Business Exhibitions - any good?

Discussion in 'East of England' started by GraemeL, Sep 13, 2013.

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  1. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

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    Our products are very appropriate for 'trying out' at an exhibition. Presently we only sell online, so tryouts are not possible, but the overheads of trading on line are low so we like it!

    I am wondering if business exhibitions would be an additional effective way to sell as they would give the opportunity to see, touch and sit. Clearly we would need quite a few sales to cover the cost, so I am interested to know what experiences have been had by others.

    What I am thinking of are the local/regional type of exhibition, not national events.

    Anyone done these?


    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
  2. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    We have done a few local / regional exhibitions, and for us it wasn't that great.

    But I would say that I haven't seen anything like trying out office chairs at these businesses exhibitions, so I think that might well be interesting.
    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
  3. seoswat

    seoswat UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    577 122
    I would imagine for your industry there would be a few decent ones in the Cambridgeshire area throughout the year.

    Keep an eye on your local paper as they always promote those types of exhibitions.

    Remember you dont need to be an exhibitor - you can just go with some business cards and get chatting.
    Posted: Sep 25, 2013 By: seoswat Member since: Nov 20, 2011
  4. FinancialAndrew

    FinancialAndrew UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I like this strategy - test the waters by visiting some shows, see how many visitors are attending, get ideas for stalls, and decide whether you want to make sales at the show, or build your marketing database by taking contact details from visitors passing by.

    I'm exhibiting at Olympia in November as a result of research earlier this year, but I've also had success exhibiting at some local Chamber of Commerce events.
    Posted: Oct 17, 2013 By: FinancialAndrew Member since: Oct 17, 2013
  5. Rickenvisage

    Rickenvisage UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Exhibitions give you a great platform to promote your business to an audience who are in attendance because they have a direct interest in the sector - in that sense it is definitely worth at least trying out.
    Posted: Oct 17, 2013 By: Rickenvisage Member since: Jul 26, 2013
  6. John_Adams

    John_Adams UKBF Contributor Full Member

    30 4
    Typically super expensive with little direct outcome. Make sure you can influence the outcome as much as possible. Take names, take emails, take numbers and follow up, follow up, follow up!
    Posted: Apr 15, 2015 By: John_Adams Member since: Apr 10, 2015
  7. Richard White

    Richard White UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 12
    I agree with John. You should use Exhibitions to generate leads and not expect to close the sale at the event. Otherwise 20 hot prospects could pass you by whilst you are trying to close a deal. Block out the following days to follow-up. Without the follow-up your investment is wasted.
    Posted: Jun 17, 2015 By: Richard White Member since: Jun 8, 2015
  8. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

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    When we do big international fairs, we get a great deal of interest and quite a few leads. Local fairs suck and small local fairs suck worst of all.

    We did one local fair which should have been exactly right for us - and got not one lead. Nothing. Zip. Nichts!

    The trouble with local fairs is that the people just do not have any money. If you attend a big fair, like the CeBIT in Hannover or the CE in Las Vegas or Bauma in Munich, you know that people have come there from all over the World and just getting there and finding a hotel room will have cost them money, so they are there to BUY STUFF.

    Local fairs - they are there because it' raining outside!

    We are planning a new business venture and the next fair I shall attend will see me making six-figure purchasing decisions for future equipment. Decisions that I have to get right, so I have to go to the largest fair for that industry and spend several days there.

    If the venture succeeds, then that will in turn lead to far larger orders, as the business develops. That's a fair amount of money on two legs, so I can't afford to waste time at some minor UK exhibition, but have to attend a fair where I can see and talk to every major manufacturer on Planet Earth in that industry.

    Small trade fairs are (for us) a waste of time and money for both exhibitors and visitors.
    Posted: Jun 17, 2015 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  9. flomigo

    flomigo UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 5
    We find that the majority of business fairs and shows are a waste of time , the majority of people there are looking for job's or selling there own service. The Local cheap entry ones are were we started really seeing some head way and actually making some sales.

    The only thing you should be aware of is everyone does an "expo sale" to get people to buy on the day. Make them an offer they cant refuse and also try to make sure you have a way of taking payment on the day. Even if its just deposits to receive the same week or so on.

    Also try to keep the overheads of the stall as low as possible, it can be worth splashing out on a nice stall if your planning to do many of these kind of events, buy things you can use over and over again to get the money out of it and so your staff get very familiar with setup and also on how to work in the stand. Its a different environment and some staff members become very alienated * especially if your an online business *.

    Hope some of this helps
    Posted: Jun 17, 2015 By: flomigo Member since: May 6, 2015
  10. HazelC

    HazelC UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    968 227
    I do the Cambs Chamber of Commerce and they are great for me - always hit sales amounts that have at least doubled exhibitor fee from the event and then more in the future. Really good for brand awareness, networking and business card collecting too.
    Posted: Jun 18, 2015 By: HazelC Member since: Sep 7, 2013
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