Marketing on a budget
Not all business owners have the budget for exhibition stands, so how do you market yourself without shelling out thousands?
Firstly, not all exhibitions will cost you the astronomical fees you’re anticipating- look close to home for bargain opportunities – for example early bird offers for early bookings, and once you attend, you can often save money by pre booking for the following year.
If you’re worried about the expense versus return, why not try;
- Walking the floor at exhibitions is a great way to meet new contacts and tell them about what you do, take literature and business cards with you – all it will cost you is your time and money spent on printing.
- Hover near the cafe / break points to catch up with people and have an informal chat- ensure that you avoid bombarding people with sales information and technical jargon- you want them to like you and to want to do business with you.
- Partner with a fellow professional to share a stand- half the cost but the same impact and an opportunity to share resources and contacts.
Afterwards, you can calculate your costs and evaluate if it is worthwhile investing in a stand moving forwards.
What about promotional items?
Plan for how you are going to present your services, and source the necessary equipment, check lead time for any branded printing before ordering to ensure it will arrive in good time of the event.
- All promotional leaflets must as a minimal requirement be full colour, printed on 100gsm paper.
Make branded items generic so that they can be used time and time again.
Key things to avoid when printing, as information can quickly become outdated meaning that you have wasted valuable money from your marketing budget. –
- Addresses – instead use the website, as this will be the same regardless of location or telephone number
- Financial figures – fees can change, therefore do not print on promotional items
You will want to make sure that visitors to the exhibition know that you are exhibiting. The exhibit organisers will post on social media networks the details of those attending, have your finger on the pulse and be ready to share, share, share.
Post on your own social media platforms that you are attending.
Promote it at networking events that you attend.
If you have any opportunities to plug it in advance, take them, make sure they are relevant, and that you prepare even if it was a 60 second promo on radio- do not wing it.
- Write the script
- Check the content
- Company, Exhibition, Date, Where, Time, Stand number
- Time it
- Check the timing
On the day, once all set up, take photos and post again to say where you are, what you’re doing to encourage social media savvy visitors;
- Use the go live Facebook function.
- Use relevant hashtags on Twitter and Tweet the organiser
- Some exhibitions organise rolling PowerPoints for exhibitors to promote themselves by posting a conversation starter;
- Use a relevant topic
- Make it snappy, thought provoking and interesting
If exhibitions aren’t your thing, consider partnering with fellow professionals to produce a seminar event offering information to prospective clients. Again, you can share the cost of venue hire by forming a strategic partnership, and for free events can use ticket sales sites such as eventbrite for free, you can then incorporate networking into your event and get to meet your attendees in person, and promote yourself through what you do.
Avanti offer networking opportunities as well as our accountancy services, for networking that doesn’t break the bank or to discuss strategic partnerships, give us a call (08000) 388 799