October 6, 2010
By Joel Goldstein
Posted by Deepak Gupta
Expos are built on bringing exhibitors and visitors together to do business. At MFV Expositions, our events offer several ways to showcase a brand. Sponsored by the IFA and taking place Nov. 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE) will feature hundreds of exhibitors and offer interested business owners 30 information-packed seminars and workshops—most of which are free.
For exhibitors, we offer a variety of ways to maximize one’s visibility at the expo. Not only do brands have the opportunity to purchase a booth space, but they can also acquire help from our exposition team without a booth. Not to mention, there are promotions available for a modest investment to help increase an exhibitor’s footprint at the expo. Our sales group is well-versed in helping exhibitors capitalize on their investment.
Experience, preparation and professionalism go a long way in paving a smooth road to a great expo experience. Our team works 12 months in advance to prepare for every expo. Having the best players in place allows MFV to produce multiple events throughout the year without the pain of a rocky road. Every element of promotion—including marketing, public relations, media partnerships and industry alliances—come together to make our expos a success. Our group promotes our shows on network and cable TV, radio, national and local publications. We also implement Internet marketing strategies to obtain the best prospects; for instance, interested attendees can obtain free admission and stay up-to-date on the latest expo news by following @WCFE_2010 on Twitter.
Overall, the biggest challenge is delivering the best candidates to our exhibitors. By marketing through proven channels, we target our message to a narrow group that is ready to start a business. But ultimately, if a prospect is going to take time out of their day to visit the expo, they essentially qualify themselves. We try to limit gimmicks and unrealistic expectations in order to ensure our expo visitors are highly qualified leads. In choosing speakers, we base the selection on their expertise in the field in which they are speaking. Our speakers are also sponsors, which translates to a vested interest in the success of the expo. With skin in the game—our speakers always attend.
My No. 1 tip to first-time trade show planners: Don’t go it alone. Gather the most experienced experts in your field and create a strategy that fills a niche in your industry or service. Assemble the most dynamic speakers and educational offerings available. Differentiate your expo from everything else that goes on your field. Vendors need a compelling reason to try something new.
About Joel Goldstein
Joel Goldstein is the group marketing director at MFV Expositions, the producer of leading franchise events worldwide. The 2010 West Coast Franchise Expo will take place Nov. 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information on the WCFE, International Franchise Expo, IFA or other MFV Expositions shows, visit www.wcfexpo.com or www.mfvexpo.com.