Get the best out of your events!

Author: Sarah Sienkiewicz
Categories: Uncategorised

Get the best out of your events!



Although events are currently cancelled, we can confidently look forward to a time when fairs and events will resume. In the meantime, why not do some planning so you’re prepared well in advance?

Exhibiting at events is a great way to get out into your community and meet new people. They can be used for building your list of connections, building a pipeline of prospective customers or making sales.

In this article I’m going to give you my best tips on how to get the best out of your events so they are a good use of your time and bring you the results you are looking for.


Be purposeful

Firstly, it’s so important to be intentional. Know the outcome you would like to get out of the event. Would you like:

  • Sales
  • Orders
  • Contacts
  • Networking
  • All of the above?!

How will you know if the event has been a success? Set yourself some measurable targets and SMART goals.

Events are a good opportunity to network with other stall holders. Make connections and find out who you can collaborate with and cross-refer. It’s also worth asking if they do events regularly and where they find events so you can get on the stall holder circuit. This is a good back up if the footfall is low at an event. Make use of the time and create opportunities, even when things are quiet. You are there to work so work it!


Be prepared

Check the mobile coverage at the venue if you’re planning to take payments.

Take a float if you are taking cash. It’s so important to have change!

Have a way to sign up to the mailing list. Use the opportunity to build your list and have a form or a tablet with access to your Mailchimp account.

Think about what equipment you might need (see below). You may even like to do a trial run in your house or garden to see how things look and what you need. It saves a lot of stress on the day!

Make a kit checklist of the equipment you need so you can follow the same list for each event you attend. Here are some ideas:

  • scissors
  • staples
  • sellotape
  • string
  • bluetac
  • pens
  • things to weight paper down
  • waterproof box for handbag etc
  • products
  • leaflets
  • signage
  • tools of the trade to show people what you do
  • table
  • table cloth
  • balloons
  • dog bowl
  • gazebo


Make your stand stand out

If you have a banner make sure it’s suitable for outdoor use and can be tied or is weighted if it’s windy. Outdoor banners are usually sun proof (the colours won’t fade) and waterproof. They do cost extra but if you are intending to do a mixture of outdoor and indoor events, it’s worth spending a bit more on your banner as it will be more hard wearing.

Think about how you will decorate your stall with bunting, decorations, balloons etc. Make it look attractive and of course, tidy! Store boxes, banner case etc in your car to make it look less cluttered and more professional.

Use height when displaying your items. Think about what people will see when they walk past – if everything is flat (such as leaflets) people will more likely walk past. People usually like to know what the stall is about before they approach it so make that clear, even from a little distance.

Use signage and make sure it’s big enough to read at a distance. You can buy display equipment at stationery stores and it’s worth investing in a few key pieces that you can use again and again. You can also get signs and merchandise printed.

If you would like to add height to display your products, think about boxes or wooden crates. If you are on a budget you can always use cardboard boxes and cover with a table cloth. Have a look at Pinterest for ideas and play with the display at home to get it to look appealing and professional. Share your pictures in the Facebook group if you would like a second opinion and suggestions!


Attracting people in

If you assume most people are going to walk straight past, it’s important to be active in attracting people in. If you are nervous you can start by simply saying hello and smiling – it will help you to warm up and get into the zone!!

Build up your confidence and be direct. Invite people in and a good way to do this is to give them something. Use this as an opportunity to engage with people and build rapport. Here are a few ideas:

  • dog water bowl
  • balloons
  • merchandise with your logo on
  • free prize draw
  • free demo
  • samples

You can say “would you like to try this sample”….it’s really important that you don’t wait for them to ask first, because most of the time they won’t. Start those conversations and engage with people. It’s not about being pushy, it’s about being friendly, welcoming and sharing what you have with them.

Once you have started those conversations, think about what outcome you would like. What is the next step for them to take? It could be:

  • add to mailing list
  • buy product
  • book service
  • place an order

Invite them to take the next step. Take the lead. It may be that you want to practice on a friend or family member so you get used to the phrases you would use. It really helps to have thought about it before hand. After the first few you’ll start getting into the swing of it!!


After the event

Follow up and make sure you keep your promises. If you added them to a mailing list, send them a welcome email to say it was good to meet them and this is how they can find out more about you, such as social media links or a link to your online shop. Keep in touch!

Measure the results against the goals you set. Have a debrief:

What went well?

What could have been better?

What would you do differently next time?

What results did you achieve?

Would you do that event again? 

You can also email the organiser to say thanks and that you are interested in attending next year. 

I trust that’s given you some ideas of how you can make events a key part of your marketing mix – we would love to hear your top tips and experiences of events, so come and share in the Healing Business Academy Facebook group

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