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Don't be scared to stand out IN the crowd!
We all know that exhibition stands can have a certain ‘look’ about them and we are sometimes led to believe that this is the way all of our stands should look, very corporate and business like and not exciting at all.
However this is not the case, take our clients CU Phosco Lighting Ltd for example (2014 and 2015 pictures above), they came to us this year with a concept of Mondrian that they wanted to work in to their stand. We went away and came up with this design, whilst still encompassing all the basic elements they needed for the show; meeting area, product displays, reception area etc so it’s both functional and fun. We think you’ll all agree how great the stand looks!
What a lot of companies make the mistake of doing is bombarding their clients with too much information by trying to fill the walls of their stand with lots of text. All you end up with is information overload. You have to remember that clients and prospective clients only have a matter of seconds to take in what’s on your stand whilst they are walking around.
So go for a few key messages or images or of course a design that stands out and entice people on to your stand that way, you can then give them the information they want and need rather than scaring them away before they’ve even come close! If you do need to have some messaging then keep it simple or use imagery/info graphics.
It also pays to think about the configuration of your stand in relation to how the exhibition is set up, focusing on how visitors will flow through the event. If you have your key messages facing the opposite way to the general traffic flow then you could be wasting money, and no one wants that these days!
It never hurts to have giveaways on your stand either. Make them something fun or exciting and people will happily hand over their business card in exchange for your gift in fact they probably expect to so the more enticing or innovative the better! Make them accessible to everyone too, but also close enough for you to still engage with them if needs be.
It’s important to remember as well that the process doesn’t start when the event does; it starts when you book your stand space and communication is key! So don’t forget to share the details of your attendance with as many people as possible. There are so many instant ways of letting people know these days so make the most of social media and utilise all the shows communication opportunities too; or even just notifying existing clients or prospective ones that are in the pipeline that you are going to an event by giving them clear and concise information too thus making it as simple as possible for them.
To all design, communication, marketing agencies out there, this is for you!
What do you do when a new client comes to you wanting all their design requirements dealt with under one roof, including their exhibition stand(s)?
Do you design them a stand and try to see if you can build one using a selection suppliers that may not understand exhibitions and all the red tape that go with it, thus risking making the client unhappy?
Do you tell the client you can do everything but the exhibition stand and risk losing them to another company?
Or do you start a relationship with an excellent stand builder (and designer if required) so you really can offer them everything under one roof?
I know which one I'd choose!
Here at Neal Display this is exactly what we do. We currently work alongside several agencies helping them produce fantastic looking exhibition stands for their clients. So we totally understand how the dynamic works between client, agency and us the stand builder.
We are happy to work with you and your clients. We can deal directly with the client under your umbrella or we can take a back seat leaving you to interpret the clients brief and pass the details on to us once you are happy. We can design the stands too if required (as that’s what we do!) but we are also more than happy to work from one of your own designs.
We will happily give advice on anything that will make yours and the client’s life easier as we have over 30 years experience. We will also be honest if we think something won’t work.
We pride ourselves on doing everything we can to make our clients experiences stress free!
A Case Study - biolas at The International Symposium Charing Cross
We’ve created a great new relationship with our new client biolas and we have Phil Fellows at Dime Events to thank for the introduction.
The client had been struggling to find themselves a stand builder that could interpret what they wanted for the event. They asked Phil (the organiser) if he could recommend anyone and he kindly put them in contact with us…the rest as they say is history!
The brief we were given was that they wanted.
- Four separate stations where they could demo their products as well as showing video presentations.
- Comfortable seating areas
- Good storage
- The ‘wow’ factor
Being one of the main sponsors they understandably wanted to stand out from everyone else. We set about creating a modern, open looking stand that utilised their brand colours as well as fulfilling their brief completely as you can see from the images above.
The client was very happy with the stand and the event. They appreciated our work ethic and the extra lengths we go to, to ensure the experience is a relaxed and enjoyable one for our clients. They kindly sent us this testimonial for our website to show their appreciation.
