Exhibitions and trade shows are a challenge to get right, especially on the first attempt. Many exhibitors take at least a couple of events to begin to see their investment start to pay off. This is often considered to be a teething period, the stage in which new exhibitors begin to work out which aspects have worked and which were ultimately a waste of money. At lot of the investment that goes into attending an exhibition is often spent on the stand and the contents that go with it. This is where many companies are guilty of throwing money away by purchasing custom modular exhibition stands which are completely unnecessary for a new company just starting out.
Making the Most of Small Trade Show Stands
The trick is to find a design which works for your company, with the necessary tools to attract visitors and ideally, begin seeing a return on your investment. Therefore, the question then lies in which exhibition stand components are crucial to making your attendance a success and which are just a money sink which is harming your ROI. Every exhibitor needs an exhibition stand, but which one is right for you? There will be hundreds of competitors in attendance, so what can be done to give your exhibition stand a meaningful edge?
The Exhibition Stand
We will start with the bread and butter. The stand can serve as the backdrop, centre piece or even forefront of your stall. Simply put, this is the one component that you need. There is a huge range available; pop up stands offer a simple, stylish solution which are designed to make your life easier as they can be set up in minutes. These feature high quality graphic design and are designed for future use, making them ideal if you are planning to attend multiple events. If a large centrepiece is not required, then roller banners and banner stands are equally adept at exhibiting your brand. The best part about these is that they can be used absolutely anywhere, making them a very cost effective investment.
These are probably the two most cost efficient options which you are going to find and that makes them great for exhibitors heading to their first trade show. For more experienced attendees, or if you are looking to make the most of unique spaces, then there is the added option of Streamline exhibition stands. These feature a flexible design, which enables a unique backdrop to be created, helping it to stand out amongst the competition. Alternatively, there are bespoke custom exhibition stands. While the design can be spectacular, the costs can spiral and they are often designed for specific spaces, so these are often not recommended for first time exhibitors.
Promotional counters have got a bit of a bad rap in recent years, as they are quickly associated with those supermarket display counters where you’re offered titbits of some bizarre new flavour. Fortunately, modern designs are overhauling this and instead of being used to sell some dodgy cheese, promotional counters can be utilised at the forefront of exhibitions stands to attract potential clients. One important thing to consider is that these counters often need to be used in conjunction with an offer or activity which actively tries to engage with passers-by. Simply standing behind it trying to drum up a conversation is almost certainly going to end up in failure.
Demonstrations & Activities
Onto those promotional activities, we have examined in depth how engaging activities can be utilised to increase your ROI (Link to previous blog post) and they offer a great alternative to spending thousands on fancy aesthetics. A well thought-through give-away, demonstration or promotional activity can have a huge amount of potential when it comes to attracting potential clients. Nobody likes a gimmick, so please refrain from giving way branded pens and those fluffy promo bugs, seriously they go straight in the bin! Even something as simple as teas and coffees with a seating area provides an effective and more relaxed situation in order for you to interact with people.
Business cards are a must at exhibitions and trade shows. Consider the fact that they bring together industry professionals, journalists and bloggers like no other event, making them a networking dream. However, we live in a digital age and there is much more you can do to follow up on leads other than taking a few numbers down. Introducing a tablet computer can help to sign-up interested parties and take down important information which you can reliably follow up on afterwards. Printing out leaflets is always an option at events such as these, however consider the cost of how much the printing of this material will cost. If your website can do a better job of illustrating what your company does, then leave leaflets out of your trade show plan.
A final feature which is worth considering is whether to integrate a monitor into your exhibition stand. Every company is extremely diverse and sometimes a moving image is required rather than just seeing a static photo. Many of the modern exhibition stands which are available nowadays can be equipped with inbuilt monitor stands, allowing the screen to be seamlessly integrated into the exhibition stand.
So, by now you should have a fairly good understanding of some of the options available and whether or not they are suitable for your brand. When attending trade shows, we understand it can become easy to get carried away with all of the fantastic options available. However, all of this will be for nought if money is thrown away on unnecessary aspects which ultimately cause your ROI to diminish.
As manufacturers of exhibition stands, we provide specific exhibition stand bundles which incorporate a variety of tools to get you started. If you are really struggling for ideas, then you can get in touch with our team of advisors to receive expert advice. They can be reached by calling 01733 232000 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected].