Marketing tips for exhibiting at a county show

A great marketing opportunity is upon us – the county show season has begun. Our local county show, the Devon County Show is less than two weeks away and this event can be a great opportunity for local businesses to showcase their products, meet potential customers and make sales.

Whilst county shows have their roots in agriculture and farming they have evolved into a great day out for people of all ages and interests. Many types of businesses can benefit from exhibiting at a county show.

However, the costs can quickly rack up and this can be a costly marketing exercise. To make sure you maximise the marketing benefit from your attendance we thought we’d share some tips.

Marketing tips for exhibiting at a county show

  • Decide your main purpose of exhibiting, for example is it to make sales, raise awareness, seek feedback?  Prepare accordingly.
  • Promote your attendance pre-show:
    • Email your customers and contacts to let them know that you’ll be exhibiting. Tell them where to find you and give them details of any show offers.
    • Promote your attendance on your website and social media channels.
    • Keep your local press and the show organisers updated with any press releases – will you be doing anything unusual, unveiling something new for example?
  • Ensure your stand is visually attractive and stands out from the crowd – make sure you have good quality displays (keep them generic so they can be used at other shows).
  • Take appropriate marketing literature so visitors have something to take away.
  • If you can, it’s helpful to do a test run of your stand before you get to the show so you can see how it looks.
  • Think about ways to attract people to your stand, for example:
    • Free drinks and refreshments (but check first whether there are any restrictions).
    • A water bowl for the dogs (there are always lots of dogs at county shows).
    • Attractions for the children – face painting, ballon modelling, helium balloons for example.
    • A prize daw.
    • Demonstrations – cooking demos, products to test drive for example.
    • Giveaways – branded goods.
  • Invite friends and family to pop by and chat. Passers by are more likely to stop and browse a busy stand. They’ll also feel less pressured if the attention isn’t focused solely on them.
  • Encourage sales on the day with a time limited “show only” offer.
  • Find a way to capture people’s contact details so you can follow up with them after the show – running a prize draw is an easy way to do this. If you can, record key snippets of your conversations so that you can tailor your follow up.
  • Take some time to check out the other show exhibitors and introduce yourself to those businesses that may be interested in your offering.
  • After the show make sure you follow up with all your show visitors. The more personal the better. To incentivise sales you could run a time limited post-show offer.
  • Add your new contacts to your CRM system and diarise appropriate future marketing activity.
  • Evaluate the return on investment immediately after the show and at regular intervals thereafter to determine whether it’s worth doing again.

Exhibiting at a county show requires far more investment than the time spent physically at the show. However, if you plan and do things right it can be a boost to your business.

If you’re planning to be at the shows this year and could do with some help getting your marketing together, please give us a call on 01395 269791.

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