Gain an exhibition expert status in your market
Nowadays in many countries the sales battle for new customers has become tougher and tougher. It’s really amazing how the exhibitors accept the continuously increasing space rental fees from the show organizers without much complaint and on the other hand they try to crash down the stand building costs as far as possible.
And many – or should I say most – of our colleagues and competitors follow this dirty game and make their quotes lower and lower and lower and….
How can we survive with our contractor business under such conditions and keep our existing set of customers as well as win some new ones? Definitely not by following this price dumping spiral!
There is no silver bullet for all cases and all countries! And no short term overnight solutions either. I can only tell you my own practical experiences made on the European exhibition market. You must check and prove by yourself whether this strategy can bring you success for your specific market and your competition environment.
The basic question is “How can you positively stand out of the crowd of competitors” and what is your true USP, your unique selling proposition? What makes you so different from your toughest competitors? Why should your prospect sign with you and not with one of your competitors?
Exhibition expert image
My main answer to those questions is: By becoming an exhibition expert with the reputation to solve specific actual problems and tasks of your potential exhibitors. Not by offering the lowest possible price!
You must deliver better and more than your competitors! You must even exceed your customer’s expectations! Creating an attractive stand design and delivering a perfect stand on site, that is nowadays only basic and mandatory. Everybody will promise this to his prospects and many will even publish corresponding real (or faked) testimonials of satisfied customers.
Now you may ask yourself “Nice advice, but how to become this exhibition expert in real life?” The answer is quite simple and covers different aspects:
You cannot become an exhibition expert “for all and everything”. You must choose an appropriate segment of your total market potential which fits most to your interests, your location, the type and branches of your existing and future clients, etc. Here are some examples:
• Expert for exhibitions and trade shows in the food sector
• Expert for exhibitions and trade shows in the pharmacy and medical industry
• Expert for exhibitions and trade shows for defence and military industries
• Expert for exhibitions and trade shows in China, Hong Kong and Macau
• Expert for exhibition success in Europe
• Expert for US exhibitors in India
• Expert for SME exhibitors on regional and/or national exhibitions in YXZ
• and so on……
Now I can tell you a little secret: You must not really become a profound exhibition expert who knows everything in detail and provides an encyclopedic knowledge of branch technology etc. No, it is completely sufficient that you have basic knowledge of your chosen market segment, but you MUST gain the reputation, the image, the public status of an exhibition expert. This is a little but important difference!
Of course, you must have more knowledge than your relevant competitors and most important: you must communicate offensively and permanently your knowledge and expertise to the interested public, the circles of your potential prospects and so on. The best media for this are in my opinion Social Business Media like LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter etc. as well as local or regional business publications like Local Chamber of Commerce, branch newsletters etc.
This is a process in which you first have to invest a significant amount of time and also some money, if you are not willing or able to write the required thrilling articles about your exhibition expert topics by yourself. Success will not arrive overnight, in my case it took around five to six months before first clear positive results were detected.
Finally you should have established a market situation where an exhibitor thinks first about you when he starts preparing his next exhibition. He will contact you as the most reputable exhibition expert first before anybody else.
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Tel: +49 172 8323 745 Skype: ExhibitPartner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In my next articles I will provide you some detailed information about the European exhibition market. This could be the first step for you to become an expert for successful exhibitions in Europe.