Tag Archives | exhibitions

Exhibitions: PLEASE don’t be boring!

Networking hat

Wearing my networking hat!

I’ve just returned from a business exhibition, with bags full of bumph that’s going straight into the recycling box.

As expected, almost every stand displayed a bowl of sweets. What is the objective of giving away sweets? To tempt people to come to your stand and talk to you. But if everyone gives away sweets, they are not a differentiator. Boring!

Many exhibitors offered me a branded pen. I tried to refuse, telling them I already have plenty of pens, thank you. But they’d say things like: “Ah, but this pen has a light on it!” (A light? I don’t think I’ve ever needed a pen with a light.) Boring!

I also came away with a range of branded pads and Post-it notes – which might be useful. But boring!

However, I am not likely to use any of the businesses that pressed their promotional products upon me. I’m only going to use a business that sells something that I want, at a price I want to pay. All the usual giveaways are a waste of money.

3 steps to exhibition heaven

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World’s most tedious exhibition?

ChampagneI’ve just returned from possibly the world’s most tedious exhibition. If you are ever tempted to book an exhibition stand, take a lesson from this article…

At the welcome desk, I was given a sticky name badge. One of those that doesn’t stick.

Top tip: Invest in decent name badges. Lanyards or magnetic badges are best as they don’t damage clothes. Ensure there is somewhere obvious for people to return their badges when they leave.

In the exhibition hall were about 30 stands, of which about 1/3 were unattended. People do business with people, so when there was no-one there, I didn’t bother to look at their display.

Top tip: Ensure you have at least two people on your stand so there is always someone there to talk to.
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What’s in the bin?

BIn

Exhibit A

Look in the bin, and you’ll see a carrier bag full of bumpf. Just after I’d photographed it for this post, someone else put their bag of bumpf in the bin too.

Why?

To start at the very beginning, let’s talk about what happens at an exhibition…

You are given a bag of bumpf at the registration desk. If you look at any of it, it’s the exhibition guide so you can see if anyone you know will be there, and to find your way round the stands.

As you walk around, you give each stand a maximum of three seconds to grab your attention. You are trying to avoid making eye contact in case the exhibitor talks to you. Most stands will offer free sweets, so you might grab a few of those and eat them on the spot or put them into your bag for later. Some stands will offer other free goodies, such as branded mugs, mouse-mats or pens. You might collect those too (note that you will never contact, remember or buy from those brands). Many stands will have a free Champagne draw in return for your business card, so you pop your card in the bucket just in case (note that the bottle won’t have the company name on, so even if you win, you won’t remember who they were). If you do get trapped talking to someone on a display stand, chances are they will give you more bumpf for your collection.

If you bother to take the bag home, you will probably give the freebies and any leftover sweets to your kids, and put the bumpf straight into the recycling bin (note that you will never read it; you might not even flick through it).

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