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Cultivate a Conversation: Designing a space on your exhibition stand conducive to closing that deal.

Cultivate a Conversation: Designing a space on your exhibition stand conducive to closing that deal.

One of the most beneficial aspects of exhibiting at a trade show is the opportunity for face-to-face meeting with prospective customers. The organisers of trade shows sell exhibiting spaces on a promise that they will attract a highly targeted audience within a specific industry to attend the event. The objective for them is to make their spaces valuable by guaranteeing to produce some of the largest players with buying power in a specific industry. In turn, visitors are attracted to attend with the promise that they can meet suppliers and innovators in their industry one-on-one.

For most exhibitors, direct communication will be the key on-site strategy for any live event. A well designed stand along with eye-catching graphics ….and even spruikers are great for brand awareness and attracting passers-by but can only do so much. Ultimately, it will be your on-site team’s responsibility to garner leads and attract sales. Cultivating intimate conversations and facilitating individual sales meetings between your team members and prospects should be your chief priority.

So, aside from your demo area and your meet & greet space, you will need to consider an area on your exhibition stand where your sales team can sit for a one-on-one meeting with a prospect. Depending on the size of your floor space this could be an entire dedicated room or just a quiet area off to one side.

When we’re designing an exhibition stand for a client we start by asking what they want accomplish at the event. We’ll then design the space accordingly. A meeting area or room is one of the most important elements to consider at the very early stages of design. One essential factor is to keep design consistent across the entire stand. We don’t want to lose focus on a brand’s objective for the event, but we’ll usually try and incorporate at least a small area for a sit down and a chat. The best meeting rooms are the ones that express what the business is all about.

If the brand is all about fun or has a playful image, then it might not suit to have a closed off ‘quiet’ area. Bar stools and table may be more fitting (….or pallets and crates as in this stand for Naked Syrups at Fine Food).

In fact, furniture does play crucial role. Even things such as posture can result in a more productive meeting. You may consider a relaxed vibe with lounges and coffee tables more suitable to your brand – or you might want people sitting upright to stay engaged with any content you’re trying to communicate.

Think about what role the physical environment will play in the success of a meeting. Work around what will be the most beneficial type of interaction for your prospects. Will you need space for demonstration, presentation or simply just conversation? If you design your space and technology around the interests of your visitors, you’ll be half way there.

Larger exhibition stands with a greater floor area can afford a closed off or partitioned section specifically for meetings as in this meeting room we designed for Ansaldo at Ausrail – We printed direct to clear acrylic sheets to continue the branding of the stand which also afforded the users some privacy.

Short of floor space on your stand but really want a private area? – maybe you can build up a storey. Double decks are always impressive structures in an exhibition hall and will double your floor space with a single staircase. You can talk to your prospects in comfort and achieve the privacy you need above the hustle and bustle of the trade show floor.

(This pic shows a stand we built for Bostik at IHG in Melbourne this year with the meeting area upstairs)

As well as deciding on the location, size & furniture options for your meeting area – there are lots of other aspects to consider which can influence the setting. Things such as colour, lighting, temperature, whether to provide food & drink …..even smells can influence the mood of your guests.– Try and stimulate all the senses if you can!

Obviously, as with any considerations on your exhibition stand, don’t go overboard just for the sake of it. Any decisions on the design of your space should be consciously made to enhance the overall environment and achieve the goals set out.

Creativity is good, but authenticity will gain the trust of your prospects.

Contact us here at Exhibitionco on  02 9972 1900 to discuss options for your next exhibition or event.

Below are some more meeting spaces we have designed for brands such as Sony,  BT & MPC.

8 top Tips if you’re planning to Launch a New product at a Trade Show or exhibition

8 top Tips if you’re planning to Launch a New product at a Trade Show or exhibition

There are many reasons to exhibit at a trade show. Maybe you are a small start-up business wanting to establish a position in your industry. You might be trying to enhance your brand presence. Maybe you’re just ‘Keeping up with the Jones’s’ to stay a valid competitor. Whatever the reason, don’t let your focus become clouded with mixed messages.
So, if you are launching a new product, stay focussed:

1. One event, one objective.
If you are attending a trade show to launch a new product, then make sure this is your entire focus for the event. All the pre-show marketing and advertising should revolve around the launch. Whether you choose to keep the finer details hidden for an ‘unveil’ or let people know exactly what it is you’re releasing into the market, don’t detract from your one message with “….we also sell…”. People can find all that out of their own accord if they wish to do so.

