Exhibition visitors

Exhibition visitors

Exhibition visitors

Exhibition visitors, like shoppers in a retail store, have a tendency to come and go in droves. One moment a stand is empty but for what seems an over-abundance of the company's staff, standing about looking bored. A moment later and visitors appear as though from nowhere and each member of the staff seems to be trying to deal with three callers at once. The Stand Manager should be alive to the bad impression given to a stand populated by weary-looking staff, waiting, during the doldrums, for visitors to turn up. It is easy to criticize but attendance at an exhibition stand is tiring work. The atmosphere often is heavy and sultry and field salesmen, unaccustomed to being indoors for days on end, soon become jaded in such conditions.

To keep the staff interested, cheerful and enthusiastic, it is desirable to have a rota for stand attendance. Where possible, allow the salesmen to alternate with, perhaps, no more than two or three days on the stand in a row. Meal breaks should be taken in rotation, too, to ensure adequate staffing of the stand throughout the day. Arrangements should be made for the staff to have a cooked lunch in a nearby restaurant. They should not be expected to subsist on a hasty sandwich eaten on the stand. The maintenance of good staff morale will go a long way towards getting the most out of the business opportunity which exhibiting will provide.

Some system will be needed to record all enquiries received on the stand and to ensure that they are adequately followed up later. An Exhibition Visitors' Book should be available and the receptionist should be instructed to invite every visitor to sign it with the addition of the name and address of his firm. This provides a permanent record of the numbers of visitors received during the exhibition and the names and addresses will make a useful addition to the company's mailing list.

When the exhibition is over, it is a good idea for the Sales Manager to write a letter of appreciation to each visitor, thanking him for calling at the stand and enclosing some suitable general literature which will recall the products or the services which the company offers. Where specific enquiries have been received, the Sales Manager should instruct the area salesman-or, in the case of an overseas enquiry, the export salesman or local agent-to arrange a visit to the enquirer's place of business to follow-up the contact made during the exhibition and to cement good relations for the future. This is, after all, the ultimate purpose of industrial fairs: to provide the opportunity to make contact with potential users. If the follow-up is neglected much of the company's investment in the exhibition will have been wasted.

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Please Note

The Trade is, of course, a major source of product ideas. All manufacturers examine, with avid interest, the new products of their competitors.