Last month, Cross Bay Marketing took part in the inaugural North Lancashire Expo. Our heart lies firmly in supporting the local area and the businesses within them so it made sense to exhibit at an event that was promoting the businesses in North Lancashire.
Now I (Anna), LOVE organising events and creating stands and whilst we have been busy working ‘in’ the business, we have not been putting ourselves out there as much as we should.
We saw the Expo as an opportunity to engage with potential clients, partners and employees, and catch up with current clients and partners. To achieve this engagement, I decided we should ask the visitors to our stand to vote for their favourite logo from a choice of two. This meant that there was no need to rush our branding project, which we started in August, but also meant we gained valuable insight from people I’d love to work with in the future.
I’ve spent many years visiting and exhibiting at events and have picked up a few things over the years. Budget savvy by nature it was important to create a stand that was visually appealing but at the same time didn’t cost the earth. Aside from a couple of things that were ordered from Amazon, everything else for the stand was sourced locally.
The stand cost £180 (inc. VAT) and I budgeted another £200 for furnishing and marketing materials, £380. I also planned my time to ensure I could dedicate 2 full working days to the event.
Stand at the Expo: £180
Deck Chair: £29.99
Fishing Net: £17.97
Wooden Crates: £50
Posters and Postcards: £59.28
Seaside Props: £13.10
Colouring and Candy Floss: £14
Whilst I remained within budget, as this was Cross Bay Marketing’s first event, there were purchases made that can be used again for other events so I expect any additional cost for future events to be for roll-up banners and promotional merchandise.
If you’re thinking about exhibiting an event, it worth considering the answers to these questions;
- What do we want to achieve?
- Will our target audience be there?
- Are there opportunities to develop partnerships with other exhibitors?
- Do we have the budget?
As with all events, there should be a clear strategy in place to justify your presence at the event and what you expect to achieve from the event. It’s also important to promote your attendance ahead of the event and ensure you allocate time after the event to follow up any leads. I’d also suggest completing a post-event review with all those that represented your company on the day/s.
It’s vital to consider all costs and I would advise allocating a budget. When you are thinking about a budget, be sure to include the cost of the stand itself, the cost of furnishing the space, promotional items and printed literature, travel costs, and finally your staff costs. Keeping a note of the costs and completing a post-event review will help you make a more informed decision if you’re considering exhibiting for the same or similar event again.
Don’t be afraid to stand out at events and think creatively. I went with the seaside theme as the business is based in Morecambe and asking for someone to vote for their favourite logo helped to open a conversation. Another stand I won’t easily forget was Unbugged (pest control and their game of ‘Bug Roulette’. Take a look at our Twitter page if you want to see the video of me eating a locust!!
Think about what you can do to make a visitor remember you. If you’d like some help identifying event opportunities as well as planning and creating memorable stands then please get in contact. Call me direct on 07973 663674 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.