Interactive gaming for Ubisoft at PAX Gaming Expo

2. It’s not all about you.
As all marketing professionals know, when it comes to communicating a brand or product …. It’s not about you, its’ all about your target market. From the initial ideas and design of the product, to the launch and on-going sales, everything should be geared around your audience. It’s not about what you can build or provide – it’s about what your potential customers need or want. That’s what drives sales.
(The trick, of course, is making people believe that ‘what they need or want’ is the very thing you can provide!)

3. Know your audience.
It is crucial that you can clearly define and identify your target audience, and in order to communicate effectively with them, you’ll need to get to know them a little. Your target demographic should define your voice, your language, your stand design, your colour scheme…. even your staff uniforms and giveaways. A genuine and authentic connection with your customers is one of the hardest things to get right, so be prepared to spend a little time and money on researching this.

4. You’re solving a problem… know what it is!
If you’re going to convince people they need what it is you’re selling, you’ll need to know ‘why’. What is the problem you are solving? Make sure you have a deep understanding of the challenges your customers face and how you are essentially coming to their rescue. Explaining this to them is your selling point. You are providing a solution to a problem which will make their lives easier. This should be your focus at the show.

Product display for Plantronics by Exhibtiionco

5. Choose the right event for your brand.
Not all face-to-face marketing events are created equal. Audiences vary depending on show size, show type, location and whether it is geared towards a B2B audience or general public. Do your research and know which shows your target audience are more likely to attend. Also consider the size of the event – you don’t want a small brand to get lost at a huge event which has a lot going on. However, you will want to gather as many leads as possible, so weigh up the pros and cons – and decide whether you want to make sales or collect leads and which show would give you the best opportunity to do so.

6. Find the intrigue.
Try and avoid being too predictable. Steer away from the usual formula and find an original way of introducing your product to the market. Focus on your endgame and work your tactics backwards from your ultimate goal. If you’ve defined your key audience well, you should be able to define what will attract their attention and engage their interest. Get creative and give your prospective customers an experience to remember.

Backlit product display by Exhibtiionco

7. Be social.
Social media can be one of your most powerful tools when launching a new product. If done well, you will encourage conversation, create interest and build excitement. You can even do all this without giving away too much crucial information. This will build suspense around the ‘big reveal’ at the show which will make sure you have an invested audience at the launch. Make sure you post details on when and where the launch will take place and offer incentives, such as competitions or giveaways. Even if you’re not planning an ‘unveiling’ as such, you can still use social media channels to create a buzz around your appearance at the show.

Exhibition Stand by Exhibitionco for Neopost

8. Get a great exhibition stand designed for the event.
Having the right exhibition stand to launch your product is essential to success. When designing your space, make sure the product you are launching is front and centre. You’ll need enough room to showcase the product but also allow room for people to move around. Think about lighting and any technology you could use to help focus and engage your visitors. If you need space in order to demonstrate your product in action, then make sure you book a large enough floor-space for the job.

Let your exhibition stand design company know that your focus is your product launch and they will be able to offer up ideas on how you can best utilise your space with this objective in place.

If you need an exhibition company who will get to know your brand and help you reach and engage your audience, call Exhibitionco today on 02 9972 1900.

When it comes to exhibition stands, it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, so which is right for you?

When it comes to exhibition stands, it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, so which is right for you?

It’s important to choose the right kind of exhibition stand for both your space and budget …and most importantly, your brand or purpose. Your choice of display can make or break your trade show experience. Done right, an effective exhibition stand will act as a magnet attracting passers-by and offering them a comfortable place to chat and engage with your brand. It should also have enough of a ‘wow’ factor’ to be memorable after they leave.

On the other hand, bad choices with exhibition stand design can have the opposite effect. Badly designed stands will deter people from stopping. If you’re not careful you can inadvertently create an uninviting space, be too overwhelming, or your brand message could get lost against surrounding competitors or you could just be completely forgettable! A bad experience for all involved.

Although there are a myriad of options out there, we are going to narrow things down to 3 very basic categories of exhibition stand to choose from ….and in the spirit of wanting to keep it simple, we’re going to look at them in terms of ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’……both in size and budget*.

Small stand / Small budget – Modular exhibition stands.

