For our third exhibitor success story, we caught up with Izzy PR founder, Sarah Hawes, who explained how a planned approach to her presence at Kent Vision LIVE paid real dividends.
The decision to book a stand at Kent Vision LIVE was a big one for PR and marketing consultant Sarah Hawes, of Izzy PR. But talking to her a few months after the event, it’s a choice Sarah is delighted she made.
Several months before the exhibition Sarah had made another big decision; to make a full-time business from what had been a part-time source of extra income. It was a move Sarah felt she could make on realising that a lack of time meant she was passing excess work to another freelancer. But to make it a full-time business, she knew she would need to build her client base.
Having heard positive things about Kent Vision LIVE Sarah approached the organisers Revolution Events.
“Jordan was extremely helpful, and patient,” explained Sarah. “This was completely new to me, and so I needed to explore my options thoroughly.”
In effect, Sarah was a start-up, and the investment in exhibiting was a significant part of what she had planned to spend on marketing.
“From when I was deciding what to do, right up to the event and beyond, it seemed that nothing was too much trouble for Jordan and the team,” continued Sarah. “They recognised that I was not an experienced exhibitor and gave me plenty of valuable information, support and guidance.”
“I was delighted when just one client I signed up at the show more than covered my investment”
Sarah opted for a dual branding package, splitting the expense of a stand with a colleague with whom she shared a cross-referral agreement. This approach meant that Sarah was not manning her stand alone and reduced the cost. A cost that she more than recouped.
“I captured a good number of leads during the exhibition and have generated business from them in the months that followed. But I was delighted when just one client I signed up at the show more than covered my investment.” Sarah added.
New business was not all Sarah got from Kent Vision LIVE, as she went on to explain: “It was a valuable opportunity to gather insight too. Which, as a start-up, helped me get a feel for how I had pitched my business.
“The scale of the exhibition also meant I was able to significantly boost my contact network while having a presence gave me some kudos. It showed prospects I was taking things seriously.”
Sarah’s success didn’t come by accident. She had planned how she would approach the event and what she wanted to get out of it. This included setting objectives for lead generation and insight gathering. It also involved thinking in advance of the conversations she might have, how to present her offers and how to answer some of the questions she could anticipate.
Sarah also carried out her own promotion ahead of the event, as she explained: “There was great publicity coming from the organisers. But I knew that I would get even more from being at the show if I promoted my involvement across my networks.
“So I ran a PR campaign, to encourage people to come and visit me on my stand. It’s a no-brainer. When you have invested in an exhibition, if you don’t also invest your time and resources in telling people you are there, then you have wasted an opportunity. Its something I do for many of the businesses I work with, and it makes a big difference,” concluded Sarah.