With so many new people wishing to stand at Well Being Brand Shows. We feel it is essential to think carefully about how to set up the stall to gain maximum return on investment. Not only will this series of articles provide insight into the stand and presentation. There will also be articles on the psychological aspects of making a sale and impressing customers/clients.

The most successful stalls are the product of hours of thought and experimentation. It is too easy to go to an event and copy the look of other stalls. And while many believe that there is only one formula, with consideration, with a blank page notebook and pencil, one can accomplish selling miracles.

Although this is an obvious point, there is a need to know if the event suits your product. 99% of the time, you will hit the right genre. However, there are occasions when the show is unsuitable for your products. There is little point in selling children’s Christmas toys at a summer Well Being Show. However, Gill has formed a niche in producing children’s comforters containing crystals.

Once you have established that you’ll fit in with the event, there is an imperative need to understand the journey to profit. Establishing your brand may take time. And take note of the word brand. Make sure you form an identity, no matter how small your beginnings are. Because sad as it is, some people will take your idea unless you establish a firm bond between your identity and the product or service sold.

One has to commit and know that establishing your identity can take time, effort and money. Although in part three of this series of articles, you’ll be guided in increasing profits and covering overheads. 

Now how do you decide if the event will work for you? It is easy! Go to the shows and talk to other exhibitors. And also talk to other visitors, establish a real connection and observe the stallholders. Is their presentation good? Is their personal appearance in line with the ethos of the event? Are you spoken to with wisdom, knowledge and understanding?

It is essential to be able to build a rapport with exhibitors. After all, there is every likelihood you’ll need some support and help in the coming months. Liz and I worked hard to be independent when standing at events. We’d turn up and work! We were never interested in footfall or who else was exhibiting. Sometimes (at BSSK shows), eight or nine other crystal sellers would be on the floor and often 20+ readers! And as for footfall, we attended some shows where pitiful numbers of visitors attended. Hull, Spalding, Woodbridge, Aylesbury, etc were all ducks. However, we left with profits when many lost fortunes. How so? Well, you be reading the formula over the next few weeks.

One fatal trait is to become involved in moaning. Shows will have lulls and slow times. People who fall into the trap of thinking they can judge footfall are misguided. And when someone says ‘It’s slow’, the answer is to look around, because as sure a night becomes day, there will be people making a roaring trade. Wander around and gossip if you want to fail, dig your heels in and talk positively and upbeat to CUSTOMERS and VISITORS if there is a desire to succeed.

You see, lessons learned here are paramount to success. Those who succeed long-term and make a hit are dedicated people. And much of their success comes from interaction with customers. A big authentic smile is a magical key to a sale! A false smile is recognised in the blink of an eye. An exhausted and tired appearance keeps the customer’s attention span for seconds. Tidy and clean clothing and being well groomed is the catalyst to the four of five minutes needed to establish rapport and a connection or sale. And here is another crucial point: having business cards, product information or both is essential. Once you have spoken to a visitor, ensure they leave with a few cards and sales information. Here is why.

Many count the cost of an event for the sales made at the event. But remember, follow-up sales are often made, which would not have been possible without meeting people at the show. I know of one example where a Stafford exhibitor told of a ‘terrible’ show as the event concluded. Two weeks later, I interviewed an individual who mentioned he’d just spent £1500 with the same exhibitor, commenting, ‘I met XXX at the Stafford show!’ So, if no rapport or sales information is available, the show ends when the doors close. In this concrete example, the Easter Stafford Show worked for the exhibitor in the long term.

One HAS to understand the client/customer relationship is essential to success. And the understanding of human nature needs to be researched. Your idea of forming a trusting client/customer bond could be far from what is required! Do not take this statement as demeaning. Large and small businesses spend fortunes teaching salespersons how to sell and build rapport. 

An exhibitor needs to know about the table or table sizes available. And it is sensible to consider bringing your own table if there is a bespoke setup, with fitted table cloths and lighting. Find out about electricity hookups. Some venues charge for connecting boxes. Most organisers either add this into the stand fee, so it is hidden, in which case everyone pays, regardless of using electricity or not! Others charge the payment directly to those who use the service. We had complaints about charging for hookups. The issue disappeared after we pointed out are table fees are sometimes £60 cheaper than other organisers! 

So if you are setting up a stall, ensure you understand the whole picture. It can be disappointing when you have not paid for a hookup and needed lights. And make certain comparisons are made and understood. People tend to stand their corner even though all the facts are not considered. 

That is enough for today. I hope you have read enough to look forward to next week’s instalment.

See You Soon

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