Small Modular exhibition stands (3 x 3 / 6 x 3)
Small Modular exhibition stands (3 x 3 / 6 x 3)

Modular exhibition stands are composed of varying sized aluminium frames which fit together to create the whole structure (….think building blocks or meccano sets). These can be built to various configurations, sizes and shapes and rigid panels of Foamex /EPVC make up the infill sections. Infil panels can be plain white, coloured or full printed graphics. This type of exhibition stand can go from a very basic 3 x 3 box framework to larger structures with features such as curved sections, archways, walk-throughs and meeting rooms.

Easy to transport and install, these are the cheapest kind of exhibition stand and can be used over and over – even re-built and adapted to different configurations and floor plans. Also, graphic sections can be updated, switched around or added with ease.

Many exhibition companies will have a range of pre-designed, budget modular stand packages to choose from, so worth asking for some options or examples if you think this is for you.

Medium Stand / Medium budget Modular Stand with Custom Features

Modular exhibition stands with custom features (6 x 6 / 9 x 6)
Modular exhibition stands with custom features (6 x 6 / 9 x 6)

Based on the same framework concept of the smaller stands, with a bit of extra budget, you can customise one of these stands specifically to your brand’s requirements. You can add custom frames to house large format, seamless fabric walls or custom features such as benches, shelving or showcases, demo areas or rigged banners. You can incorporate lightboxes or backlit sections or just include some ambient lighting effects. You can also upgrade materials to aluminium composite for example which will give your stand a high gloss, high impact finish.

Large Stand / Large budget – Custom Designed or Bespoke Exhibition Stands.

Large custom designed exhibition stands ( 9 x 12+)
Large custom designed exhibition stands ( 9 x 12+)

Custom or bespoke exhibition stands are one off, unique designs, purely with your brand and requirements in mind. They are structured to fit your specific event objectives. Options here are really only limited by budget…..and imagination. Like an architect designing your dream home, a good exhibition stand designer will meet with you, get to know you and your brand, be able to take your ideas, vision and specifications and create an original concept to suit. The outcome should be a space conducive to selling your specific product or showcasing your brand to its best potential.

Open Plan – Unlimited Budget!

OK – so we’re in dreamland now – this one doesn’t really exist, except in the minds of stand designers who would love the freedom to spend months designing their perfect exhibit using the most expensive materials, high-end finishes, unlimited graphic flexibility, all within a huge floor space!

No-one has a bottomless pit of money to spend on their exhibit, so just be sure you have determined what your main objectives for exhibiting are. Be realistic as to what you can get for your money – maybe a high-end finish on a smaller structure will communicate your brand message better than a huge floor space with not much to fill it. Decide where your money would be best spent.

*Of course, this is a very simplified guide and by no means exhaustive… There are many more variables such as venue, show type, location,  audience etc. which will influence what type of exhibition stand is best for you.

You can design a low budget custom stand or a more expensive modular stand depending on objectives. Talk to your exhibition stand designer, or call us here at Exhibitionco on  02 9972 1900, about what your goals are and we can advise you what type of stand will best suit your individual needs.

Managing your trade show leads – (make sure you turn those leads into sales!)

Managing your trade show leads – (make sure you turn those leads into sales!)

Depending on the type and size of trade show you are attending, the amount of people you’ll meet over the 2 or 3 days of the event can often be overwhelming. Ultimately, as an exhibitor you are there to create sales for your business, but evaluating leads and separating them into categories such as hot, cold & …purely freebie hunting, can be a daunting and time consuming task. A good strategy, for collating leads from the outset, will save you time and help you focus on your most expedient leads successfully.

First up, you’ll need an effective and practical process in place for collecting and recording data at the show. If you generally use a CRM to manage your customers and sales leads on a day to day basis, set up a new category or project specifically for the one event. If you need to, you can simplify the process of adding leads to a spreadsheet or CRM by using lead retrieval technology. You can even get automated follow up services and lead evaluating software. We discussed a couple of these options on our article on AI (Plenty out there – just look up one which fits your needs best)

Try and create an interesting and engaging way for your visitors to relay their information to you. It might be one of the old faithfuls like a competition barrel, a social media platform or a touch screen. But with the advancements in technology, companies are becoming much more creative in this area and we have even seen robots greeting visitors and collecting data from passers-by. Obviously it will all depend on your budget as to how far you can go with it – but try and be a little bit creative and include some form of interaction if possible. It will get you remembered.

