Do you have an exhibition show coming up that you are struggling to prepare for? Maybe you aren’t so confident in your presentation skills or maybe you’ve exhibited so often now that you don’t know how to spice things up and get new business. Don’t worry, we have you covered!
Read on for our top four tips on exhibiting your hotel or venue at an event to boost sales and make the day(s) on the stand worthwhile.
1. Ask people what they’re looking for and solve their issues.
First and foremost, you need to ditch the sales pitch. You know the one… the 2-3 minute pitch that you have practiced since you started the job, perfected your every last word of and can recite in your sleep. This sales pitch is great for some circumstances, but it’s not great for exhibiting. People who attend events with the intention of finding some new unique hotels and venues to add to their little black book want to have their needs heard. They don’t want to be bored by the standard sales pitch they hear at every stand they stop at.
Instead, it’s time to learn the art of the conversation. Start by asking the person in front of you why they came to the exhibition show or event today. Ask them what they are hoping to leave with. Ask them what they feel like they are missing in their current little black book of venues.
Once you get this kind of valuable information from your potential lead, then you can decipher if your venue is right for them and their needs. If you believe you can solve their issues and make all their events dreams come true, then fantastic! Focus your conversation from that point forward on how you can specifically benefit them.
If you’re not the right fit, don’t panic and fall back into your trusty rehearsed sales pitch. They will appreciate your honesty and your integrity for not wasting their time when you will never be a good fit. Offer them a suggestion of another hotel or venue that could fit their needs. Your kindness and generosity toward them will build trust and might even lead to another opportunity with them down the road. Maybe you’ll be the perfect fit for someone in their network and they can recommend you or maybe you’ll be a better match down the road with a different event.
The key is to sell your hotel or venue based on the personalised benefits you can provide to each and every person that stops at your stand to have a chat.
2. Invite people to your stand - invite your personal connections, plan to meet with people, promote your stand location on social media
Just because you’re exhibiting at a show doesn’t mean that every person you speak to has to be brand new to your network! In fact, it could be more beneficial to take advantage of the fact that all of your connections are all in one room and schedule a catch-up with them. Reach out to any current leads you have that you know will be in attendance (browse LinkedIn for any mentions of the event from your connections) and offer to meet up at your stand at a certain time to have a chat.
These could be previous clients, people who you had a chat with but plans fell through or maybe a lead you have recently just started chatting to. An exhibition show is a great place to continue those conversations and potentially get new business from them.
You should also promote your stand location on social media - not just on the day of the show but a few weeks running up to it as well. Remind people a few times on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Instagram that you will be exhibiting at the event and the stand number they can find you at. This might spark up some conversations before the show with potential connections, and you can go back to our previous point and schedule in a time and place to meet them at the show.
3. Get all contact details you can and have a process for following up
After a conversation that went well, ask people if you can take their name and number down to continue the conversation further and jot down a few notes unique to their situation. Going back to our first point, write down in your notes what they are looking for, what issues they need solving and how you can help them resolve them.
When the exhibition is over, follow up with each person and mention the personalised notes of each person so they know you were listening about their needs. People appreciate being heard, especially after a day of meeting a large number of people. You will impress them with your attentiveness to their needs, potentially leading to a sale!
4. Have a clear objective for exhibiting and focus on your best 2-3 features to show off
You might have a million amazing features about your hotel that you want to show off but resist the urge and only focus on your best 2-3. You want to focus people’s attention in an otherwise manic environment and really blow their mind away by emphasizing your best features.
Have a think about what makes you unique compared to other hotels & venues in the country. Consider showing off your social proof [insert link to other blog post about social proof], including how many successful events you have hosted or a particularly dazzling testimonial from a past client.
Include any unique facts or stats about your building or talk about your amazing new refurbishment or state-of-the-art facilities. The main point here is find your unique selling points - something that the hotel or venue next to you on the stand floor won’t be boasting about as well.
So, there you have it! Those are our top four tips for exhibiting your hotel or venue at a show/event. If you apply these tips the next time you’re exhibiting, we are confident you will walk away with qualified leads and new business opportunities. If you have any questions or tips of your own you would like to share with the hotel & venue profs community, then please leave a comment below! We would love to hear them.