Taking a stand at a trade show or exhibition is something many businesses do in order to gain new customers and showcase their products. Some of you may already have attended a show this year or perhaps are gearing up for one later on. You may even be in the process of thinking about whether or not to attend one. However, if your stand lacks impact and fails to draw potential customers in then you may end up being severely disappointed with the results. So how do you make sure your stand lives up to expectations and doesn’t leave you with that ‘could have done better’ feeling? We’ve put together some of our top tips on how to maximise your space and make an impact at your exhibition.
Work with the area – find a similar sized area in your office or warehouse to help you gain an understanding of the proportions you’ll be working with so you can plan the space more effectively.
Plan it out precisely – use 3D software to visualise your stand and the surrounding space including walkways – there are free software apps such as SketchUp you can use. A good designer will use their own software to produce a stand design for you.
Check the floor plans – it goes without saying that you should carefully check floor plans well in advance so you at least know where your competitors are. You will also be able to see where any seating and high traffic areas such as coffee stands are or identify low traffic areas such as emergency exits. These elements will have an impact on your stand’s visibility and in turn the number of people who will be drawn to your stand, so you may need to factor in further attention grabbing features.
Less is more – don’t try and throw all of your products and their details on to the stand. Concentrate on three key areas of your business. Your stand should be about giving people a taster of what you do without overwhelming them with information.
Get a show stopper – having a large, interesting focal point will not only get people talking but will also leave a lasting impression on them. It’s also a great way of reminding people who you are when you follow up with them after the show.
Focus on the right benefits – make sure you tailor make your messages for the customers you want to attract at the show. If you aren’t sure of who you are trying to reach enlist the help of a designer who should be able to help you analyse your target market and create appropriate messages.
Demonstrate your products – holding a product demonstration is a great way to draw attention. They also help potential customers see exactly how they or their business could use it. Make sure you hold practices beforehand to get an idea of timings as well as anticipate and overcome any problems. Always take back-ups in case of technical issues.
Sweets – a bowl of sweets/mints will go a long way to breaking the ice. Make sure you check for allergy advice on the labels.
Animated presentations – these can really enhance your stand, especially if they use animations and music and can be shown on either a laptop or flat screen. Use them as a backdrop or a focal point. Remember: they will need to work without a data connection as in the main exhibition broadband is notoriously costly and often proves wholly inadequate.
Multi language – a recent study showed that 75% of people prefer to read brochures and catalogues in their own language. If you are at a European show such as EuroBLECH you may want to use the services of a translator sooner rather than later to ensure your audience understands your messages. An experienced designer will usually have a preferred supplier they can recommend.
Create bespoke artwork – repurpose old artwork by all means but it must look professional and fit the required space. Working with an experienced designer to create tailor-made artwork for the stand area is a great way to really maximise the space and your visibility with passers-by. It’s a must for anyone who is looking to make an impact.
Equip your sales teams with the right materials – make sure your team have all the product info and catalogues they need at their fingertips. Making use of dynamic, interactive digital books such as our iPad ViewBook allows your sales team access to all your company and product portfolios, videos, photos and catalogues etc on the day and without the need for a data connection.
Timing – organising a stand and designing the space and the artwork to go with it as well as ensuring you have the staff to man the show all need careful planning. Having a realistic project timeline of ‘who does what and when’ can get the show off the ground. You will also need to factor in the time to build the stand and break it down as this will form part of your responsibility.
There are lots of different ways to grab people’s attention at a show and making sure you plan the space carefully in advance is crucial if you are to make the most of the exhibition. There are many things you can do: from checking floor plans, designing the space in a three-dimensional way to selecting the right messages for the right target audience, from creating a show stopper, focal points and animated presentations through to organising onsite demonstrations to enhance your stand. However, having someone on your team who has experience in designing for shows is an equally important part of helping to maximise the space and getting the most out of your investment.
At Stilo, we have designed and produced exhibition artwork for our customers including full exhibition stands. If you would like to have a chat about how we can help you maximise your exhibition space then why not give us a call on 01905 371 374?