As well as purely collecting lead data, you will need to assess it; Hot leads / cold leads / luke-warm leads, etc. Decide how many categories you think you might need and sort your prospects accordingly. When adding names, addresses and emails etc. – also add notes when you get time, specifying any interaction you may have had.

Tip: When chatting with prospects, try and throw in something personal like asking after their kids, or favourite holiday spots, sports …..anything of any mutual interest which might flow easily into the conversation. Make a note of it, then when you come to follow up, you can re-engage by asking after their holiday, or “How did Johhny go with his football game at the weekend?”,  etc. – it’s a really great way for you to remember someone and it will make them feel they weren’t just one of the crowd.

If you’re dealing with a red-hot lead at the show and you don’t have your own meeting room space, suggest moving your conversation to a nearby café or restaurant. Trade shows are noisy environments that are not always conducive to discussing business. Leave your staff manning the stand and take your prospect for lunch or a drink nearby to close the deal.

Another tip is to remember that trade shows are as much about networking as selling. Liaise with other exhibitors and don’t be afraid to swap leads if you think they could service your prospect better. Potential customers will be impressed that you have their best interests at heart and what you may lose in this transaction, you may gain back in future business. You might also acquire some otherwise overlooked leads in return. Visitors who stop by your stand maybe better suited to a competitor, and vice-versa.

After the show, don’t waste any time – follow up with your warmest leads ASAP!  Then you can work through your list to the leads that may require more extensive pre-selling. Cool or lukewarm leads can be followed up using social media. LinkedIn InMail (a premium mail service from LinkedIn) is one of the best ways to get back in touch with prospects that you spoke to during the event.

If, after a couple of months, they’re still not ready to seal the deal, ask if you can add them to your email list and send them information about your company from time to time. When it comes time for them to buy – hopefully you will be top of mind.

Give yourself a set amount of time after the event and collate all the information you have. Make sure you review your original goals you set for yourself. Check the number of quality leads you generated against the amount of money spent. Track any leads which turned into sales and include in your overall evaluation. By tracking your ROI in this way, you can budget accordingly for your next event.

Get more engagement with interactivity. 10 interactive ideas for your next exhibit.

Get more engagement with interactivity. 10 interactive ideas for your next exhibit.

Getting people to connect with your brand these days can no longer be achieved with just visual prompts such as signage and advertising, you need to think about encompassing all the senses. To really engage your audience, your brand needs to create an authentic and memorable ‘experience’. The aim of the game is to promote an emotional response in your audience creating a brand affinity. You need to get interactive!

The experiential connection in the physical world builds a devoted following which, in turn, has proven to drive sales and retain brand loyalty.

Here are 10 interactive ideas for your next exhibition stand which will help to engage your audience:

1. Touchscreens
As with every other element of your exhibit, the technology you use should help your visitors interact and engage with your brand. Giving visitors a tactile prop provides an instant connection. You can use touchscreens to capture lead data, provide information or display a sales presentation ….or even just for fun – such as a quiz or competition.

The best interactive trade show ideas will often appeal to a competitive nature, so offer up a ‘high-score’ prize or set a challenge which involves on-going collaboration giving you the perfect opportunity to contact your leads again after the show.

2. Prize wheels
Not only are you appealing to a natural, human competitive behaviour with something like a prize-wheel, it also provides a feature – especially if large and colourful and enhanced with lights & sounds. It can be real drawcard if you have a good ‘spruiker’ to build excitement and engage the crowds. Make sure at least one of the prizes is worth winning ( – and have a backup in case it does get won on the first attempt!)

3. Guessing Games
Another oldie-but-goodie is the ‘guess the jelly beans in the jar’ competition. Try and relate it to your brand or product, for example, if you sell coffee; count the coffee beans.

Don’t be afraid to go large if your product is something like sporting equipment; you could have a bin full of tennis balls or make it a feature such as part of a wall filled with running shoes.

For people to enter, they need to leave their guess along with their contact details – so it’s really just a fun way of collecting lead data.

