The highest volume of visitors to your website will be potential delegates and event attendees. While the big conversion goal is event registration, it is equally important to provide other, easy-to-use engagement opportunities while they weigh up whether or not to attend. We would recommend creating a simple enquiry form with pre-defined name, email, telephone, and message boxes, placing this form throughout the website on key information pages, not just a Contact page. If possible, tailor the form in each section to the likely nature of the enquiry. For example, place a contact form on the delegate packages pages and add a title such as “Got a question about packages or pricing? Why not drop us a line”. Showing the website visitor that you are happy and ready to receive questions of a certain nature can remove the barrier to making contact and create the lead.
Equally important are enquiry forms dedicate to your potential exhibitors. Every event suffers from exhibitor churn; for some retail events this can be as high as 80% of total exhibitors due to the fast creation and failure of small businesses. For this reason all events need a steady stream of exhibitor enquires. Exhibitor selection and curation is what makes your event special and delivers year on year success. However, while you may have a strong vetting criteria, you equally want to be bringing a steady stream of fresh and exciting industry developments to your target audience through the event.
It is better to have the problem of too many enquires than not enough and for this reason go to town on your exhibitor information and enquiry area of the website. Provide good clarity of what you are looking for but encourage exhibitors to make contact to see if they would benefit from exhibiting at your event. If your event space is small, your exhibitor list purposefully limited, or exhibitor demand is an issue, simply create an exhibitor enquiry form that teases out some of the commonly failed criteria so that these can be easily handled.
Every company starts as a small business treading new ground. If new exhibitors feel welcomed and encouraged from their first point of contact with your event then they are more likely to reflect positively on the experience of the show overall. There are many factors which will influence whether an exhibitor re-books the following year, but for fledgling businesses many decisions are made on the basis of gut feel and emotion rather than cold facts. How they have been handled by your team from initial enquiry through to break down will be key.