BETA International – Make 2017 your best event yet

 Vanessa B  15/Jan/17  no responses.

BETA International serves as the UK’s flagship event for any business in the equine industry – whether launching a new product or marketing your existing business. For more than three decades, this exhibition has helped equestrian, country clothing retailers, outdoor and pet product manufacturers gain business traction. 


With the 2017 event rapidly approaching, now is the time to prepare. This pivotal event in the equine industry provides for a wealth of opportunities when it comes to networking, establishing new contacts and winning new clients. Yet hosting your own exhibition stand isn’t nearly enough – to truly make the most out of your investment (which could well have demanded a significant figure for an exhibition stand), you need some industry-insider marketing tips. Which is exactly what we present here.



Four essential ideas for attracting attendees to your stall


Make your stand interactive

BETA International is a hustling, bustling environment with thousands in attendance over a three-day period. There’s also more than two hundred fellow equine businesses each vying for the attention of footfall. Ensuring that your exhibition is somehow interactive can be key to attracting attendees over your threshold. Just how you do this will depend on your product – however consider how you could demo your items, and think about technology – could you have tablets that provide for product information, videos or customer testimonials?

Give away freebies

Everyone loves a freebie – it’s simply human nature in the age of consumerism to enjoy receiving a free lunch. If you have a product that could be suitable for gifting for free, then be sure to seriously consider this tactic. You do, however, need to consider how you’ll gain any contact details from those taking you up on your offer (this should be an investment, not a flat-out cost!).

Whether you choose to use this approach will depend upon your exact line of business – if you sell expensive horse riding equipment, this is obviously not such a commercially viable idea. In which case, why not choose to run a giveaway for one or two lucky winners whereby attendees leave their business cards in a bowl to be in with a chance of winning.

Another way in which you can tap into the free feel good factor is by having a few sweet treats or hot drinks available – when attendees stop for a moment you have a prime opportunity to have an informal chat about your business.

Stand out from the crowd with vivid graphic backdrops

Your exhibition background should be eye-catching – instantly grabbing attention and clearly defining your line of business. The graphics that form the backdrop to your stand should be clearly visible from a good few feet away – and if you haven’t already arranged an order from your printers, now is the time (printers can generally demand a week or more lead time for large print orders).

If you can’t tempt them in – be sure that they can quickly grab and go

With all the tips in the world, you’ll still be unable to ensure every attendee makes it onto your exhibition floor. So, make it easy for passing footfall to grab vital company info by putting together a brochure or goodie bag that they can take as they pass by.

Two top tips for exceptional networking

Be tactful and non-aggressive

Both attendees and fellow exhibitors will have plenty of aggressive sales pitches forwarded their way. Rather than approaching those around your stall, or those on other stalls, by launching full steam ahead into your 30 second elevator pitch, re-think your approach. Ask them whether they’re enjoying the show and what their line of business is – then grab their business card and follow up with the pitch later. That said, such conversations tend to naturally lead to speaking of your own business (and you’ll be more memorable for having taken a softer approach).

Review the exhibitor list and make a note of those you should visit

Don’t overlook the hundreds of fellow exhibitors in attendance – these businesses are often the most influential, largest and successful (after all, their company deems the investment in an exhibition valuable). Do your homework, find out about their products, services and company background – then follow the approach we’ve just spoken of.

By following these simple but effective tips for making the most of BETA International, you can ensure that your investment pays dividends – with new contacts made, a potential customer list created and a few firm fans now won over by having experienced your products first hand.



If you need expert help to ensure that you make the most out of the event, PressPoint Countryside & Equestrian is here to help.



2017 predictions anyone?

 Vanessa B  01/Jan/17  no responses.

Who raised a glass to Auld Lang Syne to welcome in 2016, and foresaw the seismic events that would come to pass during the year?


The early polls for the forthcoming European Referendum showed a healthy lead for ‘Remain’.