4. Large scale 3D Reproductions
Australia just loves huge scale replicas (… Big Banana, Big Lobster etc.) It’s quirky and it’s a bit of fun….but it’s memorable! Particularly if it can be interactive such as the giant mobile phone or like the Telstra Touch tab we created a few years ago showing the different apps available. Just the motion of turning the dials is so much more effective in communicating the message than if it was just a 2 dimensional print

5. Functional Working Displays & Equipment
Hands on experience trumps all when it comes to buying decisions. It’s not always obvious how a product works or what it’s capable of without seeing it in action. It depends what you’re selling obviously, but wherever you can, make sure you have enough space on your stand for live demonstrations. Once your visitors witness firsthand how something works, they will be far more likely to part with their money.

6 . Professional Demonstrations
Brochures and promotional items are nice, but nothing sells a product quite like a convincing demonstration by a professional. Professional demonstrators will showcase your product with a bit more zest and it’s often worth the extra spend to hire someone specifically for the occasion. It also leaves you and your staff free to do the real work of collecting leads and making sales.

7. Live Celebrity Appearances
Whilst not exactly ‘interactive’ as such – hiring a celebrity as a motivational keynote speaker will have an emotional impact on your visitors. If you can align your brand with someone people admire and respect they will, in turn project those same feelings onto your brand.

Professional entertainment agencies can let you know who might be available and it will certainly pump up your attendance.

8. 3D Printing to Order
Exhibitors at trade shows have been using 3D printers to draw crowds in such areas as car shows, boat shows, jewellery trade shows and food and cooking demonstrations. Showcasing how 3D technology can be creatively utilised in different areas can be both entertaining and engaging for the observer.

One of the more appealing and fun uses we have seen being employed is the creation of ‘mini-me’ personalised dolls.

9. Responsive Triggers
Shelves which light up when a product is lifted, floors which change colour as they’re walked across, robots who talk to passers-by, speakers offering up information when approached…. technology is offering up endless opportunity for responsive and automated ‘reactions’ to engage your visitors.

10. Photo Opportunities for Social Media
Like it or loath it, social media plays a big part of the world of advertising these days, so might as well jump on board the bandwagon and get people snapping and posting pics of your stand on their own social media accounts. Whether you plump for an old fashioned photo booth, an eye catching backdrop or just some 3D props and scenery, getting people to take photos and post on the WWW is a great way to get some free advertising out there.

Need more ideas? Contact Exhibitionco today and let us come up with something original and engaging to put your brand in the spotlight at your next event.

Attract more visitors to your exhibit by ‘borrowing’ some tricks from the retail big brands

Attract more visitors to your exhibit by ‘borrowing’ some tricks from the retail big brands

Sony Store in Christchurch, NZ – by Exhibitionco

The tricks employed to get your brand noticed and remembered ahead of your competition is not that different across the retail and exhibiting environments. Whether you are in a shopping centre, at a trade show or even browsing on-line, the ‘hooks’ to get you interested and engaged with a product or brand work pretty much the same in every environment.

It’s really all just psychological mind games. Brand marketers are trying to make consumers react, think and respond in a certain way. When done well, this kind of ‘mind manipulation’ can be hugely effective and create brand loyalty for life. ( ….of course, on the flip side, a badly thought out campaign can be disastrous!)

The aim of the game is to make a person think a certain way without letting them know they have been manipulated. The larger players in the brand marketplace have always played with our subconscious using subliminal messages in their advertising. Ideally, they want to get to the stage where senses and reactions are triggered by the simplest of symbols and signs. A logo or icon for instance, which creates, not only instant recognition, but evokes positive emotions. This method of advertising relies on the theory that most of the decisions we make are subconscious. Subliminal messages draw attention to displays without shouting about the brands …and more importantly without having to shout about the brands.

Brands and stores want to turn shopping into an immersive and feel-good experience. After all, they’re competing with on-line shopping in the comfort of your own home. It’s no longer just about affordability and applicability, it’s about identifying and aligning oneself with a certain perceived image or ideal.

A huge trend at the moment is personalisation – think Vegemite, Nutella or Coca Cola. Allowing people to own their very own version of something has been an inspired idea. Even if just temporarily – it makes a person feel more connected to the brand if it has their name on it.

Another trend we’re beginning to see more often in advertising is the use of technology such as holograms. Made famous in the “Back to the Future” franchise – it is now becoming a reality. Nescafe recently used hologram technology to showcase the ‘modern art’ of making coffee. Throw in a smell of freshly made coffee and it’s pretty hard to ignore!

Other in-store gimmicks include vibration-activated shelf lighting which is turned on when a product is picked up.

