There are so many ways to get our message into the market nowadays. With the advent of social media and the transparency that modern analytics software can provide, many companies have invested heavily in their online strategy and expect more out of their offline campaigns. But, still, the exhibition can help you earn more customers.
While trade shows are still an industry mainstay no matter the market, there is added pressure on them to perform and integrate with other campaigns that exist across various media.
Before we consider the limitless possibilities of creating memorable and engaging UK exhibition stands, let’s look at some of the basic actions we can take to create buzz with little effort.
1. Set the Feeling
When you’re at a tradeshow, your exhibition stand is your shop window. It needs to be inviting, and every aspect of it is part of the experience.
Some ways to improve the feeling of your exhibition stand are:
- Enhance the lighting, focus on points of interest and improve overall lighting with natural light bulbs
- Make sure the look and feel of all corporate signage matches that of company literature and branding
- Select the right personality to work at the exhibition; positive, confident people with a great understanding of your product or service
- Loose cables and sloppy presentation reflect very poorly on your image, no matter how well put together your stand is
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2. Have a takeaway that provides value to the visitors and ask for a business card in return
The value of your free gift whether it’s a white paper, ebook, free access to a paid service, etc will not only help you collect more prospects for your email list; it will build trust with those most interested in your offering.
3. Tell People What You Want, Clearly
Einstein once said something along the lines of “if you can’t put it simply, you don’t understand it well enough yourself” – or something to that effect. And he was bang on, no pun intended.
Ensure that all of your marketing materials share a cohesive message through their imagery and storytelling. Your stand is the Museum of Your Company – act like it. Curate everything with care and thoughtfulness.
A Little Finesse
Now it’s time to look at a handful of ways to make your exhibition stands stand out from the crowd. Most of these are pretty lightweight, while others may require a little additional budget – however, all have been proven to raise interest, engagement, and traffic.
4. Appealing Aroma
The old wives tale “the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” still rings true, especially at trade shows.
Aromatic food and beverages will draw a crowd of appreciative visitors and people are much easier to engage after they’ve had a hot coffee with a cinnamon bun, pie, chocolate fudge cookies, or popcorn.
If it smells, it sells.
Appealing activities get the biggest draw, and if there’s a way to highlight your product or service in a hands-on, engaging way, it’s time to explore it.
You don’t need to be Jony Ive to breathe humanity into a product or service; if you can clearly demonstrate the market-relevant benefits of using your product or service in a clear and somewhat entertaining way – you’re golden.
6. The Right Stand
Different stands accomplish different requirements, and just about any campaign can be embedded into a stand. Whether you only need 3 walls to surround your booth, or you would like to integrate your own technology (computer screens, projectors, etc.) – most custom exhibits stand vendors can do that. Just don’t leave it to the last minute!
7. Make Something Move
Movement attracts people’s eyes and captures their curiosity. Whether you’re tossing something in the air and catching it, or you have some moving signage, put in a little effort into creating some activity in your space.
You don’t work at a shoe store. You don’t need to start off your engagement with “How may I help you?”. If you make it awkward, it will be awkward.
Instead, say something like “Welcome (reads name tag) Ted, we’re providing new information about XYZ that affects the industry by ABC”
If they’re “only looking”, invite them to look something at. Open the door to having them ask more questions – get a dialog going.
Be the Gene Wilder to your own Chocolate Factory. And make sure you have enough people on hand to answer everyone’s questions, do not make anyone wait.
People’s feet hurt, fix that. Upgrade your booth’s carpet with some real plush stuff. Your visitors will either be impressed at your soft touch or thankful because their feet don’t feel like they’re broken.
10. Follow Up
Have an effective follow-up plan in place. If you’ve been able to successfully collect contacts from people it’s because they want to be contacted. This is the payoff period, no time to waffle.
Remember, it’s not how many cards you hand out. It’s how many good quality engagements you have and collect business cards in receipt of. Business cards are the side effect of a quality engagement, not the main focus.