- Benefits of a building exhibition
- One month before the start of the exhibition
- One week before the exhibition
- Exhibition visit day
- At the end
In this article: is there any point in visiting exhibitions; exhibition visit plan; we divide the exhibitors into groups; personal goals of visiting and questions to exhibitors; what to go to the exhibition with; how to save time and effort when visiting stands.
The pavilions of the construction exhibition are crowded and replete with colorful stands, whose exhibitors have done everything possible to attract the attention of visitors. And there are many people at the exhibition – representatives of construction companies, retail chains, the media, housing and communal services, etc. In the confusion, it is very easy to forget the purpose of your arrival at the exhibition of materials for repair and decoration, without visiting the stands of those companies that are urgently needed. This material will help you not only visit the exhibition, but also get the most out of this visit – the construction exhibition is extensive, it is quite difficult to get around it completely and at the same time get maximum information..
Benefits of a building exhibition
And why go to exhibitions at all, if information about a particular building material can be found in specialized catalogs, magazines and online publications?
The exhibition is the only opportunity for direct contact with representatives of manufacturers of building materials and service providers in this field, physically present in the same area and at the same address. Any other sources of information about building materials are of a pronounced advertising nature, and impersonal online consultants on building materials sites (mainly intermediary ones) are not able to answer specific questions, since they do not fully possess the information. For the largest companies from the construction industry, participation in the exhibition serves not only to maintain the image – it is a rare opportunity to communicate with customers, therefore, there are technologists at their stands who are able to reasonably answer the most tricky questions about products and services.
In each new exhibition season, exhibitors demonstrate their latest developments in the field of building materials, technologies, equipment and tools to visitors. At the same time, you can not only see new items, but also on the spot solve issues on their acquisition with direct manufacturers, bypassing a branched chain of intermediaries, agree on the training of your employees using this technology.
However, it is not enough just to visit a construction exhibition and glimpse the stands of the presented exhibitors, asking a couple of questions on occasion and collecting a bunch of booklets and brochures – you need to prepare for a visit no less carefully than the owners of exhibition stands.
One month before the start of the exhibition
Decide on your personal goals for visiting the exhibition, write them down – it will be optimal to choose from three to five goals, no more. The correct formulation of the goals is important, they should not be vague – for example, “inspecting the new products exhibited by exhibitors” is not suitable as a goal, and “finding a high-performance parquet grinding machine at an acceptable cost (specify the price range)” is excellent.
By this time, the organizers of the exhibition will publish a list of exhibitors in the press or on a specialized website, where, among other things, the positions of the stands of the participating companies will be described. Based on this list, you can carefully study the participants of the exhibition, define several groups for yourself: the first will have stands that are extremely necessary to visit; in the second – those exhibitors whom it is desirable to visit; in the third – stands, which can be visited if there is time left .. The positions of exhibitors in the list of groups are determined according to the goals of visiting the exhibition – the more goals the candidacy of a given company meets, the higher its position in the visiting list.
Before building the list of the first group, analyze all the exhibitors and select the minimum list of the most important companies, whose stands you need to visit in any case – this will be the most pessimistic scenario. Then highlight the exhibitors on an optimistic list – this will have the largest number of stands you would like to visit. Put all companies from the pessimistic list at the beginning of the first visiting group, the remaining exhibitors from the optimistic list – after them in the first group and at the beginning of the second group.
If a good half of the exhibitors are not familiar to you, make an alphabetical list of them, search the Internet for corporate websites of each and study what promotions and discounts they offer for visitors to the exhibition – whose conditions are most favorable, those exhibitors should be visited. Place such exhibitors in the first or second group in the visit plan.
Prepare a list of important questions for you (at least three) for each exhibitor from the first and second groups, several general questions for the third group. Please note that in conditions of a large crowd of visitors, it will be almost impossible to quickly formulate the right questions to representatives of exhibitors you are interested in.
