I have been traveling around the South island attending the Women’s lifestyle Expos and other events for 6 years.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for sales, marketing , brand recongition and gathering new potential customers.
It takes alot of work, thought and planning
I see all sorts of successes and failures with set ups. Every time I attend an event I learn something new.
Put your best foot forward with my top tips
Go to an expo first if you can. Look around, what do you like, what don’t you like? what stands out? take notes.
Set up your site at home. This is so incredibly important. Don’t wing it. 2 x 1800 trestle tables is not going to fit in a 2.3mtre site, no matter how many curse words you mutter.
I see so many people turn up with stock and tables only to realise, its too big or too small.
They stand there looking like a deer in the headlights and sweat beading on their foreheads.
This is even more important if you are travelling out of town. You can’t just pop back home and get something to fix the issue.
Set up your mock site with stock.
Is it attractive?
Would it make you want to come over and check it out?
Get feedback from friends and family. This is like a job interveiw, first impressions count.
Having stock lying flat on a table is not appealing.
Make a checklist and check it off when you pack up your car.
It can be dark in some spots, do you need lighting? Will your site have power to put lights up?
Ask the team who run expo. They are incredibly helpful.
The Expo walls generally have a surface you can pin and staple gun advertising on. So make sure you pack all those sorts of things. Even if your not sure your will need it, Pack it.
When setting up for Expo you can’t always be guaranteed a trolley to transport your stuff in, so bring one with you. Borrow a sack barrow or flatdeck like this one.
It’s a LONG trek from your car to your site and trust me it’s even longer after Expo is over if you don’t have a trolley.
Take extra sheets to cover your stock at night time.
PRE EXPO ADVERTISING
Take advantage of giving a prize to the Expo. They advertise you and your business on their Women’s lifestyle Expo facebook page, Which has 1000’s of people on it.
You can buy tickets for half price from Expo. Buy them and run a giveaway on your FB page
1 – It advertises that you will be there.
2 – You can target your audience to go out to that region, therefore gaining new followers on your social media platforms, which equals new potential clients.
If you really want to get serious, companies that donate a prize over $500 get the Expo database. That’s alot of emails!
You can also get a $2 discount voucher to post on your page or email out to your database. Everyone loves a discount.
SIGNAGE – is SO important. During expo there are ALOT of people. You cannot talk to everyone.
Have signage on your table explaining about your business, your product, ethic, pricing, eftpos etc
Make your signage the salesperson when you are with another customer.
Have loads of business cards and brochures. Give them to everyone.
Do you have a tall wall behind you? Do you have a banner or promotional posters to put up, decor, something to make it attractive or informative
Don’t over do it though , or it will overwhelm them. This is why setting up at home is important. Take a step back and assess it.
Customers want to feel like they got a deal at Expo, its a ladies day out ( and menfolk who have been dragged along and sometimes ( it’s rare) you may even see the mysterious species of ” Man who love shopping and wants to come… Yes they exist – I have one!!!) So, create an Expo special just for the weekend.
Also put that on your FB page before the event.
If you have product to sell, your missing out if you do not have Eftpos. Many people bring cash and then run out. You could make the sale because you have eftpos over another business.
If you have room on your site, get another salesperson, wether it be an employee or friend ( family members come in handy for this) They can be taking money, wrapping, taking to customers, giving out cards & brochures.
Have lots of float, nothing worse than running out of change. The first thing people do when they come to Expo is go to the ATM and get out $20 & $50. You will need change!
BUILDING YOUR DATABASE
– Collect emails for your database. Join up to Mailchimp – Its free for the first 2000 addresses.
Download the MC subscribe app on an Ipad or tablet which connects to Mailchimp.
You can then advertise a giveaway on it or invite people to subscribe.
You don’t need wifi.
When you go home or back into wifi it automatically uploads to your database.
Have a notebook and pens ready to take numbers, emails, follow ups and most importantly action it that week while its still fresh in their memory.
The most important step after expo is to email the customers you collected on your database and say thank you, draw the prize if relevant and keep in touch.
Are you scared of writing a newsletter, not sure about content? Need business help in general?
I highly recommend joining NetworkNZ on facebook. There is an amazing network with a wealth of knowledge in there for free!
Have a good breakfast, take water, food and make friends with your neighbour so you can both dash off for a toilet stop if you are on your own.
Stand up! Smile, talk to as many people as you can, give out information. Be memorable.
You are the face of your business.
Good luck, Apryl