Exhibiting at a baby expo can provide a fantastic platform for brands to increase their brand awareness, sell product and most importantly build direct relationships with attendees. But knowing where to start, what to think about and what to focus on can be a daunting process if you haven’t done it before.

With Now Comms 10 years’ experience working at Australia’s two biggest baby expo’s – Essential Baby and Toddler Show (BTS) and the Pregnancy Babies and Children’s Expo (PBCE), we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. So to help out, I’ve put together 9 tips for executing a smooth and successful exhibiting experience at baby expo’s.

1. Know your audience and competitors – If you know your audience and competition you are able to tailor your brand experience to suit each show. For instance, at the PBCE, brands should focus on targeting first-time parents and those who are planning or expecting. Whereas the BTS audience is more focused on parents with newborns and toddlers. Knowing your competition enables you to differentiate yourself from them in both the expos and in the marketplace. You are able to identify your competitive edge in comparison and areas for improvement and individuality. Stand out from the crowd in what is a busy, hustle and bustle environment.

2. Engaging on-stand activity & giveaways – Everyone loves a show freebie! This is a great opportunity to offer a take home gift to consumers that best represents your brand, service or product. In addition, an enticing major competition prize leads to increased traffic flow on stand, consumer engagement and lead capture by having consumers scanning their tickets to enter the competition. Both the take home gift and competition prize leaves a lasting impression of the brand with the consumer.

3. Crystal clear key messages – Whether it’s staff talking points, stand branding or printed collateral, all your brand’s key messages need to be simple. In the short amount of time your brand has to communicate with an attendee, providing clear and concise messaging is critical. That way the consumer can understand what your brand has to offer and how they can benefit from it.

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4. Experts in field – With the expo establishing first point of contact with consumers, having experts on stand offers credibility and a sense of comfort with both existing and potential customers. Utilising experts who represent your brand on stand that are relatable is key to ensure the brands’ first impression is positive and memorable.

5. Data capture – The expo’s offer a highly valuable audience so it is vital to have a lead generation mechanic that will allow you to communicate with attendees’ post-expo. Capturing leads allows you to grow your database so you can build a strong customer relationship management program. It also helps nurture your established relationships, keep your customers updated with key brand developments and introduce them to new products and/or services.

6. Preparation is key – “Make a list, check it twice”. There are numerous elements that go into exhibiting at the expo but arguably the most important is preparation! To ensure a smooth exhibiting process, it’s vital to have a detailed check-list for your pre, during and post expo tasks. Being on-site for your stand build and expo bump-in is must, this way you can familiarise yourself with the venue, ensure the stand build goes smoothly, fix any glitches and issues before the expo goes live and explore further opportunities that could heighten the exhibiting experience for both you and the consumer. Finally, having an on-site folder which contains all your key documents will also help the event run smoothly and provide solace and direction if anything goes wrong.

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7. Logistically inviting stand build – Exhibiting with so many competitors, you need a stand-build that separates you from the rest. When designing and building your stand, ensure it is logistically inviting and spacious for your team members and consumers. A pram friendly stand is a must! Maximising the limited space to ensure there is storage within your stand, room for product displays and AV requirements is also important. Also, a stand design that looks great on a computer screen isn’t always the best solution when in real life, be sure to look at more than just aesthetics.

8. Reporting – Being able to connect and interact with your target audience during the expo is the perfect platform to collect consumer feedback about your brand. Feedback received from the show is crucial for a brand’s continuing development in being market leaders in their industry and can help shape and influence how future shows are executed.

9. Create a consumer journey and brand experience – Parenthood is an extremely exciting time for both mums and dads, but it can also be an anxious one. The shows offer brands and services the chance to have one on one, face to face interactions with their potential and existing customers in a safe and comfortable environment. Exhibitors have the opportunity to demonstrate, sample, sell and educate to a highly targeted audience. Simply put, the event is a must for relevant brands.

The Now Comms team has the experience and strong relationships with the show organisers and suppliers to ensure a successful and seamless execution.  So, if you are thinking about exhibiting, building a new stand, or unsure about what you want to do, give our events’ team a call and we can assist you – the opportunities are endless!

Prax Thandur, Event Executive at Now Communications