The success of your expo will largely rely on the number of exhibitors you have filling up your floor space. Your exhibitors are vital for engaging with attendees and providing positive feedback on your brand. Here are our top tips for increasing your exhibitor numbers to drive the overall success of your expo.
Create a great website or landing page
Develop a website that is informative, aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. This will help you showcase the event and provide all information necessary. Include details on the stands, costs, nearby hotels, transport, your recommended stand supplier, set up dates and times, and the expo floor plan. Having a well-developed website will simplify the process for potential exhibitors by providing them with all the information they need.
Your website can also be used to showcase the investment value in your event by offering advertising banners on your page that can be purchased at an additional price or included when exhibitors purchase stand space.
A landing page is absolutely vital for encouraging exhibitor registration. The Bizzabo Blog has a great piece that takes you through the principles of creating an event registration landing page to increase your exhibitor numbers. You can check that piece out here. https://blog.bizzabo.com/how-to-build-the-perfect-event-registration-landing-page
The key to increasing your exhibitor numbers is to increase your attendance rate. If you can show that your exhibition will have attendees, then exhibitors will be more interested in investing in the event. It may be difficult to attract attendees without a high number of exhibitors but remember that the audience of your expo is the most important aspect exhibitors are investing in when purchasing space. Make sure you develop a marketing plan to suit this trend and focus on encouraging ticket sales or registration through social media, landing pages, EDM’s or infographics.
Use social media
Don’t forget to utilise the valuable communication tool that is social media. After identifying who your target exhibitors are, find out what channels they prefer to use and target them using this. You can use social media to generate excitement surrounding the event and build a following of businesses that may be interested in exhibiting. Use your unique selling point to communicate the value your event offers, compared to competitor events.
Offer something extra
Don’t just stop at floor space – offer your exhibitors a worthwhile experience by presenting extra opportunities they can’t receive anywhere else. Your exhibitors will be more attracted to your event if they believe they can truly benefit from the day.
Networking events and VIP programs are a great way to encourage exhibitors to attend your event. This offers them the ability to extend their network, learn about new topics and engage with likeminded people.
Keynote and guest speakers are also great extras you can include that will encourage more exhibitors (and attendees). People can leave the event feeling inspired and knowledgeable thanks to your carefully selected speakers
Offering food and beverages for your exhibitors is a simple way to persuade exhibitors to attend your event. Exhibiting can be an exhausting process, so providing food for exhibitors makes their day a little easier and shows that you’re committed to ensuring they have a valuable experience.
Bundle all the extra opportunities and offer these when exhibitors purchase floor space. These can be free gifts, food vouchers, TV advertisements, a feature in the program book and VIP events.
Know your exhibitors
Spend time researching your exhibitors to understand their needs, wants and values. Your event should have a theme that is suited to your organisation, such as farming, health or travel. Researching your potential exhibitors will help you identify which businesses will find interest in your event and benefit from attending it. Determining who your audience is will help you emphasise elements of your show throughout your promotions that are most attractive to them. When contacting potential exhibitors, knowing their values and wants will help you customise your invites to appeal to them.
Show them you’re worthwhile
If you’re asking businesses to invest in your expo, then you need to show them why you’re worthwhile. Potential exhibitors may be hesitant to attend your event if you can’t convince them of the worth with evidence and feedback.
The best way you can show an exhibitor that your event is worth the investment is through testimonials from existing or past exhibitors. Recording feedback you receive from exhibitors and asking for testimonials is vital if you want to build a positive reputation in the industry. You can also showcase images and videos from your previous years events to give exhibitors an insight. If you are a first-time event manager, then you can present testimonials from companies you currently or have previously worked with.
Be consistent with your work to set a good example. Your event might not be successful from the beginning, but you can be successful in the long-run by showing exhibitors you’re committed to planning and executing a stand-out event.
Choose a great location
The location and venue of your expo will largely impact the exhibitors you attract. Exhibitors will want to go to a location where the best business opportunities are. Your location needs to attract the right attendees for your exhibitors to engage with.
Create an effective sales process
Once you start implementing the plans to attract exhibitors to your event, you should have an effective sales process in place to finalise the arrangements. Your sales representative should have the ability to persuade exhibitors into seeing the value in your event and provide a solution to their problems. You can use your established customers and connections to communicate with and sell floor space to.
Finally, our number one tip for increasing exhibitor numbers is to start attracting prospects early. Once you have a marketing and sales plan, start engaging with potential exhibitors up to 14 months before your event. This allows you enough time to promote your event and gain interest, before finalising those sales and filling up your event floor space.
If you’d like to hear more about attracting exhibitors, we can help. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on planning your next event.