Whether to promote a new business or product, or simply to strengthen an already established presence within your chosen market, an exhibition affords a number of opportunities for networking that could bring in new sales in the future. The only real question is: do you go it alone, or bring in a team of experienced promo professionals.
Cost vs. Time
The first consideration involved in such a question would usually be that of cost. With promotional team members costing anything upwards of £80 a day, and even into the hundreds if you have that kind of spending power available, such an expense is not one to be sneezed at, and that’s just for one member of staff. If you’re talking a week long event with several promotional staff at your beck and call for the full duration, you might wonder if you can afford to hire them – but, on the other hand, can you afford not to? After all, most major exhibitions are annual affairs or similar and it is up to you to make the most of them whilst they are there. An exhibition can be an opportunity to progress the business, or it can be a monumental waste of time, and is time something you are able to sacrifice so easily? Is a week out of your year, spent in an environment where your technical skills play second fiddle to the experience of exhibition professionals, a good use of your time or would it be better spent back at the office/factory/shop productively doing what you know best?
The Skilled vs. the Unskilled
As previously observed, you may have all the technical know-how in the world and can explain in the minutest of detail how a Frampton, Barnes and Blindside amalgamated wazzbanger works, but what experienced promotional staff have in their arsenal that others don’t is the ability to get people to listen in the first place. With a series of little tricks of the trade – a well directed glance, a careful understanding of body language, an ability to put people at ease with a bright smile and a sales pitch so friendly, articulate and attentive that it seems more like an invitation to go for a brief stroll and a cup of tea – the customer is smoothly and effortlessly reeled in. It’s on the back of such predeterminate relationship building with potential customers that sales often occur and only after this stage that technical know-how is of any immediate relevance.
There’s nothing quite as sad at an exhibition as the one-man-band, the once enthusiastic member of a proud organisation who stands forlorn as the professionals on other stands go about their schmoozing and hobnobbing with aplomb. Experienced promotional staff can create an atmosphere, an excitement, a buzz; something that will get people looking at the products or services they represent and asking questions about them. And there is strength in numbers that not only allows them to maintain this atmosphere, but to increase the number of people that they are physically able to approach at any given time. Exhibitions are a fantastic opportunity for any business, to be sure, but are also competitive environments where not only the best products, but also the best presented products, make the greatest impression – an arena in which experienced promotional staff both shine and excel.