With 4 months to go until the annual trip to Manchester for the BIBA Conference, the planning for clients is fully underway. Our focus for all is to make the time before, during and after the Conference deliver the very best in terms of business conversations and opportunities.
Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in footfall at the event – so congratulations to BIBA for building the Conference’s profile and value, but certainly some of the credit needs to go to the exhibitors themselves – from the very large to the first-timers, all of whom have committed budget and time to make the event a success. The question is: will it continue?
Right now, as well as focusing on designing and building some wonderful and creative designs for their exhibition spaces, much of our work is centred upon refining the messaging and content, and planning the very best ways to engage these with delegates – as well as those that don’t make the trip. So, if you can’t spend with the ‘big guys’, what can you do to make sure that you spend wisely and get results?
Our top tips
Basically, the same principles apply. Whether you have the very largest of stands or you are attending for the very first time, here are 5 of our top tips:
- Understand why you are attending and what you want to achieve.
Setting yourself objectives is critical to being able to assign budget and measure results. Don’t set yourself a target that isn’t deliverable. It is much better to start in a measured way and build – perhaps over 3 years.
- Don’t ‘talk the talk’ if you can't ‘walk the walk’.
For example, don’t give out messages that say that you are committed to the market and can manage large projects while on a stand that looks as though you put it together for £5! There is a balance between what you spend and the image it gives across. Don’t go to BIBA if you don’t have the budget to be professional – it will damage your brand and do more harm than good. There are other ways – maybe consider going as a delegate.
- Make sure that whatever way and format you use to promote your business, the messaging and proposition is clear.
If you are selling technology, you won’t be the only one in the room doing so, so make sure you know and show why you are the right choice. Don’t be a ‘me too’ - make sure you have something different to say. And, make sure you can support it. Demonstrate the value that you can deliver and not merely by saying how great you are.
- Realise that it will be very competitive.
Don’t rely on people speaking to you – your competitors won’t! Aim to build a profile before the event. Reach out to those that are attending as well as those that aren’t. Share your key messages – what you are going to be promoting, why they should visit your stand, why you are different and what value they will get from working with you.
- Follow up follow up follow up!
This isn’t a market that sells ‘widgets’ – it takes time to build up a relationship and trust, so reach out to those that you spoke to and then follow up those conversations in the weeks to come. Don’t expect people to chase you – you always have to do the chasing!
We have helped a huge number of clients – from the very large to those attending BIBA for the very first time, so if you want to talk through any ideas and avoid the pitfalls, don’t hesitate to get in touch. After all, we want you to win big at BIBA and not go broke in the process!