6. Get Them Out of the Hall
Driving traffic to booths is important, but so is giving exhibitors an opportunity to connect with potential customers in a less formal setting. Some association meeting planners have gotten creative and encourage vendor meetings in poolside cabanas. That’s a much more pleasant place to do business than a loud exhibit hall.
7. Provide Easy-to-Use Tools
You want to allow for frictionless connecting between your exhibitors and your attendees. Help them connect with powerful, online tools for scheduling private meetings and other ways they can do business more effectively. If you’re auditioning conference apps think about them from an exhibitor’s perspective too.
8. Reverse the Tables
The Restaurant Facility Management Association hosts a reverse exhibit hall where the attendees are in the booth and the exhibitors walk the floor stopping in to speak with restaurant facility managers who are a good fit for their offerings. This is very efficient approach to sales for exhibitors and one that’s enjoyable for your attendees.
9. Provide Comprehensive Lists for Follow-up
Help your exhibitors follow up with the attendees they met at your conference through providing up-to-date lists in a preferred format. Also, help ensure they have the technology to scan badges by providing it, renting it, or giving information on how it can be obtained. Scanning is a lot easier than collecting business cards that never make it back to the office.
10. Give Guarantees on Non-Exhibiting Vendors
Your exhibitors have invested in your conference. It’s important you give them some peace of mind that you are equally committed to them. There may be non-exhibiting vendors at your conference, but make sure they don’t have advantage over your exhibitors. Many associations ban non-exhibiting vendors from the exhibit hall so they are unable to conduct business near their exhibiting competition.
Ensuring your exhibitors are happy and satisfied with the networking and sales opportunities is critical to retaining them. If you want them to continue investing in your association and your event, give them personalized attention and the tools they need to succeed. Doing these things will help you remain a top choice for them, even if their conference budget requires them to trim other events where they don’t receive this type of personalized attention.
Source: Event manager blog
Blogger: Ugwuoko Angela Adaobi