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 thing you want.
If you’re all about innovation, you may want a LED video wall screen to showcase this. 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. People need to immediately identify your brand personality, so it’s crucial that you get this right.
Use Event Props
Event props are another great visual element that can be used to attract the attendees' attention. A giant prop will grab the attendee’s initial attention and may even be the show stopper of the event. Event props don't only draw the eye but they are perfect visual tools to convey your brand personality in a bold and entertaining way.
An example of the successful use of event props: 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 event props. Zingy, the orange character associated with EDF energy became popular when he featured in a series of their successful adverts. Recreating Zingy as a real life-size giant prop would work successfully in an exhibition space to attract visitors.
Another example of successful event props: 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 event props was a success, hundreds of gaming fans had their picture taken with the sculpts and it captured many other gamers' attention.
Event props provide a great photo opportunity. This is not only engaging, but it can really help your brand go viral by attendees sharing their photos on social media.
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, this does not only include the event props but every design element of the stand.
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. We mentioned earlier that if your 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?
Your branding can be on the pot, which encourages the visitors to come over and interact with your stand. And who's not 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.
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 prize.
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 at the part and be the part. 85% of an exhibition's 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 conversations with attendees.
There are many ways to attract people to your exhibition stand. Exhibitions are a really great way to show off your business and have fun doing so.
Whether you use games, freebies or event props to catch attention, make sure you convey your brand message and stand out from the crowd.
Make it memorable and don’t be afraid to go big or be different.
See Display Wizard website for exhibition stand statistics.
See The Balance Small Business for trade show etiquette.