Exhibitions can open doors to exciting new business opportunities. Giving you the chance to maximise exposure of your brand, a well-thought-out exhibition could mean you walk away with some very promising leads.
Here are some of our top tips for making the most of your time at conferences, exhibitions and events...
1. Brand Presence
Everything on your stand is your brand. Don’t just think about your shell scheme – your literature, giveaways, displays and perhaps most importantly, you and your staff, must be on top form. Consider any giveaways in terms of your brand’s personality. What best represents who you are and what you stand for? Everything surrounding your brand must be consistent and clear. Do you want to be seen as large and reliable or a small independent business? This could potentially be reflected in the way you present yourself, what you wear and the environment you create. A table and chairs will establish a corporate brand experience, whereas a sofa, plinth stand or no furniture at all will give a more casual feel.
2. Effective and Simple Stand Design
Keep it simple. There is no point crowding your panels or displays with reams of information or a collection of different designs. Your stand should be filled with people, not an empty space to stand and read for hours! Busy displays are hard to look at, let alone read. Stick to one or two main colours and stay bold with your overarching brand. Keep your text minimal and at eye level or higher. Make the most of your space by branding the integrated panels of the stand – this will save you space and have a much bigger impact. Try to avoid additional standing displays such as roller banners and flip charts.
3. Clear Messaging
Diverse use of media will enhance your presence. For video, produce a quick snappy digital presentation or rolling photography on a PowerPoint. Visual aids such as these will act as great prompts for conversations, giving delegates the chance to learn more about you and see more of your work. Utilise and focus on one clear message that you can use as a talking point. Are you launching a new product? Are you offering something that nobody else is? Do you have some great news to share? Give people a reason to stop and talk to you. You can also entice delegates onto your stand and into a conversation by integrating an activity or competition into your messaging. This is also an effective way of capturing key data.
4. An Inviting Space
Easy access and space to move freely is very important, particularly on smaller stands where you have limited room. Don’t block up your space with boxes, coats, bags and brochures. Not only does this look messy and unprofessional, it also makes life difficult for delegates. Don’t miss an opportunity simply because a path has been obstructed in front of potential customer. Consider your stance, body language and use of furniture. Avoid sitting down, especially behind a desk. Create an inviting area by standing up and providing plenty of space for delegates to have an initial look at you and your stand. Their decision of whether or not to stop will be made within a few seconds, so don’t bombard them with questions – simply say hello, ask them how they are, then invite them for a closer look at your space.
5. Reaching and Measuring Objectives
Finally, consider your returns and KPIs (key performance indicators). Ensure you have a clear set of objectives for investing in the event and decide what it is you plan to come away with. Are you looking for more leads, new business and product investment, or to simply enhance your brand awareness? Develop a follow-up strategy for communicating with your leads and a plan for measuring your success. Give delegates something to take away or a place to visit for more information. Social media is also a great tool for immediate communication with new contacts. Follow them or their company on Twitter and send them a quick courtesy tweet. Add them to your circles, online networks or connect with them on Linkedin.
By Nikki Taylor, Brand Manager at The Engine Room.