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Is an Expo Stand a good marketing strategy?

After months of planning and a large amount of marketing budget spent, the 2 Expo days are finally here. What I plan to do is a timeline of a day so that you know what happened.

On the eve of the event it is pouring with rain and I have no one to help me carry all of my furniture and props from my car to the exhibition hall. It is a hard slog, I am seriously doubting my choices and I am wearing a bright yellow safety vest. It was not a good night for me but I knew that in a short hour or 2 it would be done and I would rather have the night before to stress about where I position the table in the 3mx3m space than to deal with it 1 hour before the doors open for Day 1 of the expo.

So here goes:

9:30 – I arrive at the expo, dropped off by a cab at the doors to the Hordern pavilion. The sky is grey and it feels like rain. I can’t imagine that is going to do the attendance numbers any good but at least we are inside.

I meet my stand buddies who I will share the next 2 days with. Spotcap Australia and ABF Events. Everyone is very hopeful for a busy few days

10:00 – The doors open to a dribble of attendees. I continue to fuss about the stand to make sure everything is in the right place and do a last minute check of emails.

The first seminar for the day is at 11 so the expectation is that people won’t arrive too much before that.

10:15 – No attendees have approached the stand, I am smiling but not aggressively approaching attendees. It just isn’t my style.

10:30 – My first conversation with an attendee. I try my best not to be too attention starved and listen to their enquiry and offer my flyers for them to take.

Note to self: a second stand buddy is good even if just to share the quiet times with. 1 stand has 8 staff, roaming for attendees to come to their stand. It is a strategy that is definitely working for them given the low attendee numbers.

11:00 – 1st seminar is starting and I have my first lead enquiry for a new website. Yay!

11.50 – second lead for ghost blogging. Feeling positive but feet starting to hurt

1:00 – time for a quick bite of my homemade vegemite sandwich behind the pull up banner. 1 of the biggest no nos is to been seen having lunch at your stand but because I am by myself, hiding will just have to do.

1:25 – It’s quiet so I pop off to meet a couple of the other exhibtors in my row. Exchange business cards and find out a bit about their businesses and how they are finding the expo experience.

1:50 – we have officially entered “Quite Zone” – there are no attendees walking through the door, stand holders are off having lunch so I check my emails and do some work. It is a little disheartening that it isn’t busier but we can’t help the weather. Moore Park is not exactly in the CBD so people have to commit to come out to the Expo.

3:30 – Posting on Twitter about the day and taking some action shots to keep myself busy.

4:00 – 1 hour to go. My feet feel like they are on fire. It’s been quiet all afternoon with very little foot traffic. Thankfully my stand neighbours and I get along so that there is somebody to talk to.

5:00 – Day 1 is over. A handful of leads to follow up and LinkedIn connections to make tonight. I do hope that Day 2 is busier.

 

Day 2 was sunny, thank goodness and I receive a few more leads. I closed down the stand at 4.30pm on Day 2, carried all of my furniture and props up to Level 2 of the car park in 5 trips to my car and was on my way home for 5.45pm. 2 long days, 2 very sore feet, a handful of new business owners that I got to talk to about my business offering and a few strong new client leads.

So it remains to be seen if my return on investment is positive. Stay tuned for the 3rd and final blog post in a month’s time…

 

If you haven't read Part 1 yet, you can here: Is an Expo Stand a good marketing strategy? Part 1

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