Exhibitions are a fantastic opportunity to fuse the effectiveness of mass-exposure visual marketing, with one-on-one relationship building between brands and prospective customers. But, you’re just one drop in an ocean of businesses awaiting a visitor, so how can you use your stand to get potential clients off the aisle and talking to you?
The first, and perhaps most important step, is simply to capture your audience's attention. Exhibitions are a far cry from an individually-tailored pay-per-click advertisement. Here, you’re attempting to appeal to a huge number of people who are being exposed to hundreds of competing messages in one space. You need a winning formula in order to make your exhibit the one visitors make a beeline for. In short, this is it:
Business requirements + brand values + creativity = impactful presence
Having created exhibition stands for a variety of high-profile clients, we know what it takes to create an exhibit with WOW! factor that lasts - and delivers results. But we also know how to make your budget work for you – even if you’ve got a few hundred pounds, we can help you. So, here are a few of our tips for creating an impact with any stand, on any budget:
Planning your exhibition strategy
Of course, creating a successful stand requires some preparation. There is no single way to prepare an exhibit, but we have found that creating a comprehensive plan of action always makes the process smoother.
One of the main concerns of any business planning to attend an exhibition is ensuring a return on investment. There is no doubt that participating in an exhibition can have a real impact on your enquiries and conversions, but you have to set realistic expectations with ROI in mind. Decide how much you are willing to spend, how you intend to make that amount back, and then write your brief. This isn’t a simple thing, and something you probably won’t get right if this is your first time exhibiting. Try using our planning template to help get your ideas on paper and the rest will follow.
Next, it is important to plan your marketing and messaging. Creating an eye-catching and informative exhibition stand should not be considered a standalone task. After all, when it comes to brand recognition, no instance of exposure occurs in a vacuum. Think of the show as an important element of an integrated marketing campaign and you will see noticeable results. See what print spaces are available in the show’s magazine, create some enticing PPC and YouTube ads about your on-site message (remember - this takes about a month to start working, so don’t leave it!) and try to get on the keynote speakers list if your show has one.
Finally, there are the logistics to take care of - booking your space, choosing suppliers and materials. Often, these can be the time-consuming tasks, so enlisting the support of an expert in live events is a wise choice. Training your staff is also paramount to ensure they understand the aims of the show and how to help your brand attract as many new clients as possible (check out our training guide here).
Show-stopping stands with any size and space
When it comes to exhibitions stands, size doesn't matter - honestly. Even if you only secure the smallest of sections, you can draw in huge crowds with a little creative flair. Think laterally to maximise the potential of every corner of your stand. We don't mean this literally, of course - an exhibit with information and media squeezed into every square inch is not a good look. Instead, keep your stall clean and eye-catching, with a clear message – here are some professionally made examples to help inspire you.
Your graphics should be crisp and communicative, with high-quality imagery and text. Instead of cramming information onto all four walls, be inventive - maybe you could display imagery or interactive elements on the floors and ceilings to catch the eye of passers-by? Remember, people spend a lot of time looking down at their phone, so floor space has real potential!
Whether it be signposts, floor decals or unique lighting, think outside the box.
Whatever you do, remember these three rules for your stand artwork:
- No key artwork or messaging below knee height
- No all uppercase copy (except company names and logos) – people can’t process capital letters as fast as lowercase
- Do your design work after you’ve planned your space, as you don’t want messaging or artwork obscured by furniture or behind a wall mounted TV.
The creative cinch
Getting the basics right is essential for any exhibition, but to really pique the interest of the potential customer, creativity cannot be compromised. Unusual audiovisual elements will truly enrich your brand presence and make your stand memorable, but only enlist this when relevant - discerning clients can tell the difference between substance and facade!
In fact, there are myriad ways to make your stand as unique as your brand itself. From selecting quirky furniture to infusing the clothing of your staff with your brand message. Or even just offering a great cup of coffee. Your stand is an extension of everything that makes your brand so special, so make it count!
And if all else fails, remember the following things:
M - Memorable - be memorable by creating a stand with the WOW! factor
E - Engagement - positive and meaningful interactions help to create engagement
E - Emotion - people buy with emotion, rarely with logic
F - Fun - find ways to make your stand fun so that it’s not associated with ‘work’
To find out more about how to make your next stand unforgettable, choose the team that pays attention to the tiny details and has the knowledge, experience, and insights to help your brand stand out. Talk to our team of expert WOW makers today by clicking here.