HerBusiness ProTips for exhibitions and trade shows

Many exhibitions and trade shows are being organized in Kenya but it’s hard for entrepreneurs to match the muscle of big firms at expos. Herbusiness shares ProTips on how you can impress.

At a forum, women entrepreneurs in Kenya complained about not being part of the Government’s foreign trips entourage. They also clamored for a chance to be at exhibitions and trade shows. Yet it was revealed that women do not participate in these either because they are not ready, when the call comes, or they have an air of lacking confidence on themselves. This is also experienced when negotiating as an entrepreneur.

Expos are good and you should strive to be a participant. They place you where potential customers, investors or partners are actively looking to engage with products or entrepreneurs. Of course, to hack exhibitions and trade shows you need to build a track record of attending them. Going there to see how it’s done; to jot down notes.

Don’t get bored

These events can wear you down. There are few instances of inactivity like sitting in a booth that get you bored fast. The unfortunate thing is that your boredom rubs the lack of enthusiasm onto others. Nobody is going to come to your stand.

To avoid that, get some company to the expo. It could be an employee or even a friend. Not only will they keep you engaged but they will also be there when you need to be away from the stand. An innocent toilet break means an empty stand and consequently the loss of that one client you were hoping for.

Don’t get others bored

You go to an expo to stand out but that table and banner stunt you pull every time won’t cut it. Coming up with an attractive stand requires creativity and not necessarily a big budget. It’s literally only about design and colour. With this out of the way you can incorporate proven hacks to drive people to your stand.

There are cheap ways to do this; one is being neat and professional. Yes, the moment someone sees a newspaper or a disposable cup they are less likely to come over. Keep the table tidy and look to the world; not your phone. Another cheap hack is using music and scent to attract people. Even retailers do this to make you buy more. You do this to engage their senses.


But there is no better way to engage senses than using demonstrations. You’ve seen how Kenyans gather at pudding stalls in the CBD just because of presentation. The wizardry here is that these people feel involved even if they are simply watching. In an exhibition, you should do the same but try to make it more interactive. For instance, you can let the visitor to your stand try and do it herself.

Finally, give away more than pamphlets. This is expo 101. Pens and calendars are cool, I guess, but how about trying to be more sophisticated and offer free wifi at your stand? Not only will people show up but others will be inclined to see why your stand is so busy. It’s the same way you only watch YouTube videos with many views.