Sustainable Plastics Live/GRIPS 2023 | Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, UK | 10-11 May 2023

Attract and Quality Quality Leads

Expo stand design, graphics and preparation

  1. Your expo stand should make it obvious what your business does and who your business is for, at a glance, you’ll organically attract the right prospects to your stand.
  2. Set your exact targets in advance and craft an action plan accordingly.
  3. Recent research has shown that 83% of most successful companies (in term of business-generated leads collected), at a range of exhibitions, were ones that took the trouble to e-mail their prospects and customers before the show

Before the exhibition, prepare a lead capturing plan

  1. What information will you need to obtain for each prospect? Build an efficient lead capture form, use multiple choice questions and take notes.
  2. Set targets for each of your exhibition stand staff and track their performance.
  3. Make sure your staff is clearly briefed as to the process and what’s expected from them on show days.
  4. Prepare templates with relevant information that can be e-mailed to hot prospects.

During the exhibition, seamlessly collect data

  1. Try not to get stuck in small talk; rather ask specific questions to qualify the prospect.
  2. Capture detailed information from qualified prospects.
  3. Avoid the “business card in a fishbowl, win a prize” approach; all the unqualified prospects will pollute your data.
  4. Find out which prospects are the decision-makers and make special note of these prospects.
  5. E-mail hot leads with your pre-prepared e-mails which include specific information.

After the exhibition and follow-up

  1. Deadlines need to be set up for hot, intermediate, and general leads to be followed up on.
  2. Your follow-up quality hit rate will be as good as the prospect information captured at your stand. If you have collected the right information, you can follow up with quality information to the prospect.
  3. Whatever you do, you must follow up timeously and properly measure your ROI.
  4. Measure the number of leads and which leads have converted into sales.
  5. If all data and figures are captured correctly and you have worked out your ROI, you will have tools and a process for the next time you exhibit, thereby improving on each exhibition.
  1. It’s important to establish what you want to accomplish with the exhibition event stand
    What are you after? Sales? Brand Value? Industry Awareness? Education? New Relationships?

Define your objective before anything else.

  1. Do your clients know you’re exhibiting? Have you spread the word to potential clients? Promotion is the aspect of exhibiting that is often overlooked.

Make sure to take advantage of your marketing channels to let people know you’re exhibiting.

  1. Are you explaining your services accurately? Do passersby easily recognise what you do? Take a step back and look at your presentation from a potential client’s point of view.
  2. Are you spending a lot of money on goofy giveaway items?
    These promotional items may get people to come to your stand, but are you attracting the right kind of people? If you’re going to be giving away free stuff, make sure that it’s useful to the kind of client that you want.
  3. Does your stand resemble the quality and professionalism you want to be seen for?
    It’s worth the extra penny to get a professional involved to make sure your exhibition event stand quality is up to scratch.
  4. Have you prepared a presentation of your product or services?
    Do you have samples ready for exhibition goers to look at?

Having something to show potential clients is key to a successful exhibition.

  1. Are you constantly on the phone while manning the stand?
  2. Are you available to answer any questions exhibition goers may have?

It’s important to have enough people manning the stand

  1. Most shows will supply you with a manual or website link with the rules and guidelines for the show.
    It’s important to ensure you go through all the information to make sure that you understand the specific requirements of the show.

Something as simple as incorrect stand height could mean disqualification from the show entirely!

  1. Are you keeping in touch with the contacts you collected at the show?
    Having a clear and personalised follow-up schedule is a necessity if you want to win a client!
  2. Are you able to establish if the show was a success or a failure?
    Can you measure your ROI (return on investment)?

    What do you think you can improve on for the next show?

Define your objectives

As an exhibitor, what do you want to accomplish with your exhibition stand?

  • Increase sales?
  • Build brand awareness?
  • Build industry awareness?
  • Educate customers?
  • Create new relationships?

Once you have defined your objectives, put an action plan into place to achieve your objectives.

Exhibitor Planning

Keep the following points in mind when you’re planning:

  • Fix a budget
  • Set objectives
  • Be selective
  • Watch your costs
  • Consider staff training
  • Don’t understaff
  • Be aggressive

Careful review of the show manual

Most shows will at some point supply you with a manual with show rules and guidelines.
It’s very important that you look through each manual carefully, as every show is different.

  • Note important information
  • Note deadline dates for order forms
  • Fill in all mandatory forms
  • Send a copy of the Manual to your stand builder
  • Look for promotional opportunities

Stand design and graphics

Keep the following points in mind when you’re designing your stand:

  • Create a concept
  • Make it visual – colours catch the eye
  • Think about technology
  • Utilise the space
  • Get interactive
  • Light it up
  • Use fabric graphics
  • Work with professionals


It’s time to spread the word – tell everyone!
You should look at using the following channels to let people know that you will be exhibiting:

  • Social media
  • Company Website
  • Flyers
  • Personal letters/Invitations
  • Magazines/Newspapers
  • E-mail/Internet
  • E-mail signatures


Staff manning the stand need to be briefed on the objectives.  If the staff are not clear on your objectives, they are unable to help you achieve your objectives.

Train your staff on the following:

  • Body language
  • Opening lines
  • Avoid playing 20 questions
  • Don’t rush to demonstration
  • Disengaging appearance/behaviour


After the show it’s important to look at the following:

  • Measure your return on investment (ROI)
  • Improve for future exhibitions
  • Budget for your next exhibition

Research new exhibition opportunities

When you see a great opportunity come up for your company, do you wait for the stars to align, or do you convince your boss to fund the event? Of course, you should persuade them to send you to this event!

To be convincing, you need to have a well-prepared request. The more you know about the event and how it can help your company grow, the better your chances are that your boss will say yes. Below are some basic tips on how to convince your boss to attend this upcoming event.

Know the top reasons for attending

Most bosses will want to know why it’s so important for you to attend this show.

  • You will be exposed to hundreds/thousands of potential customers
  • Sell and promote your products and services to an enthusiastic, engaged and influential audience.
  • Your products and services can gain visibility in front of a highly targeted audience
  • Great platform for launching new products and services and increase awareness.
  • Develop new business contacts and maintain existing ones.
  • Raise awareness and gain valuable feedback.
  • Great way for delegates to experience your products face to face.
  • You can connect with industry experts and discover the latest trends and technologies
  • You can learn from others in your industry and avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes
  • You can check out what your competitors are doing

This show is an investment, which is why bosses are often hesitant to approve them on the spot. However, trade shows remain a vital part of the marketing mix. By doing your research and presenting your boss with the facts, you should have no problem getting a solid approval.

Create a sample trade show exhibit

If you don’t have an exhibit, sketch a new design. On short notice, consider portable displays or rental exhibits that are affordable and semi-customizable. If your company already has an exhibit that they use for shows, consider a few ways that it can be tweaked for the upcoming event. Write out a sample agenda for what your event might look like. Divide it into Days (Day 1, Day 2) and break each day down by early morning, mid-morning, and afternoon. What types of interactive activities might you have? Do you plan on running a contest or giveaway? What will the roles for each employee be?

Research agenda and audience

Familiarize yourself with the agenda and the types of people that will be attending the show. Conveniently, you can find most, if not all, of this information on this event’s website.

The event should align with your company’s short- and long-term goals. For example, if you know that your boss wants to increase qualified leads for your sales team, choose this show that exposes you to the right audience.