"I've been attending and organising events all over the world. This was the first time that I was really impressed and excited about the quality of the work. Printings and colourings of the booth were amazing. You guys already took care of everything without me even mentioning them. Your attention and care over customer was really satisfying and nothing was delayed. I hope we will work together in future projects too."
We are pleased to have created designs for an additional 2 shows and look forward to working with the client again.
How do you decide what events to attend & what kind of stand to exhibit with?
The first thing you should do is ‘research’, check out your competitors, see what events they are attending and what events are relative to you and your product. You can also speak to organisers who will give you information on their shows as well as statistics so you can make an informed decision about whether to attend. Then you need to decide if you want to exhibit alongside your competitors or be different and target a market audience suitable to your industry or theirs if you are trying to move into new areas of business.
Once you’ve decided on the event, you need to set a budget. This should cover not only the space you take at the event (from the organisers) but also include an allowance for a stand builder and/or the product you are choosing to exhibit with.
You have 2 options with a stand space when you exhibit, shell scheme or space only. Paying for a shell scheme means you will be supplied with stand walls, generally flooring (from a set choice usually), some electrical allowance and possibly some furniture (a trestle table and a couple of chairs for example). This is great if you don’t have a huge budget and don’t want to worry about the look and function of the stand itself as most of this is dealt with for you by the organisers.
Your other option is space only, this will literally give you the space on the floor only. You will then need to arrange for a stand builder/contractor to build either a custom built or modular stand to fill the space for you.
There are still many ways you can attend an event whether you’ve chosen space only or shell scheme. What you decide upon will mostly be determined by your overall budget.
1) You can take a shell scheme booth and simply turn up with any promotional goods you decide on and as mentioned above a basic package from the organisers.
2) You can take a shell scheme booth and use a portable system to cover the shell walls and promote your business more visually – this is great if you don’t have a huge budget but want something more than the basic package. With this type of solution you can either purchase the system and install it yourself or you can purchase it and have a stand builder install it for you (generally this would be through the company you have purchased the system from).
3) You can have a space only stand and have a more complex portable or modular solution installed by a stand builder/contractor. Giving you more presence than your competitors without breaking the bank.
4) Or you can go to the next level and hire a stand builder/contractor that will not only design a stand for you based on your exact requirements but they will manufacture, install, dismantle and sometimes store the stand for you for future events.
With a space only stand and contractor they will generally include a complete package of in house services (as we do here at Neal Display) so you don’t have to think about forms being filled in, stand approval, ordering of services such as electrics, internet etc. This gives you more time to think about the function of the stand and your target audience. It’s all about finding the right one for you.
Do you offer a complete package of in-house services...?
We often get asked the question 'Do you offer a complete package of in-house services' and the answer is yes!
We know it can be daunting for some clients when attending an event. Having signed the contract with the organiser for your space, which is possibly the easiest part of the whole process as there's only one element to it you then have to find a stand designer/contractor or system, deal with electrical suppliers, internet suppliers, furniture suppliers. Let alone all the forms that have to be filled in to keep the organisers and health and safety officers happy!
So for the client it's great to know that some suppliers (us being one of them!) deal with all of these sometimes overwhelming tasks in-house as part of your exhibition stand package.
We not only design the stand with you free of charge (working from the brief of requirements you have supplied).
We transport, install and dismantle the stand for you.
We complete health and safety documents, submit stand plans for approval and complete any admin forms that are applicable to you and your event.
We deal with all the suppliers and ordering of services.
We print all graphics that are being used on your stand and can assist with any additional printing requirements if needed.
We can even take any of your promotional goods to the event for you so you don’t have to worry about couriers and things getting lost!
We can store the stand between events.
We will do anything we can to help our clients get the best from their event and stand. If you’re not sure about anything all you have to do is ask, we are always happy to help!