As manufacturers of retail gift packaging, supplying packaging solutions to producers of Beer & Cider, Gin, Tonic Water, Oil, Vinegars, Jams, Soaps, Candles – you name it – we’ve spent the last few years growing our business. We’ve developed a strong customer base with a high level of repeat orders. Getting our packaging brand out there is important and as suppliers to small, artisan producers we’ve developed a good reputation for quality and service. So now what?
We decided it was time to start exploring new opportunities to showcase our business – enter….. The EXHIBITION!!
This year we decided that the time was right for us to have a presence at a national event and chose the The Farm Shop and Deli Show at the NEC in Birmingham. It was a fantastic experience – and we’ve already booked for next year. Here’s just a few of the things we learned:
Our 5 tips:
- Research the right event for you and plan well ahead. This has to be an investment rather than a cost.
- Aim to make a great impression.
- Invest in good quality branded materials and displays. Visit similar events first and learn what works.
- Make sure you know the dimensions and capabilities of your space. Take some tools with you on the day – you will probably have to do some tweaking!
- Create some theatre and avoid clutter. Keep it simple.
- Shout about the event beforehand.
- Understand what you want to achieve. Ultimately this is about your long-term business strategy. Do you have one?
- Everyone wants more sales of course – but do you want to be in the supermarket or in smaller outlets?
- Why? Why not?
- What will you say if M & S come calling?
- Don’t try the hard sell on your stand visitors.
- Focus on them and really engage. Ask questions and listen. Make good eye contact, learn their name, shake hands if it’s appropriate. When you follow up after the event they’re more likely to remember you.
- Invest in a lead/data capture device – it’s not cheap but worth every penny!
- Make sure you capture some notes against each enquiry so that you can have a quality conversation based on their needs when you follow up.
- Be persistent.
- After the show be prepared for A LOT of leg work – everyone is busy and just because you send them an email or a quote, don’t expect them to respond. It takes time to convert enquiries.