So you are taking the plunge, you have done your research, found the perfect exhibition and now you are feeling ready to really shout about your products amongst your peers. By the way, if you have not covered these, I’d recommend you check out our previous post on making the most of your experience as budgets can be wasted very quickly if you head into this blind. This DOES NOT have to be the case though. The best ideas do not require the backing of multi-millionaire investors, they just take a bit of time to nurture and polish. So grab yourself a coffee and a notepad & pen because there is plenty you need to consider before picking out the exhibition stand itself.
Planning is Crucial:
I’m going to be frank here and many exhibitors agree that unless your new products can be filed under the label as revolutionary, then you are probably not going to turn a profit at your first exhibition. For many of the clients that we have worked with, profits tend to come after the first year which is why it is important now to begin laying out your ideas and identify which areas will be crucial to your exhibition stand. Those which are purely aesthetic and ultimately will not have much bearing on the overall design of your stall can be dropped now because industry professionals are not attracted by who can throw the most money around.
Have Your Goals at the Top of the Pile:
With everything that goes into planning for an exhibition, it can all become a little overwhelming and there is the risk that you can lose sight of your goals. Are you launching a new product? Do you want to start building new partnerships? Are you looking to boost your client list? Whatever it is, it needs to stay in full focus at all times. Say for example, you get a bit carried away with all of the exciting things you can do for a product launch, forgetting your original aim to increase your clientele and then you arrive and realise you forgot the means to keep in contact with them. With your ultimate goal in mind, this allows you to tailor the exhibition stand, promotional activities and even the staff you pick to ensure you are working towards that target as much as possible.
Consider Your Audience:
Assuming you have done the research surrounding the exhibition you are attending, this one should be pretty self-explanatory. Turning up with a childlike exhibition stand to a corporate trade show probably is not going to impress passers-by. That said, your exhibition stand design does not have to strictly adhere to what your competitors are doing if it ties in with your organisation. Just because some trade shows are very corporate does not mean that attendees are not willing to let their hair down, in fact, they would probably be relieved to have a break and check out a more relaxed stand after trudging around the same generic corporate exhibition stand all day.
You Need a Hook:
Trade shows and exhibitions can be a bit like fishing, you stand there all day waiting, just waiting for that one attendee who can make your attendance worthwhile. For a lot of companies starting out at tradeshows, that person never arrives. Their exhibition stand is pretty generic, the staff a bit too pushy and their product is shrouded by this huge list of specifications which most people simply cannot be bothered to read. All of this stuff is pretty simple to improve, but what can really make a difference to an exhibition stand such as this is a bait, something which provides you with the chance to reel them in.
If there is one part of the exhibition stand design which is worth pouring your time into, then it is this. A good lure provides an incentive for passers-by, a fairly common example is introducing seating areas which provides space for people to take a break and a window of a few minutes which you can spend having a conversation with the individual. The emphasis here is on having a conversation, not reeling off a sales pitch. Find out why they are attending, what they do and at this point it is worth considering if you can help them or they can help you.
The Exhibition Stand Itself:
There’s a whole myriad of exhibition stands to choose from, so be sure to shop around to find a style which you like. First off, if this is your first exhibition, then opting for a custom-built modular exhibition stand is probably not the route to go. Prices can easily go into tens of thousands and doing so risks jeopardising any gains you may make. Next up is the graphic design. Unless you are a dab hand with editing software, I would suggest getting this done professionally. This is often the first thing which people will see and if your exhibition stand is strewn with a Comic Sans font and blurry images, then people are quickly going to turn in the opposite direction.
Unsure of What You Want?
If you can achieve each of these points, then you are setting yourself up for a successful first exhibition. However, after reading this guide, perhaps you understand what you need but are unsure how to make it fit with your organisation. Unfortunately, that is ultimately up to you, but if you want some relevant ideas, then check out what your competitors are doing. Not only can you get a grasp of what is working for them, but it can also provide you with an outside perspective of what they aren’t doing, and that is what you can utilise to make your exhibition stand a success.
Psst, here at Go Displays we design and manufacture exhibition stands ourselves. Our Pop Up Stands have been tried and tested by exhibition and trade show newbies for years with great success. If you would like our help getting your first exhibition stand off the ground, then please get in touch by calling our team of advisors on 01733 232000 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected].