If you’re at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you are probably working hard to get noticed and make your business stand out from the crowd. There are many marketing strategies that can help you in this respect, some more efficient than others. When you’re at this stage you can easily get overwhelmed by the countless tasks you have to handle and finding the best methods to put your startup on the map can prove difficult. You might even miss great opportunities if you’re not careful enough. 

That being said, there’s one strategy entrepreneurs should never overlook if they want to set their startup on the right track and that is attending exhibitions. For some it might sound like an outdated tactic, but make no mistake, exhibitions are just as effective as ever at helping businesses take off and grow. These events give you the chance to let the world know you exist, show the audience what you have to offer and why they should choose you. But if you want to get the best results, you have to prepare thoroughly before the big event. So here are some essential tips that will help you prepare properly and nail every exhibition you attend. 

Set your goals

It’s obvious that the final objective of attending an exhibition is to attract more customers and grow your business, but this can be done in a number of ways, so you must decide what exactly you want to gain from participating in these events. It’s time to analyze your marketing strategy and define your goals clearly. Are you planning on launching a new product or service that you want the world to know about? Do you want to capture more leads? Do you intend to make valuable connections and find potential business partners? You’ll probably want to check more than one goal on your list, so make sure your marketing strategy is aimed at achieving these specific objectives.  

Do your research 

Now that you know what you’re aiming for, you must choose the exhibitions you should attend. Not every exhibition will be a right fit for you, so it’s important to evaluate the events beforehand to help you decide if they can support your goals. Attending the wrong exhibitions is a waste of both time and material resources, and startups can’t afford to be this reckless. A thorough research (including date, location, number of visitors, other attendees, past editions etc.) can help you avoid risks and guarantee that you’ll make a smart investment and the events you’ll be attending will yield the expected results. 

Analyze your budget 

Startups are usually on a tight budget, which means you’ll have to monitor your expenses carefully and make sure you have the necessary funds to invest in the events. You’ll soon find out that attending an exhibition will cost you a pretty penny, but that’s to be expected as there is no gain without investment. But don’t let the price tag scare you. If you take the time to plan your budget in great detail, you’ll know that you’re not going to throw your money out the window and you’ll be able to keep expenses in check. 

Prepare your team

In business you’ll often hear that employees are a company’s greatest asset and that’s perfectly true. When you’re just starting out, you don’t have a lot of resources to rely on, but having a great team to support you can compensate for many of these shortcomings. When it comes to participating in exhibitions, the team that you assign for the task can either make or break the success of the event. Train your staff properly before the event and make sure that everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, so they can perform at their best. 

Design an outstanding exhibition booth 

There’s nothing like an eye-catching exhibition booth to make a great first impression and attract the right kind of attention and the right people to your business. A well-designed exhibition stand can really make a difference and help you start off on the right foot at the event. It’s worth paying attention to every single detail and chooses all the elements of your booth design wisely, to make sure everything goes together and sends out the correct message. You don’t have to spend a fortune to build an amazing booth, you just have to use your creativity and be original. 

Spread the word about the exhibit 

Since you’re still a newbie in the business world, you’ll have to put in a bit more effort than other participants in order to attract visitors to your exhibition booth. But you can gain a lot more attention if you promote the event ahead of time and let everyone know you’ll be participating. Use all the marketing channels available to spread the word about the exhibit and provide the public with the necessary information. That will increase your chances at driving in more traffic and connecting with your target audience. 

Offer promotional material 

Giving away promotional materials is always a great idea if you want to lure visitors to your stand and make them remember you after the event is over. You can use all sorts of branded items to attract the crowd, from pens and notebooks to hats and totes. It might seem like a small gesture, but people appreciate freebies and giveaways, and you’ll definitely make a good impression if you use this approach. Besides, it doesn’t require a large investment and the results are guaranteed. 


If you’ve made the effort to participate in an exhibition and you managed to gain new leads, it would be a shame not to reap the full benefits of your work. That means you should have a plan in place to follow up with leads after the event and create long lasting relationships that will help your startup develop and grow further. It’s better to do this sooner rather than later if you want to take advantage of this unique opportunity. 

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison