Winning Exhibition Tips

The value of face-to-face selling at exhibitions is well documented, so it is imperative that we plan ahead and train our stand personnel to work harder and smarter than our competitors. The following winning exhibition tips can make all the difference and help you realise the true potential of exhibiting.

Think about why you are exhibiting. Is it to sell more products, improve brand awareness, meet existing customers, collect leads for future appointments, find distributors or something else?

What are your objectives for the show?

  • Think about how you are going to measure success or ROI?
  • Are you judging success by the number of leads, sales, visitors, conversions, or the amount of brochures you give out?
  • Set daily targets for each person manning the stand and measure their performance.
  • Communicate your objectives to the team and most importantly, measure.
  • Give staff incentives to encourage activity and accuracy. Reward success and best practice.

Do your research about the show

  • Can the organiser back the visitor numbers up?
  • Is the exhibition ABC audited?
  • Is the audience made up of your typical customer?
  • Speak to other exhibitors before you book.

Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)

  • Keep your exhibition stand graphics simple. “Who you are” and “what you do” is often missed!
  • Make your space work for you; allow plenty of room to meet clients, discuss projects or demonstrate products.

Pre-exhibition planning

Once you have agreed your objectives make sure you explain them to the people that are manning the exhibition stand and make sure that everybody knows who is responsible for what!

  • Invite your customers and prospects before the show using social media, your web site and direct mail.
  • Tell them something “interesting” and give them a reason or incentive for visiting.
  • Remember, most visitors have gone to a great deal of expense and trouble to attend.

Data capture

Whether you use bar code readers or a simple pad and pen, make notes on what your customers were interested in so that you can send them the correct information or speak to them in more detail after the show.
“There is nothing worse for a customer, who has spent half an hour on the stand explaining his requirement, than receiving a telephone call a week later asking him what he was interested in.”


Before the show discuss what questions your customers are likely to ask and make sure you have the answers or know where to get them.

Train your staff on products, availability, distributors, prices, trade discounts, delivery costs, production times, service agreements, returns policy and don’t forget it your customers might want to “know who else has bought your product or service”.

Engage- How do you plan on engaging with your visitors at the show? Pre exhibition role play is a great way of gauging what works for different personalities within your team.

Happy Exhibiting!

Peter Bowen, CEO of The Design Shop (Swindon) Ltd