Why Participation In Exhibitions Is A Good Way For Product Startups To Promote Their Business

Posted: March 16, 2016

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Participation in exhibitions for promoting your product could be a great way to establish your start-up, especially in the launch stage. 

Here are some thoughts on the current trend that’s rolling in the Mumbai market. It can add value to small start ups in retail space/ budding entrepreneurs. By retail space I mean small and medium scale entrepreneurs in apparels & accessories, jewelry, home accessories, etc.

I am aligned with one such startup group which is learning to swim in the ocean of the booming retail space. I intend to utilize this platform to share some of my insights which might help the sisterhood of entrepreneurs to add value to their launch/marketing strategy.

I am going to throw some light on the exhibition model boom which is currently at a high in the Mumbai market. Though I strongly recommend exhibition model as a first step for the launch of consumer product, one needs to consider the following points before planning a launch via exhibitions :

  1. Type of the product (should match the exhibition model/theme you participate in)
  2. Price point of the product (should be in sync with the pocket size of the target consumer expected to visit the exhibition)
  3. Target consumer (the expected visitors should feel the utility, relevance & affordability for the product offered)

The shortlisting of the exhibition you wish to participate in will also depends on the stage of the product lifecycle. In this article I am focusing on the launch stage.

Aim

To introduce the product to the market, learn response of people about the product and generate sales.

Some dos and don’ts

Do select :

  • the right model/location for the right product (for eg, at a wedding exhibition, it might not be alright to sell funky junk jewelry and such).
  • the right stall for the right product.
  • the right display for the product (‘all that glitters’ is always sold first in the exhibitions).
  • enticing offers to pull the crowd.
  • the engagement modus : talk to consumers –  interact via hosts/ self interaction.
  • encourage the buyers/onlookers to share their views on the product.
  • service for their needs rather than just selling your product.

Don’ts :

  • select a theme that doesn’t go with your product (casual wear if sold in a gadget exhibition will be a misfit).
  • ignore the consumer’s psyche while they chose a product (study their choice modus to meet their needs).
  • push your product on them.
  • select too many exhibitions in a month (do a structured map of exhibitions basis target group and location spread).
  • ignore the comparative study of the success measurability of every model vis a vis other models (metrics of measurability can be : footfalls, enquiries generated, customers engaged with, sales etc.).
  • book an exhibition by their event imagery in the market (even an exhibition which is successful for one category across a price point might not perform well for the other product category / same product with different price point).

Lastly keep updating your digital marketing media with your performances at the exhibition. Its one of the best, most cost effective reach and engagement way to amplify the on-ground sales and launch.

A parting mantra

Don’t get lost in the exhibition invites across the arena. What you do need to check on is

  1. Target basis product, pricing of the product, expected psyche of the target consumer and location of the exhibition.
  2. Match the theme and positioning of your product at exhibitions.
  3. Set and monitor the benchmarks to be achieved via exhibitions.
  4. Beware of the fake event organizers (they organise exhibitions just for minting money and don’t deliver, hence check the past history of their performance).

Good Luck!

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Image source: exhibition word cloud by Shutterstock.

I have had a 10+ years long experience of working across the media sectors. Recent

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