One week before the exhibition
Now it is necessary to make adjustments to the plan of visiting the exhibition, to detail the questions to the exhibitors, to estimate the time required to visit each stand and the exhibition as a whole. Reassess the companies in each of the three plan groups – current priorities may have changed. Imagine a dialogue with representatives of exhibitors in your mind, mark the approximate time for communication. Please note that the specialist you need may be busy talking with other visitors to the exhibition or, for some reason, be absent at the time of your visit – you will need to allocate additional time. Contact exhibitors from the first group of your plan and make an appointment at the exhibition at a specific time.
A rich business program is held at major construction exhibitions – seminars, business meetings and conferences. You can get a detailed program of events by contacting the organizers of the exhibition no later than a week before the event. Conferences of interest to you may coincide in time – it is necessary to determine and inform your colleagues in advance which seminar you will attend and which one they should attend. When distributing business meetings between colleagues, take into account their topics and priorities of interests – after visiting the exhibition, you need to get together with colleagues and prepare a consolidated report that will help in the development of your company.
Prepare the required number of business cards, including those in the languages of the exhibitors you are interested in. A situation in which business cards run out and you are forced to inform the exhibitor’s representatives about this is unacceptable – such an answer may be regarded as your unwillingness to do business with this company, and accordingly, you will not be able to get useful information from them. In addition to business cards, the exhibitor will need information about your company – at least in the form of a small booklet.
Study the access routes to the exhibition pavilions, identify some of the most suitable ones, inform your colleagues who will go to the exhibition with you. If the exhibition is held in another city, be sure to purchase a map of this city in the required quantities and mark the route on it.
Take care of access to the exhibition grounds – usually the first day of the exhibition is designed for a narrow circle of visitors to allow them to negotiate with exhibitors with less interference. To easily pass through the security posts on the first day of the exhibition, you will need a free invitation card – register it at the reception and proceed to the implementation of the previously prepared visit plan.
By the way, just getting to the exhibition pavilions with a plan to visit the stands of interest and an invitation card will not be enough – it will take too much valuable time to find the exact location of the next exhibitor, focusing only on the general exhibition plan. It is necessary not only to mark the positions of the exhibitors on the graphic plan, but also to lay routes to them from the entrance to the pavilion – draw them on your pavilion plan using multi-colored markers and different types of lines. This simple measure will make it much easier to find and spend time with benefit..
Exhibition visit day
Before traveling to the site of the construction exhibition, make sure that you have not forgotten your visit plans, took with you a sufficient number of business cards and brochures, you have pens, a notebook, a diary or a laptop (tablet PC) with a fully charged battery in your case. Be sure to write down your thoughts in the process and based on the results of negotiations with representatives of companies participating in the exhibition – it will not be easy to restore this information a day after the exhibition.
Following a pre-developed visit plan and consistently visiting exhibitors’ stands, do not try to collect as many different brochures, brochures and catalogs as possible – only the most valuable of them. Otherwise, after an hour of being in the exhibition pavilions, you will be loaded with paper materials that burden further movements and interfere with normal work with representatives of exhibitors. Try to get the necessary information on electronic media – CDs or DVDs, or agree with representatives of exhibitors to send materials to your email inbox (they usually make a list of such mailings at the stand).
Do not waste time on excessive waiting for the representative of the company you are interested in, according to the stand people, who has been away “for a few minutes” – make an appointment with him by the end of the exhibition day or at the end of the exhibition, leaving your business card and receiving in return the business card of this specialist. In order to make it easier to find the stand for a return visit, mark on the plan notable landmarks – perhaps it will be a catchy banner, a plasma display panel with advertising or the shape of a nearby stand.
In the evening, upon returning from the exhibition after the first day of its visit, analyze the successful and failed meetings, make adjustments to the lists of groups. Evaluate what needs to be revised when visiting the exhibition pavilions tomorrow, consider in detail the upcoming dialogues with the specialists of the exhibiting companies.
At the end
Planning ahead of your visit to a building trade show will help you get the most out of your time at the trade show, and give you confidence as you navigate between stands that attract visitors. Relying on some kind of luck – a spontaneous meeting with the right specialist or a profitable manufacturer of building materials – an ineffective activity.