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CONFERENCE EXHIBITIONS: AVOIDING COMMON PITFALLS

With all the preparations over, here you are, at the stand, right in the middle of all the traffic flow through the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference. A common misconception across all exhibitors, especially in gaming expos, is that once all preparatory work is over, the remainder is a cake walk. The reality is that the real work is just about to commence and this is what influences the success, or otherwise, failure of an exhibition.

This article highlights some commonly occurring mistakes that exhibiting operators should try to avoid:

1. Use experienced staff with an energetic attitude

One serious slipup exhibitors can’t afford is a laid back, passive attitude during the conference. It is of utmost importance to attract affiliates’ attention to the stand, actively initiate communication and answer any queries.  Try to ask some questions yourself and understand what difficulties affiliates may be facing when promoting your program, focus on finding suitable solutions and offer necessary assistance.

Affiliate Managers assigned to work on the stand must have necessary drive, energy and great communication skills. Their attitude should be towards proactive rather than reactive networking with all visitors. Avoid bringing any personnel that are more likely to stay quiet, hiding from the questions in the corner. On the other hand, avoid an over-enthusiastic  attitude – trying to initiate a conversation with anyone at any cost will not bring any positive results.

2. Remember the importance of smaller affiliates

Some operators may dismiss any affiliates who are new to the industry and may not have the necessary experience or traffic volumes. Seasoned affiliate managers know how to work effectively with smaller partners to guide and empower them with the necessary tools, recognizing that a significant amount of these affiliates will bring good results in the medium term. Operators may also consider investing into dedicated affiliate executive staff to assist low tier affiliates and thus ensure a hand holding period and necessary support offered right at the start of their partnership.

3. Create an action plan for interactive work with the affiliates

Do not always assume a “go with the flow” approach. Do your homework and prepare your action plan in advance. Ensure that all team has their clear set of responsibilities and come on the stand prepared. Rather than bringing a plethora of staff, work on assigning responsibilities and coordinating each one’s role, based on the respective account experience and personal skills, to ensure productive networking is achieved with minimum resources. Frequent change of staff working on the stand may also be counterproductive as there may not be ample time for follow-up between affiliate encounters.

4. Increase Brand Awareness through proper stand and collateral design

Inadequate quality and a lack of collateral or marketing materials may detract your potential partners. It is important that all stand, marketing, collateral and even staff uniforms are designed using a single Brand Guideline approach – this will promote better values to your affiliate program.

5. Pay attention to detail

Another common mistake that could seriously reduce exhibition effectiveness is an inattentive approach towards collecting affiliates’ contact details. At times some exhibitors forget to take business cards of the affiliates and partners they have spoken to. More importantly, all those contacts that your team collected during the show need to be worked on upon immediate return to the offices, ensuring that you quickly get in touch with the contacts you had made.

6. Follow Up

And remember, even if you have done a great job in observing all the points above, don’t just assume a huge volume of affiliates will signup right after the conference. There is a lot of follow-up work to be done after the conference!

Wishing you the best of luck at the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference!