20 tricks to get the most from a food trade fair

 1. DON’T THINK OF IT AS TAKING PART IN A TRADE FAIR. IMAGINE YOU ARE ORGANISING AN EVENT FOR A CERTAIN NUMBER OF DAYS AS PART OF A LARGE-SCALE SPECIALISED, PROFESSIONAL CONGRESS:

This means transforming your space into a place where things are happening all the time, planning a smorgasbord of content that will enable you to generate more contacts and impacts that will have your sales opportunities rocketing. Exclusive presentations to groups of customers, meetings with specialised press representatives, showcooking demonstrations, informal events, technical product training… A plethora of contents that will help to focus attention on what you have to offer.

 

2. THEY’RE NOT VISITORS… THEY’RE YOUR GUESTS:

Organise different events as part of your content and invite guests. The people you meet should feel they are getting something exclusive, and feel they are getting special treatment. They should get the impression and sensation that it isn’t a trade fair they are going to, but that they’ve been invited by your company and that they must visit and stop at your stand. That’s why it’s important to make these invitations as personal as possible, first by email and then by telephone, particularly in the case of VIP invites. Sending them out quickly is equally important. If you don’t do it, then the chances are that one of your competitors will. 

 

3. THINK ABOUT M3 RATHER THAN M2

Sometimes we forget that the space we are occupying is a three-dimensional one. I suggest you use the available height permitted by each fair and use higher areas to draw attention to your brand with high-impact creative content that touches on human, emotional aspects. The trend in stands of a certain size is to make them immersive. Things happen when you’re there.

 

4. DON’T FORGET THAT WHAT VISITORS TAKE AWAY WITH THEM IS WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, NOT WHAT THEY HAVE SEEN. GET THEM DOING THINGS

When we talk about engagement, the experiential factor and generating experiences, we are talking about producing positive biochemical reactions that stimulate oxytocin in our target’s bodies, making them more receptive, forming emotional bonds and inspiring loyalty, trust, empathy… Which leads to business opportunities, powerful links. A good atmosphere, positive stimulation, cheerfulness, fun, emotionality, participation, personalisation, music… all to forge business relationships.

 

5. HOW TO FIND NEW LEADS BEFORE THE FAIR?

A total of 90% of all visitors to trade fairs spend time googling the name of the event before it takes place. They check opening hours, details of seminars, lists of exhibitors… Google AdWords will enable you to appear as an advertisement in the search results. These people are the ones most likely to go to the fair. You can focus your campaign with a controlled budget, geopositioned and highly targeted… Imagine your advertisement says: Coming to Meat Attraction? Get your free invitation. Shall we talk?

 

6. CREATE A LANDING PAGE FOR EACH EVENT YOU ATTEND

Sending your potential ‘guests’ to your corporate website is a wasted opportunity. There is too much unrelated information there to generate leads for a specific event. It’s far better to create a landing page for all your activities, explaining who you are, what you sell, what’s new, where we are… And a contact form to transform into an invitation and make appointments.

 

7. USE THE TRADE FAIR DIGITAL SOCIAL COMMUNITY: SOCIAL NETWORKS

Link your posts to the profiles of @meatattraction and #meatattraction. This will allow you to retweet and viralise your post to the entire business audience.

Create an exclusive Meat Attraction hashtag to trigger conversations. It’s an effective way of organising a timeline about everything you’ll be doing.

Use partners and influencers that work with your company, or speakers and chefs. Ask them to upload brief audiovisual posts, or information about what they’ll be doing on your stand. It makes you approachable, human, credible…

These posts will be linked to the monographic landing page with information about your activities at the event.

 

8. SELL EXCLUSIVITY, IF YOU DON’T COME, YOU’LL MISS OUT:

Give clues, without revealing all. Make them want to be there when you ‘open the box’. Pique their interest by saying that “On X day and at X am, you’ll be the first to see it… Make a note in your diary”

 

9. VIDEO INVITATIONS?

Audiovisual impact is effective and powerful. A video invite by the CEO of a company addressing possible guests, explaining what will happen, the objectives, and a formal invitation, is a powerful thing. It gives a human face to the meeting and the invitation.

