8 tips for your next entertainment industry trade show

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Entertainment industry trade shows are a fantastic way to secure new business and create market awareness with a targeted filmmaking audience. It’s a fantastic way to get the word out to new potential customers and clients and take your business to the next level. Trade shows can be costly, but they can also be a great way to really elevate your company and make a decent return on investment. With the correct planning, ideas and execution you can utilise them to the max and make a great impression on those that are in attendance. There are a host of trade shows that happen internationally within the film and entertainment business each year, so finding one that gives you enough time to prepare and will target the right customers for you is key. Think about the costs involved and what will be best for your business. Here we look at some tips for your next tradeshow to help it be as successful as possible.

Have a stand that sets itself apart as an experience

When it comes to building your stand, you need one that separates itself from the rest. This will mean you attract more customers to speak to you, providing the potential of new business leads. The main job of your stand is, after all, to get people to come over and visit. There are a host of ways that you can make your stand more attractive than the rest, including ensuring it’s well-branded and colourful to try and catch the eye of those walking past. Depending on what you are selling, whether its camera equipment or other specialist production equipment, you could add in eye-catching gadgets and backdrops to the stand, or a range of different posters and roll-up banners. Digital displays are also an opportunity to showcase an interactive demo of your product line to passers by.

Offer a freebie or incentive

Another great way to get people to visit your stand at a trade show is to offer a freebie or incentive. This can come in a host of different methods, from offering a chance to “spin the wheel of fortune” where you can give away several prizes, or have people put their business cards in a big bowl where some winners will be picked at random. You could have people tag you in their social media, or have interactive elements to your stand such as a VR experience that allows people to get a feel for your product. By offering something fun you’ll get people talking and heading over to your stand to have a go. While they’re there, you can tell them about your business and services and hopefully get them into your sales funnel. If using the internet for a product demo that requires substantial bandwidth or for the promotion of other incentives, it’s worth hiring out a hotspot rental to ensure you don’t have to rely on the venue’s Wifi.

Ensure your branding is obvious

One of the main points of exhibiting at a trade show is to have people learn more about you and become new customers. Because of this, you want to ensure your branding is obvious and people know how to find you. There are many ways you can do this and have yourself be easy to find. Firstly you should ensure your logo and the name of your company are clearly displayed on the outside of the stand. You should also then add a roll-up banner and also signage over any desk or table that you have. You could also have branded items such as pens, balls or other accessories that you can give away. Branding must be consistent and clearly displayed from a font/brand palette standpoint so that people are able to understand what you’re about. This also goes for slogans, which can help cue the interest of people walking through the venue.

Find a way of collecting people’s details

One of the main things you want to do when you are running a stand at a trade show is collect the details of people who visit your stand. It’s important to keep in mind GDPR and other data laws when you are collecting information to ensure you obtain the correct permissions and use data in the right way. There are many ways you can collect the information of those who visit the stand, including asking people to leave a business card in a bowl, having them sign up for a form on an iPad, or having them fill out a paper form that you have on the stand. QR codes can also be helpful as part of your stand’s branding, allowing people to quickly connect to a landing page online, where they can enter their email or other info. Make sure they all have the correct T’s and C’s and the data is used in the proper way with your terms and conditions policy.

Prepare in advance along with key tentpole dates

You also need to ensure you prepare in advance so you’re ready for the day. If you turn up with nothing to decorate the stand with and are missing the key visual elements, you may attract less attention compared with other businesses. You should also ensure you’re ready with what you’re going to say to those that visit and perhaps have a special offer that you are giving out on the day of the show. By doing all of this you give yourself the best opportunity to make new connections and find potential customers. You’ll also want to bring essential electrical including extension leads and ensure there are enough plug sockets for any devices you have. Other things to consider include scripts for certain situations, how to handle people who are interested in your product, and what you can offer such as discounts, bulk deals and others, depending on the type of buyer. Could it be an offer for an individual or is there an opportunity to sell to an organization?

Ensure there are enough of you to manage the stand

Managing your stand can be a hard job, where you are constantly on your feet all day and have to speak to people. To make it that bit easier, you want to have at least two team members available to share the workload. Depending on the size of the stand and the size of the show, you could have a number of assistants to ensure you don’t miss crucial conversations with potential customers. This will also mean you can have breaks and take turns doing different roles. Some of your team might prefer to do the speaking, others keep the stand set up and tidy while one person is dedicated to acquiring people’s details for future sales.

Make sure you follow up after the show

Once the show has finished, you will want to utilise the connections you have made and the contact details you’ve accumulated. This is when you have the best chance of getting hold of them and making sales as they will remember you from the show and have that connection already formed. This means it’s not you going in as a cold lead so you want to take advantage of it as soon as you can before they forget about your company and anything you’ve spoken about. Have a strategy in place for once you acquire a lead, such as a dedicated newsletter email once a subscriber joins the list, and be sure to follow up with a phone call if your potential customer has given you this information during a previous conversation or via one of your sales/special offer landing pages.

Take time to network and wander around

During the show, you can get caught up in working on your stand and speaking to people and not have time to visit the exhibition yourself. Make sure you take some time to network with other stands where there could be the potential of partnerships with businesses that complement your offer. For example, if you sell electronic equipment and another exhibitor has only a limited range of items, they may be able to sell your tech in their home market. This can be one of the great ways to find new potential business connections as well as see what competitors are up to. It also might help you to get inspiration going forward for what your business can achieve depending on the feedback you receive and how you can collaborate with others in order to make it grow. Be sure to bring enough business cards and other forms of marketing collaterals to share with others and give out to people at their stands.

These are just a few tips for your next tradeshow that can help it to be as much of a success as possible. It is a significant investment and therefore having a presence at entertainment event show needs to be leveraged with a strategy in place well in advance. With the right preparation and work on the days you attend, you will get the most out of it and be able to reap the success that a trade show can bring.

Have you got any trade shows booked in, or are you planning on exploring the possibility in the future?

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