exhibition stand design

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Some tips on how to design a lead generating exhibition stand for your brand.

Some tips on how to design a lead generating exhibition stand for your brand.

Exhibitions or Trade shows are an ideal way to generate new leads for your business. Even with all the readily available marketing tools at our disposal these days, meeting face-to-face is still the most effective way to develop a professional relationship. Not only that, but exhibition halls are filled with highly-targeted prospects actively looking to connect within your specific industry.

To help you get the most from your exhibiting experience, we’ve highlighted 5 rules to follow which will help you generate those valuable leads at your next trade show.

Rule #1 First impressions count – Communicate your brand message in 3 seconds or less.

There is nothing more important than making a good solid first impression. Apparently your first opinion of someone forms in only one tenth of a second. With a brand, they say your first opinion takes only one fifth of a second (…..and 94% of this is design related.)

OK, so we know 99 % of statistics are made up on the spot! – but there is certainly some truth in a first impression being formed within a very short space of time. And it is much harder to shake a bad impression once made than it is to create a good one in the first place.

Make sure your exhibition stand communicates your message clearly and succinctly. Don’t confuse your prospects. If you are launching a new product, make the whole display about that. If you are introducing a new brand – then branding should be your focus.

People are essentially lazy and need to be guided as to where to look and how to navigate your stand. When done properly, good design along with clear and engaging graphics will do most of the work for you.

Rule #2 Monkey see Monkey do! – People gravitate towards other people.

When you get the choice of a crowded restaurant next to an empty one, people will choose the crowded restaurant. The theory is that it’s more popular so it must be better. The same effect applies to exhibition stands on a busy trade show floor.

No-one likes to feel they are on their own or the odd-man out so they don’t want to be the first to venture onto an empty exhibition stand. People are inherently more comfortable if they are one of the pack.

Some exhibitors will employ “spruikers” to entice people in. But here’s another (….and much cheaper) idea; get your own employees to act like visitors and create a buzz around your stand. Get staff to interact with each other (…but obviously make sure your stand managers are free to engage with the real prospects.)

Rule #3 Interaction is engaging – Give your visitors something to do.

Interaction between your brand and your visitors is beneficial to both parties. If you can get potential customers to employ some kind of physical connection with your brand, it will help them remember you – and you can use the interaction to collect data and information.

Whether it is in the form of a competition where prospects leave their details – or as a ‘hands-on’ demonstration of one of your products or even just a backdrop for photos to upload on social media platforms, anything which involves your visitors interacting and connecting in some way can only be a good thing.

Rule #4 Don’t sell, ‘Gell’ – Show interest in others and they’ll show interest in you.

Don’t just be about the hard sell. Exhibitions and trade shows are all about creating opportunities, networking and solidifying your brand’s position in your industry. Use your time to create new, and nurture existing relationships by actively showing interest in your visitors, your neighbours and even your competitors.

Ask any visitors about their company and where they came from first. Not only is it useful information for you, but they will naturally follow up by asking you the same. This kind of conversational ‘sell’ is a far more natural approach and more effective than the ‘hard sell’.

You might make some mutually beneficial contacts amongst other exhibitors too. Think about any opportunities which could open up if you were to partner with brands selling different products and services but to the same target market.

Rule #5 Follow up Fast – Don’t give your potential customers time to forget who you are.

Follow up on all your leads as soon as you can after the show. The longer you wait the longer they have to forget who you are.

Visitors will have had many interactions at the trade show, and as much as you want to believe that, as an exhibitor you were different and stood out from the rest, it’s tough for those visitors to remember every single name and product once back in the office.

A quick prompt from you could be all it takes to put your business back in the forefront of their mind. Don’t be afraid of reaching out too quickly. The day after the show is not too soon to follow up with potential prospects. Waiting too long will dilute the connection.

If you need help with your next exhibition or trade show contact Exhibitionco today and call on our many years of experience in the exhibition industry.

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.