Trade shows and exhibitions

When is it best to say no?

Exhibitions: when to say no

Exhibition stands

A great opportunity, but not for every business.

When you get a phone call from an exhibition organiser, offering you space at an amazingly discounted rate, it’s sometimes hard to know how to respond. After all, this is most likely to be a genuine opportunity – you know and they know that empty spaces look bad at an exhibition, so at the eleventh hour they will almost give stands away.

But there’s the catch: they aren’t giving away a stand, just an empty space.

The big question to ask yourself is, how much more would you need to invest to turn those few square metres of floor space into a brand-building, lead-generating, marketing and sales machine? As a bare minimum you would need graphic design, copywriting, printing and building of the stand. Would  you have to pay extra for logistics, lighting and Internet connections? Then, you need to consider whether your brochures and datasheets would need updating for this particular audience. Would you need to prepare new demos?

Perhaps more importantly, could you spare the staff to work on the stand? How much would you be paying for their travel, hotel rooms and meals during the expo? What work would be sacrificed while they were out of the office?

And all of this is before you even get to the questions of ROI and opportunity cost. How many good sales leads would you need to get from the exhibition to pay back this time and cost? And if you forget the whole idea, what else might you do with all that staff time and money?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against exhibitions and events; I’ve helped organise many over the years and have seen the value they can deliver. But if there is even a chance that you might say ‘yes’ to a salesman later in the year, you owe it to yourself to research, budget and plan ahead now. If you would like some help with that, or just a few pointers, then please do get in touch on 0121 663 1011.

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