If there’s one aspect of event management you need to perfect, it’s keeping your exhibitors happy. A satisfied exhibitor is guaranteed to book a stall at your next event. Furthermore, that exhibitor is definitely going to consider increasing his in investment.
Essentially, what you need to realise is this: it’s a lot easier to get returning exhibitors than it is to recruit new ones.
ROI Equals Traffic
What exhibitors are looking for, more than anything else, is a return on their investment. Basically, they want to know that they are going to get a decent amount of traffic to their stalls. After all, they signed up to your event to get as much exposure as possible. To them, a slow day is a huge waste of their investment.
Provide Both Online and Offline Information
Your exhibitors are going to be on the lookout for ways to increase their investment. Remember that their marketing decisions are almost always made by a team of people, so you need to have tons of information available. Sponsorship packets are always a win. Similarly, your online information needs to be completely up-to-date and on-point.
Content is King
One of the keys to successful event management is a proper content marketing strategy. Get your content creation efforts up to speed, and mention your exhibitors on your website, blog, and social media. Get the word flowing, get people talking. Make sure that your exhibitors feel valued and supported.
Get out of that Stuffy Box (Hall)
There’s a lot to be said for networking that happens outside of the traditional conference hall. Yes, driving traffic to vendor booths is important but that isn’t necessarily where the “real” networking happens. Consider setting up a less formal event where exhibitors and customers can meet and chat at their leisure – people are generally more comfortable in a setting that is less loud and jostling than your traditional bustling conference.
Assemble Follow-Up Lists
Anyone in the event management business will tell you that tons of sales often happen directly after event, rather than at the event itself. In essence, vendors are facing two types of consumers: impulsive consumers and those that need some time to mull it over. Your exhibitors are definitely going to want to follow up with attendees. Offer them an easy way to connect with their audience by providing follow-up lists in a popular format.
Your goal is to become the preferred event organiser for exhibitors in your industry. Remember that your planning and management endeavours are the heart and soul of the event – you determine how the day will run for your vendors. Make sure that it’s a roaring success.