Transform them into personal invitations from sender to recipient. Saying “Company X invites you to come” is not the same as “Juan X invites you to come”.

 

10. ALL VISITORS COME LOOKING FOR SOMETHING NEW. GIVE THEM SOMETHING NEW!

It is known that 95% of trade fair visitors are attracted by product launches, in search of “new ideas” and “new products”. Focus your communication strategy on these aspects to create a buzz. “Exclusive presentation of….”, “you’ll be the first to try…”. If you don’t have new products, dress them up! Fairs are places to find novelties, innovation, trends… And all this attracts news for media organisation representatives. Trade visitors leave with the new things they have seen on their mind.

 

11. INCLUDE TECHNICAL AND NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION about products on display at the fair

The second reason that attracts trade visitors to fairs is to find differential technical information about the products on display at the trade fair. Don’t wait for them to ask! Be ready and prepare some explanatory leaflets.

 

12. INCLUDE *.CSV FILES IN YOUR MESSAGES

These are small, simple files which are saved in your agenda when downloaded. Include your scheduled content, location, how to get an invitation and an alert in the calendar to remind your visitors to get ready for their journey on time. Include it in all invitations, digital advertisements, employees’ digital signatures.

 

13. BUILD STORIES around your time at the fair, with mock-up films, books, historic figures… to stick in your audience’s mind.

 

14. DO YOU SELL HEALTH?

If your business involves selling healthy foods, invite your audience to come to the stand for tasting sessions, to generate engagement. Don’t forget that what visitors take away with them is what they have done, not what they have seen.

Some ideas

  1. Break the trade fair record
  2. Win your award
  3. Upload your photo to #…
  4. Can you beat our champion?

#fairmarketing #food

 

15. YOUR STAND NEED NOT BE IN YOUR CORPORATE COLOURS

Colour is an important factor when designing a stand for a trade fair

The colours that decorate your stand are more than paint. They influence and change the mood of those working there and potential customers who visit it. If your website, stand, store décor or office, brochures and visual graphic image improves your mood, brand engagement will broaden and so will your chances of success. It requires more than just using your corporate colours.

You need to understand the meaning of colours to support your message when you design your stands. Your choice of colour can have a surprising impact on people’s decisions.

Different types of colours applicable to stands:

Colours are tools for controlling how audiences that visit your stand react, and for triggering certain behaviours.

 

16. THE PLACE DOESN’T MAKE THE EXHIBITOR. THE EXHIBITOR HAS TO MAKE HIS OR HER OWN NICHE AT THE FAIR

Location is also a pivotal factor. This needs to be organised and prepared, so that wherever you are, visitors just have to come. Remember that the right campaign can transform a poorly located stand into a communication hub: “at the back on the left”. Success! Be creative!

 

17. USE THE MEDIA AS LOUDSPEAKERS

The media is an essential aspect for going viral and broadcasting your advertising efforts. Keep your database up to date. There’s no question, they have to drop by your stand for a good breakfast as a group or individual.

 

18. YOU’RE NOT AT THE FAIR TO BUY. YOU’RE THERE TO SELL.

When you go to a fair, you are buying time with customers or potential new customers. If you spend too long with suppliers, you won’t have time to handle possible customers. It’s important to allocate your time correctly to each profile.

 

19. DON’T GO OVER THE TOP WITH THE FOOD SAMPLES…

Trade fairs largely restrict our activity in this realm to preparing and handing out samples. Without this, sales leads are pointless. Link these with demonstrations, gather data and hand out samples to people with purchasing power.

 

20. THERE’S NOTHING LIKE APPRECIATING AND BEING APPRECIATED.

Have fun, and make sure other people enjoy themselves too. Get people talking about your event.

Good luck my friend.

 

 

Raúl Calleja

Director of Meat Attraction.