I’ve been working with the Biz Expos for just under a year now, and I’ve gained what could be argued as quite a reliable insight to how the Business Exhibition World works. What I have noticed throughout my time here is that people genuinely believe certain things regarding Business Expo shows which, to be frank, are complete nonsense.
1. Your company will not benefit at one of these shows.
This is one I hear quite a lot when it comes to selling stands to potential clients, and honestly, it makes me want to scream. It isn’t the business that wouldn’t do well – it’s you. Let’s be honest, your business is finite. It cannot think, act or connect on its own. You have to be face, the voice and the soul of the company. Pretty banners will only get you so far. You need to be willing to speak to everyone and anyone who may want to invest their time into your business. Be the person you want to speak to you if you were visiting the Expo.
2. You’re going to get so much business from attending this show.
Really, this one is only partially true. If you go to a Business Expo show with high hopes that every single person you talk to is going to become a client, you are in for a world of disappointment. Sure, you may attract people who will swap business cards with you, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gotten their custom. To make that happen will depend on where you go from there. Think of business expos as a sort of introduction to your company. Once you’ve grabbed the attention of potential clients – make sure you stay in touch with them! Attending a show is not enough.
3. You didn’t sell anything so it was a complete waste of time.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand this one, but it’s one of the most used reasons why people don’t want to go back to an Expo. Just because you haven’t sold anything doesn’t mean your presence at a Business show was a waste of time. Like, at all. Think of it this way; would you have had the same level exposure of having your business in front of hundreds of people if you stayed in the office all day? No, you wouldn’t. A common misconception people tend to have about expos is that it’s only successful if they make a handful of sales, but honestly, this just isn’t true. The exposure of your company is the most important thing you can gain from exhibiting at these shows, and believe me; you’ll be exposed in so many different ways.
4. You can only benefit from attending if there are no similar businesses to yours there.
There was a time here at the Biz Expos where we tended to agree with this, which is one of the reasons why a few years ago, we would only allow two of the same kind of company to exhibit at our shows. But we’ve found in more recent shows that this doesn’t actually make a lick of difference. Obviously, our Expos are not sector specific, so it’s very unlikely we’d run a show with only one type of business, so really, there are only a handful of similar companies that exhibit with us at any one time. But why should this be a problem? There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. There’s nothing stopping you from improving your image to ensure that you come out on top
5. You will get the same amount of value by just attending as a visitor, rather than an exhibitor.
I can kind of see why someone might think this, but it’s not true. As a visitor, you are able to take your time and walk amongst the different stands to see who you wish to network with, as well as taking part in 1-2-1 networking (or speed networking if you come to one of our shows), so you have somewhat more control over who you speak to. But the problem will be you won’t have enough time to speak to everyone who could be a potential client/customer. Booking a stand at an expo show allows people to seek you out, which will give you more prominent leads. I mean, really; what’s the point in wasting your time with someone who has absolutely no interest in what you’re selling?
6. Everyone who attends has the same objective: sell, sell, sell.
One of the
biggest mistakes I think you can make at a business show, whether you’re an
exhibitor or a visitor is to assume that everyone is after the same thing.
Granted, to make a sale is probably on everyone’s list of objectives, but
honestly, most people are there to make contacts, build a larger contact list
and network with other entrepreneurs. And it should be noted that one of the
best forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. Perhaps Mrs. Printing-Company has no
interest in what you’re selling, but who’s to say that she won’t recommend you
to someone she knows?
The only way you can be sure what really goes on at a Business Expo is to sign up and go yourself! You wont know unless you get yourself out there!