Large grocery chains have experimented with romantic mood lighting and even varying temperatures to entice shoppers.

So what does all of this have to do with exhibiting at trade shows?

The point is we can borrow and steal some of these ideas:

  • Personalise your giveaways. Something as simple as a pen or glass with a quick engraving would be easy to achieve. It feels more like a personal gift than just a generic giveaway, and people will be more likely to remember where they got it.
  • Shelving or displays which react when a product is lifted will engage your audience, creating an interaction between product and customer.
  • Keep graphics simple. Use subtle, subliminal messaging rather than shouting about your products with over-the-top signage.
  • Use back-lit graphics or displays for highlighting a product or message.
  • Engaging all the senses including smell and taste if / where possible is always a great way to attract passersby.
  • Use of lighting to create a certain mood and evoke emotions is a crucial part of a well-designed exhibition stand.
  • Holograms are becoming much more common in the display business and there are many companies in every city supplying a service to create holograms for brand logos or products or even people.

Next time you’re out shopping, have a look around at what the big brands are doing; see what draws attention, what showcases a product well. Look at lighting, shelving, advertising – and don’t be afraid to ‘borrow’ some ideas which could enhance your exhibition stand at your next trade show.

Or, as always, give us a call on  02 9972 1900 and challenge our creative team to come up with some great ideas for your next exhibition stand.

Top Ten Reasons why Exhibiting at a Trade Show is Still the Best Bang for Your Marketing Buck.

Top Ten Reasons why Exhibiting at a Trade Show is Still the Best Bang for Your Marketing Buck.

1. Showcase your Services
Every trade show offers its vendors a highly targeted audience within their respective industries. In turn, professionals from those industries are motivated to attend trade shows, knowing they will get to see the latest technology alongside innovative ideas and concepts currently influencing their industry, all under one roof. So, as a vendor, your services will be on display for the very people who actually demand them.

2. Launch a New Product
If you are in the process of launching a new product or idea into the market, there really is no better platform than a trade show where you will get maximum exposure within a highly focussed group and the opportunity to connect directly with the people who have the buying power.

3. Boost Brand Visibility
It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the bigger players in your industry, a small start-up company or niche supplier, you can still establish a presence as a leader or influencer in your specific market by intelligent positioning of your brand. Play to your strengths and make your brand known to both your customers and peers. Make sure everyone knows who you are.

4. Opportunity to Meet Face to Face
Most marketing avenues channel towards the objective of singling out a potential customer for one-on-one contact; whether that be in the form of generating incoming calls to your business through advertising, or encouraging on-line searchers via SEO to fill out forms leaving contact details which can be followed up by your sales team.

Trade shows offer up the absolutely ideal scenario of your potential customers actually coming to you! It is a unique opportunity to increase your brand exposure and connect to consumers on a personal level from the get-go. Nothing beats a hands-on demonstration and eye-to-eye contact when it comes to selling. Allowing your customers to experience your product or services first hand will increase interest in your brand and drive sales.

5. Expand your Customer Database
Not only do you reap the benefit of meeting potential customers face to face, you could also meet hundreds of them! The amount of highly targeted buyers in your industry under one roof for a limited amount of time is an unparalleled opportunity to increase your viable customer contact list. (Make sure you have some form of data collection and processing in place so you don’t miss out on any of those hot leads.)

6. Research Developments in your Industry
It is important that your brand stays relevant within your industry and the only way you can ensure that is for your business to stay informed of any new products or ideas which may influence your industry as a whole. Not only are trade shows the ideal platform from which to market your own brand, they also offer up an opportunity to learn about your competitors, find out what’s working for them, network with your peers and potentially embark upon mutually beneficial relationships which could expand your supply chain.

7. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Bigger players in the industry are generally more likely to spend a bit more money at a trade show. They will have the big glossy stands in the centre of the hall. Often they will take a few more risks introducing new technology or ideas. For this reason it is the ideal opportunity to observe what your competitors are doing so you can gauge the direction your industry market is likely to follow. You can also apply any successful tactics you witness from other brands to your own business. Apart from anything else, being among your peers and a group of like-minded people can be highly motivating.

8. Expand your Distributor Network
Not all other exhibitors will be in direct competition to you, many will be from other parts of the industry food chain. You may discover new and upcoming businesses hitherto unknown, which could be highly compatible to your own business module. Trade shows are great networking opportunities within your specific industry.

