What comes first, the exhibitor or the delegate?

It’s a game of chicken and egg when it comes to running a trade show. Your delegates want to know who’s exhibiting to sign up, yet your exhibitors want to know how many delegates you’ve got signed up. It’s tricky, certainly if you’re running the event for the first time. Never fear, Amazing Tents have some hints and tips to help you on your way…

Delegate sign ups
Give your delegates a real reason to sign up and commit to coming – consider offering special deals of the day and some form of entertainment. Depending on your budget, get an industry celebrity in to do a keynote presentation – if you can hit on the one individual they won’t want to miss and promote their involvement through the right channels, you’re on to a winner. And that will help you to create a buzz around the event. You want your potential delegates to have FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. They may miss what’s new in the industry, key individuals to network with or vital industry updates.

Offer solutions. As we all know, time is money. Run your event over 2 days, or extend through out of work hours, so the busy bosses don’t have an excuse not to make it. Offer something fun too, something light-hearted that will give your delegates a break and something to look forward to.

Exhibitor sign ups
This can be a lot harder than getting delegates through the door, because they have to pay to be there – usually a considerable amount. The key to getting exhibitors to sign up is to make your event look professional and trustworthy. It’s essential that you choose the right exhibitors for your audience – you can then share the message that this is a targeted event, with targeted suppliers as well as targeted delegates.

Give them a time to sign up by and hit the phones if they haven’t done it by the deadline. Make them aware there will be a room full of their potential customers, as even if there are 20 good quality delegates, no sales person can make their way round 20 prospects in one day! Offer marketing packages in the run up to the event for things like marketing emails, adverts in brochures and social media coverage. You’ll have the exhibitors you want in no time.

Once your trade show has built a reputation, you can get delegates and exhibitors to sign up for next year straight after the show, because now they really do know why it’s not to be missed! Don’t forget to ask them for their feedback and, of course, who else they would like to see there. For your next show, consider adding in useful services such as arranging targeted meetings between identified delegates and exhibitors, arranging an exclusive pre-show networking breakfast – the sky really is the limit.

We hope you found these tips useful, although we still don’t know… what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Speak soon,
The Amazing Team

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