Exhibitions are a fantastic marketing platform that enables you to leave an impression and interact with your target audience. You want attendees to notice you and in a busy exhibition venue, you’ll need to stand out. To gain valuable leads you’ll first need them to stop at your stand and then have them there long enough to engage in constructive conversation.
Exhibitions and trade shows are extremely important for attaining leads but it’s equally important that you aren’t too sales heavy. It’s a place to be creative and really show off your amazing brand and employees.
You’ll need to portray your brand in the most eye catching way possible. Blending into the background is the last things you want.
If you’re all about innovation, you may want a LED video wall screen to showcase this. A digital screen can be a really eye-catching feature and a fantastic way to display demos, promotions or just something fun. According to 48% of exhibitors, an eye-catching stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees.
If your brand focuses on being environmentally friendly, you may go for a smaller, more natural stand. Using AstroTurf grass, wooden boxes, potato sacks and a plant filled wall would reflect your eco brand identity.
The stand has to fit with your brand and values. 83% of exhibitors believe expanding on brand awareness is a high priority objective at an exhibition. People need to immediately identify your brand personality, so it’s crucial that you get this right.
Props are another great visual element that can be used to attract the attendee’s attention.
You can use large or smaller props, however at an exhibition or trade show you may want to go large. A large prop will grab attendee’s initial attention and may even be the show stopper of the event.
Spur Creative Workshop made a magic tap for The Boat Show; the tap appeared as though it was suspended in mid air, being supported by the force of the jet water. They used a submersible pump to keep the flow of water coming from the tap spout and to also help the illusion.
If you have any characters that are associated with your brand or product, it’s definitely worth recreating them as a prop. Zingy, the orange character associad with EDF energy became popular when he featured in a series of their successful adverts. Recreating Zingy as a real life size prop would work successfully in an exhibition space to attract visitors.
Spur Creative created two game characters for Microsoft’s new game Sea of Thieves.
The sculpts were used to promote the new online platform at a video gaming conference in Los Angeles. The use of sculptured props were a success, hundreds of gaming fans had their picture taken with the sculpts and it captured many other gamers attention.
43% of exhibitors spend between £500 and £2000 on their exhibition displays per year. 21% of exhibitors at smaller exhibitions spent between £100 – £500 on their displays.
Of course the cost depends on the size of your business, what shows you want to participate in, how large your spot is and if you want to integrate expensive technology.
However, whatever the budget, the below image breaks down the percentage of budget you should be spending in each area.
Give Them Something for Free
Giving away free things is often an underrated method. You can attempt a more traditional method of giving out things like pens and notepads with your branding on, but everyone has seen this a thousand times over. Plus, no one is jumping at the chance of a free pen.
We mentioned earlier that if you’re values are in line with being eco-friendly, you may have a wall of tiny plants as part of your display. This is where you take this creative idea further; why not let visitors take a small plant home?
The branding can still be on the pot but it also encourages them to come over and interact with your stand. Plus, if they identify with your environmentally friendly brand, they’ll definitely be up for a free plant to nurture.
Using interactive games to draw people in can go hand in hand with giving them a free gift. Why not make them work for it?
You don’t just want people to notice you, come take a free gift and go (although that’s still great) you want to aim for people to come over, play a game, spend some time, engage in conversation and then take a free gift. This process gives a much larger scope for attaining leads and ensuring you get chance to portray your message and also your brand personality.
Not to mention games are fun, make sure the game is on brand and that it’s in line with the message you want to convey. McVities recently used an interactive experience where two consumers were required to work together to operate a model crane.
The aim was to grab a giant Mcvities ‘prize’ nibble, each prop nibble providing a prise. This campaign was an effective way for consumers to interact and win prizes associated with their brand, far more successful than just taking a free pack when passing by.
Train Your Staff for the Event
Training your staff that will be manning the stand is vital. Your staff’s behaviour is just as pivotal to the success of the stand as the design is.
You need to look the part and be the part. 85% of an exhibitions success lies within the performance of the staff.
If you feel like your employees don’t fit the part, or you don’t have enough time to train them, you can always get promotional staff to fill in. They’re great for attracting and opening up conversation with attendees.
You can even use them for specifically ‘pitching’ your brand or just to get people interacting with your stand. That gives you more time to have deeper conversations with those who are looking to find out more about you.
It’s also worth hiring promotional staff if you’re holding an exhibition in a country that is not your first language. Promotional staff will approach situations with the appropriate dialect for that specific country.
There are many ways to attract people to your exhibition stand, but not all of them will work for you. It’s important to know the message you want to put out at these types of events and only then can you use these methods to enhance it.
Exhibitions are a really great way show off your business and have fun doing so. This may be the only chance attendees get to see something physical that they can associate with your name.
Make it memorable and don’t be afraid to go big or be different.