An Exhibition Stand Manufacturers View
Exhibiting at trade shows isn't easy, there is lots to consider from which space to book all the way through to designing your stand and enticing visitors to your booth. We have tried to answer some of the most commonly asked questions here to help you on your journey.
How do you prepare for an exhibition?
There are several tasks to prepare for an exhibition. Firstly, make sure you have the stand size details and determine a budget for graphics and display furniture. If you have a space only stand, you need to hire an exhibition stand designer & builder, if you have a shell scheme stand you can usually hire shelves and fittings to kit it out, or you can use an exhibition stand manufacturer to design and fit walls over the shell scheme. Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want to display and sell before creating your design brief. Once you have settled on a stand design, speak to the exhibition organisers and get a good understanding of the marketing activities included in your stand package. It is important to send all marketing materials to an exhibition organiser as soon as possible to maximise awareness of your presence at their show. Prepare email campaigns and mail outs in advance of the "live" date to your customers to drive them to your stand and think of in-show initiatives such as competitions, giveaways or interactive activities to draw people to your booth during the show. If you are displaying lots of products, drawing up a map of where they will be displayed on each shelf helps to ensure the set up goes smoothly and your products fit the space you have. Always allow plenty of time to set up your stand before the show starts to minimise any stress and overcome any unanticipated problems.
How do you manage an exhibition?
Planning is key to any trade show or exhibition, so getting all the information on the show from your organisers as early as possible is important. Make sure you know which marketing activities are included in your stand package and prepare it all in advance to maximise ROI. Before the show, ensure all staff are trained on your products and services and that they all know which collateral will be available to support them on the booth. It is also a good idea to plan where your product will be displayed so that the setup goes smoothly. When you first arrive at the exhibition, make yourself known to the organisers - its always good to make friends with them incase something goes wrong! During the exhibition, plan your stand staff rotas to ensure everyone gets regular breaks so they remain fresh faced to greet your customers and are not having to eat or snack on the stand. It is also important to have plenty of comfortable seating on your stand for visitors to rest because this entices them to have good conversations with your team. Trade shows can be draining for sales staff, so think about how you can keep them motivated with competitions and activities. Learn more by reading our article "Our all time top tips for managing exhibitions"
How do you attract visitors to your exhibition stand?
Attracting visitors to an exhibition stand is a task which happens before and during a trade show. Using the exhibition organisers marketing packages, try to maximise all opportunities there by taking out email banners which go out to their visitor database, or taking time to ensure the imagery and copy which goes into their catalogue is the best it can be. Working with your exhibition stand designer, place key attention grabbing graphics in prime positions and use imagery rather than words to tell a story. It is also advisable to contact your customer database with a structured email, social and mail campaign to entice them onto your stand with offers, competitions or tease them about any product launches. Asking your sales team to arrange appointments with key accounts at the show is also a great way of ensuring they visit you. During the show, make sure your team are prepared with open questions to approach visitors walking past as well as plenty of appropriate free gifts or on stand competitions to draw them in. Find out more about how to attract visitors to your exhibition stand by clicking here.
5 Exhibition Stand Design Tips
1. Make sure you have clearly defined goals for exhibiting
2. Check how high you can build your stand and maximise all space
3. Clearly communicate all key messages in as few words as possible on your graphics
4. Add lighting - lighting is not a luxury, it is a necessity
5. Use materials which reflect your brand
Find out more about how to design a great stand for your next show by clicking here
What are exhibition stands?
Exhibition stands are a temporary structure on which you can display and sell your products or services to visiting businesses or consumers. They are a fantastic way of reaching new customers and launching new products but they are only as successful as the preparation which goes into it beforehand.
What is a shell scheme exhibition stand?
A shell scheme exhibition stand is a space which has been partially built for you to embellish with your products and graphics. Many shell schemes include lighting, walls, carpeting and power. Some may also include tables and chairs or shelving. Most often, there is the opportunity to rent additional furniture or add more lighting to the shell scheme in order to make it suit your needs, but you can also install a more elaborate stand design into a shell scheme using an exhibition stand designer to maximise your visibility at the show.
What is a modular exhibition stand?
A modular exhibition stand is a design which can be re-used at other shows either in part or in full to fit a variety of different spaces and stand sizes without having to re-design an exhibition space every time. Modular exhibition stands can be economical to develop and they maintain a consistent brand presentation, however they do require space for storage and will need to be checked for any marks or damage before every show. Find out how to make the most of a modular exhibition stand by reading our article here.
How to design exhibition stands?
Before designing your exhibition stand, make sure you know why you are exhibiting and what you want to achieve. Speak to your exhibition organisers and check how high you can build your stand and whether there are any restrictions on your exhibition space. Place all graphics in prominent positions and make sure they convey your key messages succinctly so that a passer by can absorb them quickly and use lighting to highlight new products or set a mood for the space. Lastly, ensure the materials and colours you use on your stand either reflect the brand or compliment a key product or service you are looking to promote during the exhibition. Read more on our latest article "maximising your show impact"
Where to buy exhibition stands?
Most exhibition stands are designed to fit a particular space and are either modular to fit a variety of different spaces, or designed to fit and therefore are used once before being broken down once the show has finished. You can purchase ready made fixtures such as plinths and tables but for the most impactful results, a bespoke designed exhibition stand is the best option.
How much do exhibition stands cost?
There is no hard and fast rule for costing exhibition stands, it all depends on how much lighting you want, whether you want to install any AV services, running water, how big the graphics are going to be or whether you want a raised floor etc. We feel it is best to have a good, strong design brief and have a budget in mind, communicating that during the briefing meeting. A good exhibition company will help to guide you to develop an exhibition stand which fits, rather than exceeds your budget.
Why are trade shows important?
Trade shows are usually the cornerstone of every businesses calendar. They are the ideal place to launch new products, find new customers and check out the competition. Not only are they an intense order taking activity, there are usually opportunities to learn through seminar programs the organisers develop and network via various events which take place over the duration of the show. Sales teams can get face time with customers they don't usually get to see and the lead bank starts to fill up as new prospects are approached. Read our article on why we think you should love trade shows here.