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.