Welcome to the first edition of Marketing Monthly, where our resident marketing expert Amanda C. Watts answers your questions. We’ve had a few questions from Accounting Insight News readers for the founder of the Pioneering Practice Programme. And as we’re all turning our attention to Accountex 2018, Amanda has decided to go with the event theme and answer this question:
“I am exhibiting at a local event this month, and was wondering… How do I make the most of my time and financial investment?”
- Define your key objectives – is it brand awareness, promoting a new service, signing up clients on the day?
- Advertise the fact that you will be exhibiting at the event weeks before it starts. Share your stand number and let people know that you want them to come and talk to you.
- Think about your stand design. If you have a table-top stand this will be a barrier for people to engage with you. While it might make you more confident, you will stop people from starting a conversation with you. Ditch the table or stand in front of it – and remember to smile and look welcoming.
Talk with everyone
- Don’t be afraid to talk with everyone. If the event has a small footfall get out and speak to other exhibitors, remember they too could be your ideal client.
- Have a sign-up form/inquiry form and nice branded literature. Don’t go to an event without a way to sign up a client/book meetings for when you get back to the office.
- Follow up on any leads within three days of getting back to the office. Better yet, follow up the same day so that people remember speaking with you.
Raise your visibility
- Speak up – there are often opportunities to speak at events, volunteer if you can. It is a great way to raise your visibility and if you record the talk you have some online marketing material you can leverage.
- Look your best, but be approachable. I have to be honest, I truly trust someone more if they look smart and are not wearing ripped jeans and a tatty t-shirt. While accountants are being encouraged to dress down, I personally do not want my accountant looking like they work in a creative agency. I bet many other business owners feel the same way, too. Feel free to take off the tie but, remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression… so think before you dress down.
Hard work… but worth it
- Make sure you have more than one person on your stand. Running an exhibition stand is hard work. If the event attracts a large footfall you won’t have time for a bathroom break if you are on your own. Also, if you are on your own you will miss opportunities to speak with people, as they will move on if you are already in a conversation with someone.
- Evaluate the return on investment – both time and money. Exhibiting at events are hard work, so make sure they are worth it.
See you next time!
Amanda has a busy Accountex ahead. She’ll be presenting the British Accounting Marketing Awards in Keynote B theatre on Wednesday 23 May, at 5-5.45 am and delivering a session entitled How To Gain New Clients and Build A Strong Digital Brand, on Thursday 24 May at 2-2.45pm in the Sales and Marketing theatre.