Selling floor space to exhibitors for your upcoming expo is one of the most important tasks you will have to do when hosting an expo. Offering your exhibitors a space where they have the opportunity to connect with your attendees and achieve their marketing goals will increase your exhibitors success, and thus yours too. Generating these sales is not as clear cut as some might think. It's a process that involves research, sales tactics and knowledge of your exhibitors. Below are some tips we've collated to help you start to effectively sell floor space to your next expo.
Research your potential exhibitors
Start by researching each exhibitor that you will be targeting your booth sales towards. Having a stronger understanding of their wants and needs will help you emphasise the aspects of your show that will appeal to them and allow you to close sales. Make sure you’re selling to exhibitors that are suited to your goals and your message. Your attendees won’t like if it your exhibitors don’t meet what they’re after.
Before contacting new exhibitors, try to sell your space to a customer that has previously exhibited at your expo before. It will be much easier to sell what has already been sold than to build relationships with new customers in order to make a sale. If one customer has just finished exhibiting at your expo, then it’s the perfect time to start talking about renewal for the following year.
Engage first, then sell
Reach out to potential exhibitors before presenting them with sales offers. Build a relationship with your customers first. To do this, take time to listen to your customers needs and wants by seeking feedback, identifying interests and providing knowledge. You can do this by sending out emails to ask your customers questions or share industry insights. You can also use social media to engage with your customers and build interest in your expo.
Social media is a popular tool for event professionals. For social monitoring, making connections, sharing company updates and even helping to increase sales. Choose the right platform to use. Needs to be one that your specific audience also uses. Once you know where your audience is, you can start concentrating your marketing plans. Use hashtags on these sites to gain interest. Be personal on social media to build and nurture relationships.
Describe your attendees
Your exhibitors will choose your expo for one main reason: to meet attendees. The more attendees you have the more opportunities your exhibitors have to achieve their goals. If your attendees are the correct audience for your exhibitors, this will make them more inclined to purchase space. Show them the quality of your attendees by sharing attendee or company profiles, demographics, or any other attractive qualities about your audience.
Offer them more than just space
Remember that you’re not just selling space, you’re selling a marketing opportunity. Take time to research and find out what your target exhibitor’s marketing objectives are and try to meet them. Exhibitors will want stand space that is positioned well enough for them to attract their target audience.
Bundle together an opportunity your exhibitors can’t resist. Offer networking activities, food vouchers, free gifts, advertisements on your website/program booklet, or social media promotion along with the cost of space to give your exhibitors that little extra something they won’t get from another expo.
Selling space is also about selling space for the following years event. If your exhibitors receive a good offer on stand space the they’ll be more inclined to view it as worthwhile experience for them and purchase again.
Make it easy
Make it easy for exhibitors to purchase space from you. Create a landing page that grants access to purchase your packages. Include all the information they’ll need to make a final decision and finalise a sale. This includes booth and show logistics; availability of electricity and audio-visual; set up dates and times; shipping information; list of previous exhibitors; show floor plan, and any other info they will need to start planning their stand. You can give this information to them in the form of a factsheet, a booklet or on your website. This will help exhibitors make the decision to purchase without doubt. You can also sell stand space at your event for any upcoming expos.
Start contacting your exhibitors early to allow them time to meet your deadlines. Your exhibitors will also need to have time to start preparing their stand design, their marketing plan and their budget. If you are early, then it helps exhibitors to be early. However, this doesn’t mean you should say no to missed deadlines when you can say yes. If one exhibitor misses a deadline, don’t refuse them space. Make the effort to accommodate for them and show them your loyalty and commitment, as this will encourage them to purchase space with you again in the future.
Sell the best space for the exhibitor
Don’t simply sell any space an exhibitor. Speak to them about the design of the floor plan and any other exhibitors located near them as this may impact the space they choose. If a smaller exhibitor chooses a space close to a large competitor, then instead of accepting it you can advise them of a better option.