In the U.S., the competition to become the Republican Party candidate for the Presidential election was hotting up, and although Donald Trump gained momentum following November’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, surely he couldn’t become President? Well, not according to the polls.


Who would have thought we would be entering 2017 without Terry Wogan, David Bowie and Victoria Wood.


And who, hand on heart, believed Leicester City would be crowned Premier League champions or that a 58-year-old Nick Skelton would bring home an individual Gold Medal for Team GB on Big Star. Certainly not the bookies.


Further down the equestrian ladder, Dandy Flame made a mockery of the form book, when he won over five furlongs at Wolverhampton at staggering odds of 200/1. For context, that’s the same odds as Simon Cowell or Wayne Rooney to be the next Prime Minister.


So in a world where the pollsters and bookmakers can get big calls so wrong, so often; how can the humble retailer spot trends and stay ahead of the competition?


The temptation, in such a topsy-turvy world, would be to avoid risk wherever you can sense it. Stick to the big-name brands, steer clear of new product launches until you can see the demand is there, postpone capital expenditure and put off investment in existing or new staff until calmer waters are reached.


With the political and economic ramifications of Brexit and the implications for the wider world of the Presidency of Mr Trump still cloaked in uncertainty, it’s a brave business which takes risks in such a climate.


However, we know that you retailers are made of stern stuff, and we all know that with great risk comes great reward. So here are some pointers for 2017, which might offer some help:


  1. Mobile internet usage is already higher than desktop usage and will only continue to grow.

At the very least you need to ensure that your website is mobile responsive, which ensures that your website views correctly on smartphones and tablets. If it’s not mobile responsive, make this your number one priority for 2017. When you’ve done the hardest work in getting someone to view your website, it would be criminal for them to leave your site because your website is too difficult to read, or the images are not showing correctly on their tablet or mobile.


  1. Data is king

Many large businesses talk grandly about the power of their data, their big data, their massive data. Small businesses have data too, and your data is bigger than their data, and it’s better data because it’s your data. It’s information about your customers, what they’ve bought, how often and when they’ve bought it. You’ll probably have data from potential customers too: information from shows and events you’ve been to, where people have filled in forms with their email addresses and you’ve put them to one side, to sort out later. Trouble is, there’s no later with data. Capture it now and use it now, before it’s all out of date, then use a free service like MailChimp to email your existing and potential customers with regular offers and updates.


  1. Social Media will always be there

A few years ago, everyone was buzzing about the commercial possibilities of the free marketing opportunities available via social media. Here’s the thing: it was never free and never will be. It either costs you your time for you to write and manage your output, or as more and more companies are doing; you pay someone to do it for you. Nevertheless, social media still represents a mightily important opportunity for you to connect directly with your audience. Make 2017 your year to fully exploit this. If you’re nervous about using social media, feel that you lack the necessary skills, or just don’t have the time to devote to do it properly, engage with a company which does understand it and pay them to write and manage your social media content for you.


  1. Customer Service

This will never go out of fashion or drop in popularity, no matter who is in the White House or whether we’ve got the trade deal we wanted with the EU. And it’s the single most important weapon small businesses can use to gain loyalty and build sales. Never be afraid to ask your customers for their thoughts on your levels of service, even the ‘difficult’ ones – and having asked for it – act on it! On–line, Google’s search algorithms are starting to account of feedback when they present search results, so investigate if your website can have a feedback plug–in or module easily added to it?


And as for 2017 predictions, if you still fancy a risk – you could do worse than having a flutter on Aidan O’Brien’s Capri for the Derby in June, you can still get 20/1 if you’re quick. Or remember it’s 200/1 for Simon Cowell to be the next Prime Minister. After all the shocks in 2016, it might not be such a long shot after all.


Happy New Year from all at PressPoint.

Whatever your place is in the equine world, we’d hedge our bets to say that you’ve likely heard of just how effective the results can be when using Google AdWords.

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