Here at Identity, we have over 20 years of experience to draw upon to make sure that your event goes without a hitch. We thought we’d pass on some of this knowledge in the form of hints and tips to make sure that your next exhibition is a success!
TIP 1: THE POWER OF GREAT DESIGN
Never underestimate the importance of making sure your stand design looks great. After all, your stand is your shop window for the day, and it’s how potential clients will judge you. If your stand looks like you’ve penny-pinched and thrown it together at the last minute, what does that say about how you’re going to handle their business?
TIP 2: MAKE SURE WHAT STAYS WITH THE CUSTOMERS HAS AN IMPACT
Although literature can be (physically) a small element of the whole exhibition stand it is one of the only things that customers take away. Ensure that the literature on your stand gives the right message. Not only does it need to include the services and products that you supply, but you need to make sure that the branding and dates are current. We’ve been on some nice-looking stands where literature on display included different branding to the stand, and the date on the front of the brochure was from the year before! What does that say about the exhibitor?
TIP 3: PLANNING, PLANNING AND MORE PLANNING
Virtually every show/exhibition organiser require exhibitors using a custom-built stand to submit the stand design for approval. This normally involves submitting risk assessments and method statements for the build, show and breakdown. Failing to do this will mean the organisers will not let you start building the stand until they have all the relevant information.
Submitting your stand design also works as a safety net to ensure the stand space you think you have booked is what you expect. For example, you may think your stand space has three open sides but it is actually only open on one, meaning your stand design is not fit for purpose.
Some venues require you to pre-book access/parking permits to load and unload your vehicle. Failing to do this will probably mean a long wait for a time slot to get to your stand space or maybe even a long walk carrying bulky and weighty items.
TIP 4: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
The budgeting for an exhibition does not stop at paying for stand space and the stand build itself. One of the most common oversights is not booking the hotel for the exhibitors until near the show. This means that the closest hotels will be either fully booked or extremely expensive.
How are your products and displays getting to the exhibition? If this is planned early on in the project, arrangements can be made to get the stand contractor to take it with them to avoid separate logistics and venue fees.
A common cost saving can be made when booking the onsite services for your stand – such as electrical connections, internet and rigging – whilst the costs are in the ‘early bird’ stage. This is approximately 30 days before the show. This can save up to 50% compared to ordering onsite. There are usually three stages to ordering onsite services: early bird (30 days before build up starts), standard (before build up starts) and onsite (during build up).
TIP 5: DON’T JUST BOOK THE CHEAPEST STAND, THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX
It is a good idea to consult with either your Exhibition Contractor or anyone internally who’s been to the venue before. After all, they may have prior knowledge of the venue – pick their brains and find out the best space on offer to you. They may know of a stall that’s gets all the attention due to its proximity to a coffee stall – or more likely the bar!
TIP 6: PULL OUT ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES
Having a perfect exhibition stand is one thing but if no-one stops by then the effort and expense has been wasted. Think about ways to get people to your stand in a bid to engage them in conversation – what attracts you to an exhibition stand?
People love a freebie but try to think of a giveaway that’s a bit different but still in line with your brand. It’s also good to have an element that keeps the visitor on the stand – for example, coffee freshly made by a barista.
Many exhibitors will run a competition to attract visitors. Think of something that will draw in your target audience and make them stay on the stand whilst they entering their details for a chance to win, as this gives you a great opportunity to pitch your products and services.
TIP 7: FAILURE TO FOLLOW UP LEADS
Prior to attending the tradeshow it’s critical to set up a post-show plan for following up on any leads. When you return to the office after the exhibition it’s important to get your sales team on the phones as soon as possible to avoid missed opportunities (or, worse, losing business to your competitors). Studies have shown that up to 75% of trade show leads are never followed up – don’t let your team fall into this percentage!
TIP 8: CHOOSE YOUR STAND STAFF WISELY
You may have the best-looking stand at the show but if your staff on the stand are dressed inappropriately, have a poor attitude, are unable to answer questions from potential customers or are insufficiently experienced at generating sales, your efforts in exhibiting may be wasted. Exhibition stand staff should be happy, friendly and knowledgeable, so choose those most capable of achieving your business performance targets for the show.
DOES ALL THIS SEEM DAUNTING?
If you’re thinking of exhibiting in the future, consult with Identity and we’ll make you have all the bases covered when it comes to stand design, build and installation.