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.