In a recent podcast I shared creative ideas to make sure your booth stands out from the crowd and helps you build your practice. I thought I’d continue the conversation here on the blog by exploring the foundation of a successful booth. You have to answer this question:
Is this baby fair a good match for your birth practice?
That’s right, just because there is a baby fair in town, it still may not be the right place for you to promote your birth practice. Instead, take a careful look at the following criteria to help you evaluate whether or not a particular fair is the right match for you.
1. Consider your audience.
A successful baby far booth depends to a large degree on having the right mix of fair participants who will be interested in what you have to offer. Most baby fair organizers will be able to offer you a decent analysis of their predicted audience, including the percentage of pregnant and postpartum, age range, geographic range, and whether they are having their first baby. Here are some good criteria to consider when evaluating the target market of a particular baby fair:
- What level of attendance do event organizers predict for this fair?
- Does the target geographic region for the fair match your client base? For example, are they promoting the event in the big city while you are based in the suburbs?
- What percentage of attendees are likely to be pregnant vs. postpartum? Of those who are pregnant, consider how far along they are likely to be? Does this match the timing for clients to enroll for your services?
2. Event Promotion
Ideally, a fair will offer you publicity not only on the day of the event, but in the weeks leading up to the event.
- Will they be running a strong social media campaign that will highlight participating companies?
- Do participating companies get a featured post on the event website with a link to your services?
- Are there options to increase your presence at the event, such as offering a workshop or raffle prize?
- Does the fair provide participating companies with a mailing list of attendees? Consider carefully how you feel about using this list to promote your practice. Fairs that offer this “benefit” can sometimes lead to a lot of email spam in participant inboxes as all the participating companies email them afterwards. These are not likely to lead to business for you, as they have not already expressed a specific interest in your services.
3. What kinds of booths are represented?
Before making the decision to purchase a booth at an upcoming birth or baby fair, take a close look at other companies that have already made the commitment. You can also often look to see who has participated in previous years. Are there formula companies? Franchise companies such as a pharmacy or Babies R Us? Typically shows with these types of booths are both priced out of reach of most small businesses. As well, the clients who are drawn to them may be less likely to be resonant with your niche market. As you look at the list of participants try to imagine your ideal client – would she be drawn to this type of event?