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The power of communication

by EN

Holdsworth Designs MD, Jade Pluck advises how to reignite cold leads ahead of winter.

Have you ever been scanned at a show without receiving any sort of follow-up communication?

With four out of five exhibitors never following up leads from exhibitions, you will have undoubtedly experienced this yourself in the past. As an exhibitor you can change these disappointing stats. With time on your side, warm up those cold leads by using the power of communication.

Over the last 10 years, communication has opened up so many doors of opportunities for me personally and for Holdsworth Designs (HDL).

We have gained clients, strategic partners and most recently, LinkedIn opened the door to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses programme, which is a huge opportunity for HDL to grow and for me to learn as a new MD.

Now more than ever we must communicate, with our clients, prospects and staff to help, to educate and to build brand. In light of this, I wanted to share some ideas for you to implement in your communication and marketing strategy.

Communicate with your network

Attendees from past shows will have visited your stand as your company was of interest to them. So right now, how can you help them?

Build trust in the form of regular correspondence via a newsletter, blog, LinkedIn post or any other forms of communication you use. If you think your prospect may not remember the company, send a photo or a visual of your exhibition stand along with the show they attended to jog their memory.

Virtual stand

If the show you were supposed to attend was cancelled, send your network an interactive virtual exhibition so they don’t miss out. In an email you could offer the option to speak with your team or share a discount to entice engagement.

If you are taking part in a virtual exhibition, some platforms allow you to customise your stand so it has that bespoke feel, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves.

Build your connections

I am an advocate of building your network, so if you have met a prospect at a show make sure they are added to your Client Relationship Management system (CRM) or database.

Make sure you connect with them on platforms like LinkedIn too – these allow easy engagement with your connections. If you feel it is appropriate, give the person a call – over the last few months one thing I have found is people have time to talk. Staying visible and in the mind of your prospects will increase your leads and sales.

Exhibition stands post COVID-19

Exhibitions will come back, face-to-face contact is imperative to building your brand and gaining leads.

Here are a few pointers on what you may need to consider in your next stand brief:

• Virtual meeting room – for guests that can’t make the show but still want to speak to your sales staff

• Product placement – you may want to ensure visitors can look but not touch your products

• Technology – the possibilities are endless in showcasing your company via interactive media

• Online brochures/downloads – minimise the amount of hand contact and email product information to visitors

• One-way system & marked out stand – to keep a safe flow of visitors on your stand, you could create a one-way system with signage

• Safety screens, PPE & hand sanitisers – keeping staff and visitors safe

• Make sure you communicate with your clients between visitors and what steps you are taking and what steps the venue is taking to keep everyone safe.

Virtual exhibitions

I think virtual exhibitions could complement a physical event as we look to the future. These would engage those visitors who are unable to travel. If you are going to add virtual shows to your marketing plan, here are a few points to consider:

• Visuals – what visual elements can you upload in the virtual exhibition system? These range from logos, banners to a fully interactive visual exhibition stand

• Media – what other media can you upload in the system to showcase your company; videos, pdfs, downloads?

• Visitors – make sure you are there to engage with your virtual visitors via chat or video link

Whether you are taking part in a physical or virtual exhibition, make sure you build a marketing campaign both before and after the show – communication is the key to exhibiting success.

Finally, my prediction As you look ahead at your exhibiting plans whether they are physical or virtual make sure you start marketing the event in plenty of time so your prospects put it in their diaries. My prediction is that shows will be smaller but much more targeted so setting up appointments with good quality leads will be essential to your exhibiting success.

What do you think exhibitions will look like when they return?

Connect with me on LinkedIn or drop me an email jade@holdsworthdesigns.co.uk

Holdsworth Designs Ltd is an award-winning exhibition build and 3D design company. We design, visualise and manufacture; Exhibition Stands, Bespoke POS Units, Product Displays, Interiors and Safety Screens.

Please visit our website to find out more http://www.holdsworthdesigns.co.uk/

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