Optimus Education have been producing conferences for more than 20 years. During that time, we have established many strong and supportive partnerships with our exhibitors and sponsors, and we pride ourselves on the support we offer anyone who wishes to take part in our events or conferences.

We have listed below some of our top tips to ensure you maximise your exposure on the run up to and on the day, make lasting connections and importantly, ensure your time on site is enjoyable and well spent!

On the run up to the event

Let everyone know you will be there

Pre-event promotion is key to maximising your ROI. It is incredibly important to advertise your presence and promote yourselves and your services as much as possible before the event. Use social media, newsletters, graphics on your website and let your contacts know you’ll be there well in advance. Our marketing team will create a graphic for you to use and we encourage use of event-related hashtags/encourage tagging in relevant social pages for wider reach.

Assemble your team

Your onsite team will be the face of your business. Bring people who are friendly, professional, sociable, and have the right knowledge. Your team should understand your audience, demonstrate and field questions about your company and be able to identify prospects and develop relationships.

Be prepared

Leading up to the conference, check all elements of your stand thoroughly and in good time so if you need replacements or have to leave something behind you are prepared. Use the delivery labels for the venue, double check details with your courier and allow for deliveries to arrive in good time. For larger deliveries liaise with us or the venue beforehand.

Plan your travel and accommodation in advance

As with any opportunity to showcase your business and services, you want to be at your best, so arrive in good time to allow yourself to get set up and grab a coffee long before the delegates arrive. Plan your journey, check your accommodation and where possible, have an alternative route planned should there be any unexpected issues with travel.

Get to know the other exhibitors and sponsors

Check the conference website pages, newsletter and marketing to see who else is attending. Find out about their products, marketing style and branding. Use this information to refine your exhibition strategy and identify best practices. Our exhibitors attend our events regularly and this is a great opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded people and all manner of other suppliers to the education sector.

On the day

Stand out for the right reasons

Your stand is the first thing people will see, closely followed by your representatives. Ensure your stand is smart, eye-catching and on-brand. Look after your equipment and plan your layout before the event. Does it match your objectives for that event? Does everything have the same branding and up to date information? Messaging should be short and relevant to the audience.

Data capture - know your audience

You want as many leads as possible, think about how you are going to collect your prospects ’ information. Digital data capture using an iPad for example is effective and quick. Long surveys and forms are off- putting so keep it short so you can follow up after the event. Keep it professional – scribbles on the back of a notepad make you look unprepared and can often get lost/damaged. Considering incentivising your data capture, small raffle prizes or giveaways can sometimes be very persuasive, but it is often best to let your sales rep, product and services do the talking for you.

Be available and approachable

Stands are an excellent way to showcase your product and brand, but did you know it also acts as a physical barrier between you and your prospects? Tables, laptops, mobile phones etc all act as barriers ensure they are not deterring anyone by getting in-front of the stand, circulate, staying off phones/laptops unless for demonstration purposes. Be mindful of your body language, tone of voice and facial expressions and don’t talk amongst each other when in front of delegates to remain as available as possible.

Everyone loves a freebie

As well as your graphics, banners, and friendly sales reps, it's well known that your free branded merchandise is also a great draw for prospects. Remember these items are an advert and reminder of your company's existence - where is it important your information is at hand? Bear this in mind when choosing your merchandise and try to opt for sustainable alternatives to plastic giveaways.

After the event

Don’t let the leads go cold

It’s important to remember that marketing doesn’t end after the exhibition. The sooner you follow up with your leads the better the chance of turning them into sales. You should stay in touch with your prospects and send follow-up emails within one week. Use your data capture forms and get those details saved onto your system asap – just in case!