playing the long game.  For me, it’s about visitors understanding what I do, following me and then over time deciding if they are the people I want to work with, long term – and if they want to work with me.



  • Sit down all day, working on your laptop or scrolling through your phone – if you are not engaging then don’t expect others to engage with you. Don’t allow your team to do this either – you need to all be present.
  • Don’t talk at people without engaging with what they do. Ask them about their business more than you telling them about what you do. It’s all about them.
  • You will have people who are not interested but keep smiling all day. No matter how tired your feet get, you need to keep your energy up, and be present all the time.

Be ready to meet people all the time – be inviting, not scary and looking as though you are about to pounce on them.

If you are interested in how I could support you with your PR or even advise you about how best to manage a business show then why not book a Power Hour with me.

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