Our last blog post shared 7 Top Tips for launching a new product – a journey we have been going on ourselves with our MotorMover range. Tip Number 7 was ‘Get out there!” In other words, have the confidence to share what you believe to be a market changing product with the market you are seeking to change.
One of the ways we do that is to exhibit our products at industry events. In a few weeks, we’re showing at IMHX 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham, where more than 400 companies will present their latest solutions in material handling and supply chain technology. This makes IMHX 2019 the largest international exhibition of material handling solutions in the UK and we are delighted to be a part of it.
Our previous experience of exhibiting has taught us that success comes with months of planning. We thought we’d share some of the stages we go through to encourage anyone who may be thinking about taking the same step.
Stage 1. Plan to be there.
We know the key shows we want to take part in, and chances are you’ll have a good idea of the events or shows that it would make sense for you to be at. The bigger the event, the more likely it is that companies will be booking up well ahead, so make your decision well in advance and get booked in.
There will be many options in terms of size of floor space, stand options and locations, all of which will carry premiums in terms of cost This is a key decision that determines both the opportunities and limits of what you will be able to do at the show. Make sure you choose the package that fits both your budget and your needs as much as possible and get it booked. Once done, you will have a firm date to work towards and can begin to plan accordingly.
Stage 2 – Plan the experience.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve taken the option on an entire exhibition hall or the smallest pitch on offer has taken your budget to the limit, it’s all about how you use the space. Maximising the area you have will be the key to making the impact on visitors that you have invested in. As we start to plan, we use masking tape to mark out a floor space the same size as our stand. We then do a full mock-up of what people will encounter when they walk up to help us find the balance between maximising opportunity and sensory overload. It’s a sweet spot that’s worth striving for.
We concentrate on 3 elements:
- What will make people stop? – Our product is transportable enough to have on the stand and having the ability to do full demonstrations does most of the work for us. If you can’t do that, finding a way of getting people to stop that is product focussed will be particularly key. Could you have a scale model? Lego model? A working part of your product? An aesthetically pleasing component that makes people want to stop, look, touch and ask? Any offering of food or drink is also a sure fire winner in getting people to linger for those crucial seconds you need to engage them.
- What will people see once they’ve stopped? – We try to think about the use of TV/video, banners, testimonials, demonstrations etc. Of course the product or service itself may well take centre stage, but sometimes it’s the peripheral information that you wouldn’t normally include in your initial pitch that can grab attention, such as technical support or service packages or even where your company is based. It’s also important to plan for times when there may be more visitors than you have team members. It will be essential that they can access important information for themselves.
- What will people take away with them? – We make sure we have all the take-home information necessary in terms of cards/brochures and information. Catching email addresses so you can follow them up is a massive prize. Having some freebies on offer can also help your brand to linger in the mind. People often keep hold of a pen longer than a brochure!
Stage 3 – Plan for success.
We’ve discovered that much of the success of our attendance at shows is determined in the months leading up to it. Well in advance, we advertise our participation on our email signatures and begin to make it a part of our conversations with our regular customers, encouraging them to consider coming along. We make contact with any contacts that we’ve made at the show in previous years to let them know we’ll be back and notify any potential customers that we will be there so they can take the chance to meet us.
Of course, however impressive the product is, business is developed by people and built on trust so choosing carefully who will be representing the company is a significant factor in accomplishing the outcomes you have been planning for. Making sure that the people engaging with attendees have the right mix of passion for the product and the necessary soft skills will ensure conversation flows naturally and a rapport is established which will hopefully leads to sales.
So having shared our exhibition preparations with you – if you get a chance to come to IMHX, then do look out for the MotorMover Team! They’ll be the ones wearing the extremely smart Motor Mover apparel and they’ll make you very welcome at Stand 19K25.
For more information about anything in this Blog, you can contact us here.
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