Whether it’s your first time or whether you’re a seasoned exhibitor, time will come when you’ll need to think about investing in an exhibition stand. If you’re a fairly small business or just starting out in the exhibiting game you might just want an upgrade from a shell-scheme and trestle table, or maybe you’re looking for a system/modular stand to be used at different events, or you might even be in the market for a brand new, fully custom designed stand for a one off occasion. So, how do you know what’s best for your brand and what do you look for?
Here at Exhibitionco, we have had many years of experience designing and building exhibition stands to suit various budgets and expectations. We’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way so, in the interests of wanting to share our knowledge and experience with all exhibitors, here are our 5 top tips when considering a new exhibition stand.
#1 Building a great relationship is just as important as building a great stand
A good exhibition stand designer will want to get to know you and your company’s ambitions. They’ll want to know as much about your company and products as possible and familiarise themselves with your brand and services before they even contemplate putting pen to paper.
Expect the initial conversation to be about your brand positioning and your specific expectations and goals for an individual event. You’ll need to make sure you have your targets firmly set out before you embark on the process, and communicate them to your stand designer.
A great exhibition stand partner will become as familiar with your product and services as your own employees and should become a vital extension of your in-house marketing team.
Like any good relationship, your exhibition stand designer should have your interests at heart and should ‘have your back’ at all times. If you feel your relationship has broken down with your current partner, consider moving on!
#2 Quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten
When shopping around for exhibition stand designers and builders, as always there will be a price factor involved in your final decision. However, as with everything you buy, don’t sacrifice quality for those extra few bucks. Make sure your chosen exhibition company has the experience you’re looking for. Check with previous customers. Look for testimonials from other businesses and check out their portfolio to make sure they have the skill set and creativity to create the kind of stand your brand needs. Don’t fall for the hard sell of a cheaper company if they don’t have the history or qualifications to prove themselves (…perhaps they’re cheaper for a reason!)
#3 The devil is in the detail
First impressions do count and smart finishing will turn heads and make an impact. Sometimes it’s the small things which may cost a little more which make all the difference to how people relate to you.Details like LED under bench lighting, raised flooring, fitted carpets and back-lit or 3D graphics may seems small, but these finer points all contribute to creating a positive and engaging customer experience, helping to position you ahead of the competition.
#4 If you must cut costs, don’t cut corners
Spend your budget wisely. Splurging on fancy but ineffective things such as expensive freebies and giveaway food or drink is not always a great idea. It may make you a popular place to be for a rest stop but unless you’re getting some great leads which will later convert to sales, your ROI will be shot!
Instead, challenge your stand designers to come up with something new and innovative that can yield better returns. Focus more on fresh ideas to get people engaging with your brand in some way.
Contests and games have traditionally been appealing ways to draw in a crowd, but technology is constantly offering up new and exciting ways to make a connection and generate engagement in more lucrative ways.
Consider options such as virtual reality, augmented reality or touch screens. Give your visitors some way of interacting which is entertaining and rewarding for them. Anything people can touch, trial, sample and experience for themselves will be far more memorable than just seeing a product on display.
#5 Stick to 1 cohesive brand message
During the design process there are often many changes and updates. There can be several people in the command chain who want tweaks here and there. Sometimes focus can get lost trying to include too many products or mixed brand messages.
Decide from the outset what your focus should be for the event; whether it’s to launch a new product, showcase a best seller or just build your brand. Whatever your intention, stick to that one message across all platforms associated with that event and make sure your exhibition stand design reflects the same message.
Keep on track, stay focused and deliver a cohesive brand message.
In short, to make sure you get a fantastic exhibition stand for your next event you should really be starting to plan your new design as early as possible.
Do some research; Take note of which stands you liked at a previous show, which were attracting the crowds and which were most successful. Ask the exhibitors who the designers are.
Get your goals and targets set and, along with your exhibition company, achieve them!