Get a great return on your exhibition stand by careful planning, ensuring you avoid these common mistakes.
Exhibition stands are a great way to showcase your products, services and brand. Selecting the right use of graphics, illustrations and layout from the start will set you in good stead.
Why Use Exhibition Stands?
The use of exhibition stands are particularly popular to those businesses showcasing their products and services to the general public such as wedding fares, craft fairs and also careers exhibitions. Others prefer to exhibit at trade-only shows or networking events.
Trade fair events are an ideal marketing opportunity to engage directly with an audience who are focused; attendees of such events are there by choice and invite marketing. Many companies take advantage of exhibitions or fares to conduct some market research for the purposes of new product launches, providing an offer or introducing a new service, investigating their marketing reach and strategy, connect with potential customers and promote careers working within their company.
Essential elements of planning your attendance at an event are:
- Have a clear objective as to what you wish to achieve
- Decide if you are showcasing the business as a whole or launching a new focused campaign or offer
- Set a specific target i.e. generate new leads or follow ups or to conduct a certain number of market research interviews
- Contact your existing customers and advertise the event via newsletters, emails and social media platforms
- When designing your exhibition stand, maximise your exposure by providing plenty of well written take away literature
- Make your stand attractive, inspiring and welcoming – it only takes a few seconds to be judged by your potential new customers
- Ensure you can clearly demonstrate what you can offer your customers when exhibiting your brand
- Research events to attend that are relevant and suitable for your business and reserve your space in the best possible area available by booking early. Many annual events take bookings a year in advance so get in early as to not miss out
Avoid Common Mistakes
Design and Printing – Ensure than you communicate effectively with your printing company so that from the get go your exhibition stand will display correctly and the visual aspects are as eye-catching as possible. Go for a bold, colourful stand that showcases your company and makes it clear what you do. When planning your stand, remember to make the most use out of the visual area as possible and position the messages correctly, many stands have a curve and although this is marked out, design your graphics and texts with this in mind. By using a professional printing service, a dedicated design team will be on hand to assist you. Always ask questions and express your objectives, working together to create printed media that is a worthwhile investment for your business.
Don’t forget to order your roller banners and additional take away printed literature to compliment your exhibition stand; the handing out of leaflets and business cards will guarantee publicising of your special offers, new company launch or to merely provide information about your business. All actions will be of immense benefit, forming long lasting connections with your prospective customers.
Logistics and Setup – A large number of common mishaps occur when setting up. One of the most popular issues being hanging the display the wrong way up when assembling your stand. Practice setting up your display area prior to the event so you can get to grips with the logistics and the assembly, comparable to that camping trip – seeing many not so happy campers, not on speaking terms and asleep in the car after having difficulties putting up the tent. Some people can find the graphics difficult to assemble if they are not blessed with height, so it maybe beneficial to some to take a small set of steps along. Safeguard the lifespan of your stands and banners by carefully looking after them and packing them away with care, they are an investment and if treated properly can stay in tip top condition.
Follow Ups – At many events you are likely to interact with potential and existing customers alike. Be sure to have plenty of business stationery in order to record any enquiries and collate contact details such as email addresses. Always follow up enquiries and create a good impression, if you don’t reconnect, someone else will. It is worth remembering that only a small number of business focused sales are actually achieved during the exhibition event, it is essentially an introductory opportunity to announce your presence and wow the crowds.
Presenting your company – Now you have the visual announcement of your business carefully planned and laid out, your objectives and targets outlined, it’s essential that your representatives are briefed to ensure the public face of your business is as well informed and organised as the physical media. Select a small team on a rotational basis, a happy workforce promotes a good business. Company representatives should not eat or drink whilst at their post, neither should they be constantly tied up on the telephone, laptop or tablet. By all means the use of technology can enhance and help to demonstrate specifics in relation to your products or services, but it is essential that the passing spectator feels you are available and welcoming at all times.