Exhibit like an expert: working with an exhibition agency

Navigating the complex landscape of exhibitions can be an intimidating task for any business, especially if you’re aiming to make a lasting impression. This is where the expertise of an exhibition agency can prove invaluable.  

An agency can offer a tailored strategy that turns your exhibition presence from a simple booth into a memorable experience for your clients and potential customers. From curating the perfect visuals to providing on-site support, agencies can be a one-stop solution for amplifying your brand’s impact. 

Working with an agency for the first time can be daunting. We drafted in Dan Edwards, from Bloody Lovely Branding Co, an expert in working with an agency, specifically for exhibitions. With experience at designing stands in the UK, Germany and Austria, Dan can shed some light on working with an agency. 

What can an agency offer in the context of exhibitions? 

An agency in the exhibition world serves as your external partner, equipped with a specialised skill set for planning, executing, and sometimes, even marketing your exhibition.  

While many think of agencies merely as designers and suppliers of display materials and promotional items, a full-service agency offers a comprehensive package: from strategic planning and brand messaging to on-site event management. 

An agency’s ability to focus solely on your exhibition efforts frees up your internal resources, enabling you to maintain a focus on your core business activities. 

Dan told us: “It’s important to have a clear idea of who you are speaking to, knowing who will be at the event and understanding the specific problem that you solve for your customers.”  

How can an agency support your brand at an exhibition? 

We’ve only got two hands each and 24 hours in a day. Sometimes we can’t do everything ourselves. In this instance, reaching out for support might be the best thing to help meet all your exhibition goals. If you get to this point, an agency might be the best place to turn to

Strategic Planning

An agency can help formulate a clear-cut strategy that aligns with your overall brand objectives. This can include everything from target audience identification to selecting the appropriate channels for promotional activities.

Dan said: “Attend other events to get an idea of the scale, and what people are saying. You learn better and more efficient ways of doing things at every event, so try to skip the basic mistakes by talking with exhibitors.

Design and Visuals

Through innovative design, an agency can help your brand resonate with its target audience. Take the example of Land Rover’s 2017 exhibition at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Created by Imagination, a London-based agency, the interactive display successfully conveyed Land Rover’s brand essence to thousands of attendees.

Dan told us: “At the very minimum, every company will be using their logo and colours, maybe some images – if you concentrate on the message that you want to share, you can stand out and rely less on a busy design.

“Be clear, concise and relatable to the type of person you want to attract to your stand. Consider the size of the stand and go with something that you can suit your requirements. If your budget is limited, it’s better to spend less on floorspace and invest more in the stand, specifically the design.” 

Logistics and On-Site Management

One of the most significant challenges of exhibitions is logistics. Agencies have the capability to seamlessly handle these, ensuring that your brand’s presence is both prominent and professional.

Dan added: “When you have your design, message and stand complete. Look for other opportunities to spread this message. Explore advertising opportunities with the organiser, but also get creative.  

“What can you do that aligns with your brand and will invoke a positive reaction from your target customer – think beyond the memory sticks and pens that everyone else is doing, how can you make the life of your customer that little bit easier? Think deeper about their day-to-day experience and create giveaways that will help them.”

Post-Exhibition Analysis

Agencies can offer insights and analytics post-event, helping you understand the exhibition’s impact on your brand. This data-driven approach ensures that your investment yields measurable outcomes.

Benefits of working with an agency 

There are many benefits to working with an agency. Here are the key perks: 

  1. Efficiency: With all exhibition elements consolidated under one roof, the process is streamlined, saving both time and effort. 
  2. Expertise: Agencies bring industry-specific knowledge that can significantly elevate the quality of your exhibition. 
  3. Customisation: Given their breadth of experience, agencies can offer tailored solutions, ensuring that your brand stands out in the crowded exhibition landscape.  

Dan said: “Working with an agency that has experience in exhibition and large-scale print design will save you money in the long run. Getting artwork wrong is hard to spot on-screen and is expensive and often time-consuming to fix.” 

Drawbacks and considerations 

Working with an agency might not be the best solution for everyone. These potential drawbacks could paint a better picture to see if collaborating with an agency is what you need. 

  1. Cost: Quality comes at a price. The comprehensive services offered by agencies can be expensive, so it’s crucial to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to ensure ROI. 
  2. Loss of Control: Outsourcing means entrusting an external entity with your brand’s representation. While a good agency will always have your branding and interests at heart, this can sometimes lead to deviations from your core brand values if not carefully managed. 
  3. Compatibility: Not all agencies are a perfect fit for every brand. For instance, an agency specialising in tech exhibitions may not be well-suited to handle a food franchise’s needs. 

Who is suited to work with an agency? 

Engaging with an agency is especially beneficial for businesses with limited in-house capabilities for event planning or those aiming for large-scale, high-impact exhibitions. This includes large enterprises, retail chains, and food franchises looking to make a significant impression in their respective markets. 

Whether your business fits into one of these categories or you’re just curious about the potential benefits, understanding the role of an agency can significantly inform your approach to exhibitions. 

So, before you dive into the bustling world of exhibitions, weigh the pros and cons, and consider whether an agency partnership could be your ticket to a more impactful brand presence.

Taking the next steps with an agency 

If after weighing the pros and cons you find that working with an agency aligns with your brand’s objectives, the next step is to shortlist agencies that specialise in your industry or have a proven track record in handling exhibitions of your scale.

Schedule initial consultations to discuss your goals, budget, and expectations. Always ask for case studies or references to gauge the effectiveness and reliability of the agency in question. 

Once you’ve selected an agency, regular communication becomes key. Keep an open line for updates on strategic planning, design concepts, and logistical arrangements. Ensure that both parties are aligned on brand values and objectives throughout the entire process to avoid any potential inconsistencies.  

Your one-stop solution for exhibition printing needs: Solopress 

Now that you’ve got the planning and strategy down, what about the tangible elements of your exhibition? That’s where Solopress comes into play. As one of the UK’s leading online print companies, we offer a comprehensive range of high-quality printed materials that can significantly augment your exhibition’s impact.