9. Expand your Industry Contacts
Even your competitors at a trade show could end up as friends. You never know who you might meet, who might turn out to be mutually beneficial business wise. Maybe you sell the same product but in different parts of the country – you could come to an agreement to supply your own area and recommend each other to those outside your ‘home turf’. Maybe you can team up with another business selling parts which work in tandem with your product – you could sell as a package and both benefit from each other’s customer database.

10. Obtain direct Feedback and Opinion
There are businesses out there whose sole function is to provide other businesses with feedback on their brand or product. Honest feedback from your customers as to what they need and how they see your brand is one of the most valuable resources you can get your hands on when it comes to marketing. It should influence your whole business structure moving forward.

Trade shows present a unique opportunity to receive real-time feedback from a highly targeted group of people. Apart from face to face contact you could also conduct a short survey, ideally involving interaction with your brand in some way – maybe rewarding participants with some kind of incentive such as a competition or giveaways. The data you collect will be invaluable.

Textile and fabric exhibits and why they are taking over trade shows

Textile and fabric exhibits and why they are taking over trade shows

You may have noticed, at recent exhibitions or trade shows, a huge increase in fabric displays. Once only seen in a small percentage of exhibition displays, they are now becoming the ‘go-to’ solution for many exhibitors and exhibition stand designers. One of the reasons for this is the on-going innovation in digital-print technology along with more affordable equipment which has revolutionised both the accessibility and the cost to produce wide-format, high-quality, full colour, fabric prints.

These fabric based exhibits are generally constructed by sewing a rubber or plastic strip into the hem of a slightly expandable fabric which then clips into angular tensioned structures made up of a modular aluminium extrusion. The overall effect is just as stunning as solid walls – if not more so.

The growth of the popularity of this kind of exhibit is due to the many advantages of fabric over solid structures or traditional hard walled displays. When you consider one of the main advantages being monetary, you’ll see why it might be worth investigating as an option for your next event.

Advantages of using fabric and why they can be a fraction of the cost of traditional exhibition stands;

  • Fabric is much lighter in volume and weight so it’s a great idea for travelling trade shows or road shows. The fabric banner can be folded or rolled up to a tiny volume and the frames taken apart.
  • As well as your transport costs – your storage costs will be greatly reduced for the same reasons.
  • Seamless fabric walls can be printed to a much larger scale than standard panelled printed walls. Usually you would be limited to the size of the printer bed or size in which sheets of substrates are produced, often with the largest option around 1.5m x 3.2m. Fabric comes in rolls regularly up to 5m wide by 100m long.
  • Fabric-based exhibits are fast and simple to assemble saving on your installation costs too. Smaller structures can be easily erected by just one person. No tools required.
  • Fabric printing holds its colour and won’t get damaged by scratching or dings during install and removal. Often solid panels can get chipped if used more than once. The likelihood of ripping fabric is considerably less than that of snapping or breaking a rigid graphics panel.
  • Most of these printed fabrics are washable if they do get dirty.
  • You can mix and match – ie: have a second set of printed banners which can fit to the same frames to use at different events.
  • Fabric displays afford designers much more freedom to play with the architecture of an exhibition stand by incorporating organic forms, unusual shapes and flowing structures. Fabric can be contorted to as many different shapes, sizes, and configurations as the imagination can create. They are completely customisable.
  • Fabric is really effective at absorbing light and producing lighting effects. It comes in front-lit, back-lit and block-out versions. Backlighting the fabric can create a lighting feature within itself.

Call us today to talk about your options for using banners and fabric to create your next exhibit.

Time for a New Exhibition Stand? 5 things you might want to consider…

Time for a New Exhibition Stand? 5 things you might want to consider…

Have you been using the same exhibition stand for several years….. Is it beginning to look a little dated? Maybe it’s time for a whole new stand for your next event.

If you are considering shopping around for an exhibition company to design and build, here are some of our tips:

#1 Quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten
When shopping around for exhibition stand designers and builders there is obviously a price factor involved in the decision. However, as with everything we buy, don’t sacrifice quality for those extra few bucks. Make sure your chosen designer 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 envisage the kind of stand your brand needs.

(Take note of which stands you liked at a previous show, which you thought were attracting an audience and which were most successful…… then ask the exhibitors who their designers were.)

