How To Market Your Ethical Business Effectively At Green & Eco Events
Exhibiting at green and ethical events can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience in terms of raising awareness and increasing exposure for your business in the green and ethical arena. However it can be time consuming in terms of preparation and planning and can involve a great deal of hard work. Here I’ve shared 5 top tips to ensure your hard work leads to fruition and that you gain the best coverage for your business.
1. Plan Ahead
One of the most important things you can do prior to an event is to plan ahead. Make a list of the objectives you would like to achieve from attending the event no matter how obvious they seem and then think about how you are going to attain them.
Try to think long term as well as short term; it’s great if you’re a retailer and sell lots of stock on the day but ask yourself will those customers know where to buy from you again or did you manage to get their contact details for your mailing list so you can keep in touch with them.
Book Early – Booking last minute may mean losing out on early bird offers and any pre show marketing including web coverage. Many of the bigger events will have show guides in which your company details and logo will be displayed. Missing deadlines may mean you lose out on an advert which could be seen by thousands of people. Choosing the location of your stand can also be a benefit of booking early especially as the location of your pitch can play a big part in the amount of visitors you receive.
2. Presentation & Display
Whilst this may seem obvious, I’ve been amazed to see companies that have paid hundreds if not thousands of pounds for space at an event and have a stand that is drab and unappealing. Ensuring that your stand is eye catching, interactive, colourful and well presented will mean visitors are more likely to approach the stall and take a look at what’s on offer. When visitors see a busy stall they are far more likely to approach it than a quiet one.
Other questions worth asking yourself before an event are:
Can visitors see exactly what services or products my business provides?
Are prices/special offers easily identifiable?
Can visitors take away information/contact details should they wish to contact you in the future?
Does my promotional literature look professional and does it make the customer want to know more?
If you are attending an outdoor event or festival is your stall weatherproof? Do you have a plan if it rains or if it is very windy?
3. Engaging With The Public
Striking a balance between being overly friendly and appearing uninterested towards the public is one of the hardest things to achieve at events. Whilst many attendees are happy to strike up a conversation immediately, many more will prefer to be left in peace and browse uninterrupted. A smile and cheerful greeting is often a preferable alternative to launching into a hard sell, as you will appear polite and approachable. Some visitors may be scared off if they think are going to be pounced on.
Great ways to open the channels of communications between you and the public can be prize draws, competitions and quizzes. These not only work well in terms of engaging the public but are a great way to capture people’s contact details for your mailing list. Always ensure you have a tick box on entry forms so that people confirm that they are happy to be contacted by you in the future.
Some exhibitors can end up focussing exclusively on gaining sales and new clients from the comfort of their own stand but taking a break for half an hour to walk around the show, visiting other stands and networking can be time well spent. Important things you could do could include:
Meeting new suppliers;
Making new partnerships for your business;
Chatting with fellow exhibitors to get valuable feedback about other events, marketing opportunities and recommendations;
Seeing which companies are doing well at the event and identifying why (Are there any strategies they are using that you could employ for your business at your next event?)
Questions to ask yourself after the event include:
Was there anything I should have done differently?
What things went well and should be adopted regularly at events?
Was the event and the type of visitor attending right for my business?
Using tracking or reference codes on your promotional literature is also a good way to evaluate the response from an event, although do bear in mind some people may contact you up to six months or even a year after an event.
Showcasing your business at events can be a great way to meet new customers and contacts and can also be a fun way to market your service or products. Finding what works for you may not be obvious at first and may take a few more events to improve on your performance but with experience and perseverance they can be a cost effective and successful way to market your ethical business.
Kate Haines has been attending green events and exhibitions for several years with her GreenFinder showcase stand and also organises green fairs in Warwickshire and co-hosted the Eco Chic Wedding & Home Show.
For monthly updates on the latest green and ethical events across the UK visit the GreenFinder website and sign up for the GreenFinder newsletter online.