Exhibitions are not generally a priority for Marketing at AGW – however this year, the DSEI International Defence event at the EXCEL in September drew our attention.
For the first time, this event is allowing Tier 2/3 suppliers to exhibit and get involved with some very large companies. This has also meant that there is incredibly tight security and lots of hoops to jump through and rules that need following – probably more so than any other exhibition. We have followed the bouncing ball and are ready to go.
We knew that we had to set some key objectives and actions to ensure that we get the most from this event.
EARLY DAY PLANNING
At the start of the year we made some visits to the Excel to understand the space we would have and the layout of the halls and were quite overwhelmed and excited by the sheer size of this exhibition. We talked to the event organisers to ensure that we made the most of any help they were offering, which has included the use of a portal allowing us to set up meetings with key visitors.
Free entry for our invited prospects and customers were only available for a limited time, so we made sure that we sent out more than one e-news to our databases encouraging people to register for the event early. In fact we made the most of our e-news system, sending regularly to ensure we kept our customers and prospects up to date with our plans.
MID TERM ACTIONS
Once the early planning was in place, the next thing we needed to do was to ensure that our physical presence was planned and designed to keep consistency with our branding. It is only a small area, so effective design was key and we are really pleased with what has been produced for the stand. As most of the attendees may be new to AGW, and not aware of our facilities, we also commissioned a Video to show an overview of our scope and scale, this will run on our stand to attract attention. It was quite an investment for us so we hope to be able to promote this after the event too and use it in our ongoing Marketing activities.
We are now nearly ready to go and are making last minute practical preparations, packing samples, promotional items, literature etc. Stand personnel are selected and ready to go. Having researched the list of attendees and other exhibitors, we have a great list of potential meetings and are looking forward with some excitement to the event next week.
With our experience over the last 40+ years, and some experience in this sector already, we are determined to gather new leads and grow our business in this field.