Jas Sansi visits the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Expo at Villa Park.
He wonders how Exhibitors steer traffic to their stands. A blog including some great tips on making the most of Exhibiting.
Business Expos exist to exchange information. They represent the marketing stage of business. They generate leads, ignite conversations and ultimately brings buyers and sellers together in the exchange of goods and services.
Expos make the world go round.
I’ve attended Expos for a number of years. I’ve never left without learning something, making a connection or catching up with a colleague. They’re a valuable tool in the arena of business.
CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Paul Faulkner explained their purpose ‘….people do business with people. Expos are a great way to take a little time to engage with other members of the business community. Expos provide an opportunity for more detailed conversations.’
As I walked around the Expo, I was intrigued as to how businesses attract delegates to their stands. What strategies are in play to break down barriers between both parties and light the touch paper of trade.
I approached a number of exhibitors and asked them that very question ‘how do you drive traffic to your stand?‘
Kirsty Nicholls, Sales Development Manager introduced a putting green to her stand. Delegates who sink three golf balls in a row can win a round of golf.
This is a very clever hook because the Birmingham hotel where Kirsty works does not have any outside space but it allows her to tap into a new market; the Golf Fraternity.
Golf enthusiasts may need a hotel to stay in whilst enjoying their golfing holiday.
For more information email Kirsty on firstname.lastname@example.org
Birmingham will be introducing a Clean Air Zone in Summer 2020.
The team were exhibiting today at Villa Park and shared with me a seasoned technique called Hooker, Helper, Hero; attract a delegate, discuss their needs and solve a problem they may have.
The Birmingham City Council team also use the Expo as an opportunity to inform other Exhibitors about the Clean Air Zone initiative.
I learned public buses in Birmingham are amongst the cheapest 10% in the country to use.
Go to http://www.brumbreathes.co.uk to see if your car is compliant.
Birmingham St Marys Hospice
This much loved Charity use a bright pink colour and collateral to attract the attention of delegates.
There is also an interactive True or False quiz about the Hospice with a Chocolate reward for taking part.
Lean more about St Marys Hospice at https://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk and follow on Twitter @brumshospice
Feature Medical Training
Feature Medical Training (FMT) provide First Aid Training and Mental Health awareness.
The team from FMT use social media to announce their Expo attendance ahead of the event, and again when they have their stand number.
Jo explained ‘…we exchange business cards at Expo and follow up within 24 hours.‘
For more information about Feature Medical Training, Email Jo at email@example.com
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Featuremedicaltraining/
Villa Park, home of Aston Villa
The hosts were also exhibiting at Expo.
I caught up with Isaak Damico who explained the importance of making the right impression with a strong backdrop and high quality Collateral.
They offered a business card draw with the chance to win a bottle of Champagne.
The business cards are collated and acted upon with specific queries prioritised.
Reach out to Isaak Damico on Linkedin for more information about Villa Park: https://www.linkedin.com/in/isaak-d-amico-36a4b7109/
Canal and River Trust
Expo Sponsors, Canal and River Trust look after 900 km of Rivers and Canals in the West Midlands.
They are in the process of planting fruit trees along the canal network from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. This will create the longest orchard in the world.
Local communities will be able to access and pick free fruit whilst enjoying the canals.
I learned all of this from Terry Hodgetts, Business Engagement Partner at the Trust. He added ‘…with the increase in house building, the canal network may be the last accessible green space available for people to enjoy.‘
Their stand exercises the power of chocolate to attract delegates. There are also accessible stress balls until the opportunity to relax waterside.
For more information email Terry on Terry.firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow on Twitter @CanalRiverTrust
Edgbaston Park Hotel
Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre is located on the University of Birmingham campus.
The team had a Spin the Wheel competition with a range of prizes ranging from Afternoon Tea for two, a notebook, lip balm, chocolate or a set of high lighters.
This was a very powerful tool in attracting delegates. I even tried to blag a second attempt having failed to secure the Afternoon Tea but alas, pleas for teas fell on deaf ears.
Phone 0121 414 8888 to book Mother’s Day Lunch (limited availability) or Easter Sunday lunch (both £27.50)
Birmingham City University
Tips provided by BCU included the power of eye contact and ensuring there is enough space to engage. To engage socially as well as professionally.
The exhibiting team had a Business Card bowl. These are followed up on the next day identifying specific requests and those for general information.
Hands on at Work
Wellbeing in the workplace is a key buzzword. Hands on Work provide seated massages in your office.
This company has a unique offer, whilst exhibiting, they have massage seats which are always a popular draw for visitors who may have been on their feet for hours.
In addition to this, they are also available for hire for other exhibitors. They will wear your corporate colours and provide shoulder and back massages to your stand’s visitors.
Sound good? Contact Kathy Scott on email@example.com or 07989 367 669
University of Birmingham
When exhibiting, the University often display a three foot high Wind Turbine made of Lego. This is a powerful draw for Expo visitors and ties in with the University’s Energy Agenda.
It’s eye catching and relevant.
So there you are, just a small sample of Exhibitors and the strategies they adopt in attracting delegates to their stands.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce deliver over 250 events a year including the Spring and Autumn Expo.
Join the Chamber, get involved and grow your businesses.
Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper
@jassansi 07930 837 505 firstname.lastname@example.org