#2 Build Lasting Relationships
A good designer will want to know as much about your company and products as possible. They will need to familiarise themselves with your brand and services before they even contemplate putting pen to paper (….or hand to mouse!). You should expect questions and a conversation about your expectations and goals for the event so make sure you have these firmly set out before you embark on the process.

A great exhibition stand partner should be as familiar with your product and services as your own employees and will become a vital extension of your own marketing team.

#3 The Devil is in the Detail
Smart finishing will turn heads. Sometimes it’s the small things which may cost a little more which make all the difference to how people relate to you and your brand.

Extra details like LED under bench lighting, raised flooring, fitted carpets and mounted ipad stands 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 Cut Costs. Keep Corners
Spend your budget wisely. Splurging on fancy but ineffective gimmicks such as expensive freebies or coffee and juice 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 suffer!

Instead challenge your exhibition stand designers to come up with something new and innovative that can yield better returns. Focus more on fresh and unusual ideas to get people to your stand and engage with them. The more unique, the more memorable you will be.

Contests and games have traditionally been appealing ways to draw in and engage a crowd, but technology is offering up new and exciting ways to make engagement easier and more interesting.

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, try out and experience for themselves will be far more memorable than just seeing a display or hearing about a product.

#5 Stick to a 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 mixing the core brand message.

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, undiluted across all platforms associated with your event and make sure your exhibition stand design reflects and communicates the same message.

Keep on track, stay focussed and deliver a cohesive brand message.

Throw in a healthy dose of fun on your next exhibition stand

Throw in a healthy dose of fun on your next exhibition stand

Some trade shows, in industries such as fashion, gaming or food, can be really fun events to attend, both for the exhibitors and visitors. They attract huge crowds and draw people in with demonstrations, interactive games, competitions and gimmicks.

On the other hand, when we think of trade shows in the finance sector or engineering or energy – we don’t necessarily think “Fun”!  ….but there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t exhibit with a healthy dose of fun at these events.

Throwing a bit of playfulness and interactivity into the mix, when you’re showcasing a product or brand, are really great tactics to get people to remember you. Any kind of interaction between your customer and your product will establish a connection and in turn, will encourage brand loyalty.

Whether you opt for the traditional competition, interactive game or a product demo ….. or go for something a bit more creative, you should embrace the power of fun and games to engage your visitors.

Here are 5 fun ideas to engage your audience;

Everyone Say “Cheese”
With today’s ‘INSTA’ obsessed generation, photo booths or a themed backdrop are a great way to get social media traction. Add some props, have some fun, make it post-worthy and make sure your logo or brand is present and visible … and you will get images pasted over various platforms circulating free advertising to all your visitors’ contacts.

Don’t just walk on, walk through.
Make the basic action of walking through your exhibition stand an experience in itself. Get creative with lighting, sound, signage – even augmented or virtual reality to really immerse your visitors. Obviously it depends on the product but you can get really inventive with a walk-through space.

Create a new reality.
Maybe you don’t have the floor space for a photo booth or walk-through, but with all the new advances in technology these days it’s not even an issue. You can create your own space using virtual reality headsets. You can create a new reality where your stand is the biggest in the show! You can even project the images seen through the headsets onto screens so everyone around can be part of the action.

Virtual Reality at Trade Shows
Virtual Reality at Trade Shows

Think outside the box.
Create a ‘set’ rather than just a stand. Combine the whole thing into an experience to fully immerse your visitors. If your product is generally used in a business environment, why not create an office space to showcase your brand in its natural environment!  Print the walls, print the floors, use all senses, put on demos – create an entire ‘scene’ not just an exhibit.

Create a ‘set’

Jump aboard the Fitness Fad.
We discussed “Sweatworking” as a bit of a trend previously, but why not go one step further than just a place to exercise.  Give your attendees the opportunity to make something happen using the power generated by pedals.  Anything which is usually powered by electricity can be dynamo powered. You could generate lighting which highlights a product or spells something out. You could power a moving part or object which showcases your product. Make it as easy or a difficult as you want – just the physical interaction will be memorable for the ‘peddler’ and an entertaining spectacle for any passers-by.

Generally speaking, when you say the words “trade show promotion”, people think of giveaways such as mugs, ballpoint pens and other “semi-useful” corporate items. Next time though, why not think outside the box? Giveaway a great experience instead!

Call us at Exhibitionco today and we will help you come up with something fun and original to engage your potential customers at your next exhibit.