Exhibiting is more than just signing up to a show, sorting out a backdrop and turning up to the venue. It’s a whole project that you need expertly manage, and it’s essential that it’s executed perfectly.
With 35 years experience in the exhibitions and events industry, here are our top ten tips to help you make sure you get things absolutely right at your next show…
1 – Make Your Staff Shine
When those important people who spend the cash walk by, above everything else your staff need to be just as impressive as the stand they’re representing.
Pride in appearance, smiles, polite hello’s and open body language appeals to visitors; nail that and you’ve got the type of people that clients want to do business with.
So stop the slouching, avoid staff huddles, banish looking bored, and put your phone away. And unless you’re selling sandwiches, don’t eat on your stand! Visitors are put off by all that. They want to work with and talk to professionals, and that’s the impression your guys need to emit.
As for your visitor, remember that an appearance can be deceiving. The guy in the hoodie might be a director with lots to spend. The lady in the smart suit might be new to the industry. Make eye contact and speak to everyone, but ask questions to get people talking about their company, issues and needs. Listen very carefully to get the real picture.
2 – Size DOES Matter
Don’t believe the rumour! It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is; but the size of your stand does.
What do we mean?
Well, whether you’re going for a 2m x 3m stand, or a 500m2 space, you have to determine if that size is right for you. How big are the products you’re going to display? Is there enough room for you and your visitors to feel comfortable on the stand?
There’s no point in attempting to design an absolute eye-catcher if it means you’re shoe-horning too many things on to it. Visitors won’t step on to your stand if they don’t think they’ll fit!
Count and consider every single square centimetre in your allocated space.
3 – Create the Concept
Perhaps the most important thing to think about when creating your exhibition stand is the concept. It’s likely you’ll have a load of things you want to show off, and a load of elements you’ll want to feature, but how much is too much?
The key here is how to be noticed, how to be understood, and how to make it easy for the visitor to ‘get’ what you’re saying.
If you’re struggling to tie what you want to say together, it’s likely those walking by will struggle with it too. Make a difference, but make it easy.
Your concept should normally blend nicely with the marketing messages that your company pushes out, although it’s quite common to create specific messages for the show that you’re exhibiting at.
4 – Make Your Stand Stand Out
It’s day one. You’re on your stand. But people are by-passing you as they leave the stand on your left where a Ferrari is on display, and walk up to the juggling panda on the stand to your right.
Remember, you’re not just competing for leads, but for attention too. It’s part of the concept creation – you have to stand out. You have to make people notice you, and whether you do that by using something cool and chaotic, or off-beat and leftfield is something to think about. Just don’t be anonymous.
5 – Reach For The Sky
Well…maybe not the sky, but the hall ceiling is something to think about.
Go high. Be visible. Create curiosity from across the exhibition hall. Check out how high you can build your stand, and absolutely maximise your presence.
Think about high back walls, hanging signs and fabric designs, screens and light boxes to bring people from one side of the hall to you.
Sometimes people get so hung up on how their stand looks, they forget about what can hang down…
6 – Dilute The Detail
You’ve got about three seconds to capture someone’s attention before they walk on by. That’s not long.
Go easy on the detail. In the exhibition hall, people are judging the book by the cover and if the cover looks good they’re going to want to thumb through a few of your pages.
Huge hero images of your product, big headline texts, and minimal but stark displays will draw a potential client into you.
As we said earlier, quality over quantity when it comes to displaying your products creates more of an impression than cramming your space full of pop-up displays or shelving, allowing space for visitors to feel comfortable on your stand. That’s when you can chat detail with them.
7 – Think Tech
Technology is part and parcel of the modern world. How are you going to incorporate technology into your exhibition stand?
Showing a video is pretty standard nowadays, but stay away from your standard seven miunute corporate overview. Remember you don’t have long to capture attention, so you need to think quick.
Can people interact with your technology? Is there a quiz about your product that you can run on a touchscreen? Have you thought about VR? Technical possibilities are endless today, so do all you can to wow your customer with something innovative.
8 – Light Weight
The lighting on your exhibition stand is an essential design element. Forget the venue lighting. This is all about you, so put yourself in the spotlight.
Down lights, up lights, coloured lights, spots…they all highlight your products and displays within your exhibition stand.
You know how kamikaze flies head straight for that electrified UV in a takeaway? Well humans are a bit like that too…in a much safer way!
Light attracts. Switch on.
9 – Keep Signage Simple – Your Stand Is Your Hook
Signage is essential, but while it can attract attention, you do need to keep it simple.
You want to get your visitors onto your stand with quick, concise hooks. You don’t want to have your entire corporate brochure transcribed on to your wall. People are here to see YOU, not read your stuff. They don’t have time for all that.
Let them quickly absorb your key message with as little effort as possible. If you get that right, you’ve got their attention, and that’s when you’ve got the chance to discuss a little more detail with them.
The literature? Well…you can hand that brochure to them for them to read at their leisure if you think they’re someone you’ll be able to do business with.
10 – Be Attractive and Create a Sensation
Let every element of your stand tie together to create an experience which immerses a visitor in you.
Stimulate people’s senses. Let them hear you as well as see you. Give them something to feel, and even create a scent and let them smell you too.
They’re looking at hundreds of stands as they walk round the hall. Give them everything they need to walk away with a fond memory of you.
There’s a lot to think about to deliver the perfect exhibition stand. If you need help and advice on all your exhibition stand queries, contact Equinox Design on +44 (0)113 244 1300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org