If your organisation to benefit from its trip to an exhibition or trade show, you've got to know how to pull the punters in.

You can have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody wants to talk to you, or find out about what you have to offer, you're not going to make any sales.

As a business advertising at an exhibition, you've got to find ways of making consumers sit up and take notice.

Rather than walking past your booth or stand, they need to be give sufficient incentive to come over, find out about what you have to offer, and then place an order.

They aren't going to talk to you as a gesture of goodwill; you've got to take steps to lure customers in and then show them how wonderful you are.

There are plenty of ways you can attract customers and get them interested. Here are just a few:

Make your stand attractive

Your stand has to have the right look and feel. If it is visually attractive, it will catch the eye of passers by. It needs to be like a beacon of light in a crowded, gloomy room.

Look professional

If your stand gives the impression it has been put together in five minutes, people won't be interested. If you give the impression you are a team of cowboys, customers will steer clear.

Achieve the optimum design

Rather than turning up on the day and hoping for the best, you should test your exhibition stand beforehand, to work out how best to use your space and decide what goes where.

Get creative

If you have the ambition to experiment with video, sound and lighting, there can be a big pay off. Think about how electronic presentations and signage can help get your message across.

Offer suitable give-aways

If you offer promotional gifts to consumers, this might encourage them to come over and chat. But the give-aways need to be appropriate to your brand, and also memorable.

Bring a good team

Building a great exhibition stand is only half the job done. You need to bring capable, confident people with you to the show; those who can engage with consumers and be great advocates for your brand.

Advertise beforehand

If consumers know in advance you are going to be at an exhibition, they may go to the trouble of locating you. This is why it is important to advertise; on your website, your newsletters and social media.

Offer hot drinks

If you offer free tea and coffee at your stand, allowing people to avoid the catering queue, you might just be able to 'bribe' them into speaking to you.