Exhibiting with confidence

We’ve been busy expanding and developing our existing service offerings here at Black Iris and we thought it was about time we told you all about our exhibition training services.

Exhibitions are a fantastic marketing tool for companies and they serve a great purpose for seeking out new business and strengthening existing relationships. In a bid to stand out against the rest, companies can spend hundreds – and often thousands – of pounds on their exhibition stands. It’s crucial to stand out against competitors, but what is often overlooked is the ability of staff working on the stand to do just that. After all, once the stand has captured passing visitors’ attention, the work is down to company representatives to sell the business and generate leads.

Working in collaboration with Zebra, we provide informal, half-day presentation and workshop-based training sessions to companies and staff responsible for exhibiting at trade exhibitions. We share our expert knowledge of event etiquette, pre- and post-event publicity, generating leads and managing leads post-event. Our aim is to help companies maximise the full business potential and value that exhibitions offer, by training the team members and staff managing the stand, so that revenue invested will be excellent value for money and exhibitors can exhibit with confidence!

So get in touch, let us know your requirements, and we’ll email everything you need to know about our training sessions.

Busy exhibition stand
Busy exhibition stand

When to hire an exhibition stand?

A rule of thumb says that if you are going to use a particular exhibition stand more than three or four times it pays to buy it. If a majority of your shows are on the back of conferences in hotels, universities and venues other than exhibition halls and you already have graphic displays that you are happy using at those shows but you wish to make an impact at that one-yearly show in a bigger venue and with bigger competitors then it pays to hire a bigger stand just for that show.

If you want to make an impact and stand out only once a year at an important event then hire a stand. Let’s face it – it is likely that in a year’s time you will want a different stand anyway. So why invest a large sum into something that you might not like anymore the year after.

When you hire a stand you still receive our full service of installation and de-rig, transporting of your equipment and marketing collateral, liasing with the organisers, coordinating with graphic designers, printers and AV hire companies. You don’t have to worry about storage of the stand or whether the design will stand the test of times. Because next year you can do exactly the same but with a new look.

You may save the graphics for the next year but in all honesty, these are usually used for one event only. So don’t get sold into the “you can reuse the graphics next year” scenario because I am willing to bet that chances of this happening are very slim indeed. Therefore always budget for a new set of graphics for each show. After all, your business will have grown from the last year and chances are, so will your message to the visitors.

Hire an exhibition stand
A modular exhibition stand to hire

Work it out backwards

How do you ensure the best success at your next exhibition? Start by working it out backwards.

Establish the whole reason why you are going to exhibit at this particular show. Is it to gain new leads, brand awareness, market research? Once you have established the reason you can work on how to achieve your targets. So you know the date of the show. Work your plan backwards – look at the deadlines organisers will have imposed on the exhibitors to ensure a smooth running of the show. But more importantly, work out your marketing plan for this particular show. Check the deadline for submitting PR articles to the organisers and adjust your marketing communication to reflect the main reason for this exhibition. Specify target audience and establish deadlines to reach them and ensure as many as possible visit your stand because you have invited them.

Looking at all of the activities you would like to do/plan to do should give you a good time framework to which you can work towards to achieve all of your goals. The more you are prepared the more activities will get done on time and more visitors will come to your stand to see what you have to offer.

Don’t forget to include the time to write/prepare post-event communications. You will not have the luxury of time once the show finishes – the quicker you contact your leads the better the return as they are more likely to remember you and stay engaged with you. So any post-event emails, catalogue posting etc should be pre-written and prepared in advance to save time after the event.

Prepare for exhibition

5 key benefits of exhibiting

This morning I attended (undercover) an exhibitor’s networking morning for RWM exhibition at the NEC. I was invited by one of our clients but really wanted to go and listen to John Blaskey talk about how to get the best out of your exhibition or as he puts it, don’t make an exhibition of yourself.

Regardless of the years of experience we can have in our respective industries it is always good to hear the basics especially when delivered by an expert such as John.

We all want exhibitors to have a successful show. The organisers, the stand builders, graphics people, printers, logistics companies… Happy exhibitors mean repeat business for us all. So anything we can do to help you make the most of your show, please just ask.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your stand is, whether you commissioned us or not, you can still come to us for straight forward advice.

And to leave you with food for though and perhaps get you thinking about attending that show you’ve been thinking about, I want to share from this morning the 5 key benefits exhibiting offers:

Non intrusive marketing/ permission marketing (people come to you, they want to know what you do, what your offer is, what is new in your business)

Market research – a perfect opportunity to listen, find out about your industry. Who do they deal with now if not you? Do they have a project you can quote on? It is a listening exercise, ask the right questions.

It is personal, you can start new personal connections, it’s face to face networking. No social media will ever fully replace the value of face to face interaction.

It is measurable. Plan it properly, set goals and measure them. You want to know your return on the investment, don’t you?

You get to deliver a total brand experience of your organisation (services, product, value, experiences).

But the main key to success is planning. Plan, prepare and execute for a truly successful show. And of course, give us a call for any help you may need along the way. Or email Q&A@blackiris-exhibitions.co.uk

Planning your next exhibition presence?

Are you planning your next exhibition presence but don’t know where to start? The big exhibitor manual is scary with so many forms to fill in, which ones do you need and which ones you don’t?

Have you got your marketing strategy in place, PR, stand contractor? Have you appointed a project manager for this or have you picked someone in the company with an already busy schedule?

Don’t waste a great opportunity to turn this investment into a great return. You are presenting your company to a target audience. They are there to find out who is who in the industry and what have they have to offer. It is the perfect opportunity to get noticed so make sure you do it right!

Where to start? By sitting down, establishing the deadlines and then making a plan of what happens when and who is responsible. And as with everything else in life, it pays to call in an expert to make sure the experience is as smooth and as trouble-free as possible. If you are an inexperienced exhibitor, give us a call.

We will help with the project management of every aspect of your exhibition whether you are using pull up graphic displays, hiring a modular system or are having a bespoke stand build. We will help you make your show a successful one and you don’t even have to get a stand from us!

So call us on 01978 780 421 as soon as you have thought about your presence at the next exhibition.

Q&A sessions

It is frustrating to hear companies say that they have tried exhibiting once, it was an expensive lesson in wasting money and they will never do it again.

Exhibitions are a fantastic marketing platform when done correctly. Visitors are receptive to your offer, that’s why they have come to an exhibition. To see what companies have to offer. It is the perfect opportunity for them to research the market for new products/services and compare competitors.

Why waste an opportunity like that? We would like to help and untangle the scary world of exhibiting manuals, stand contractor jargon and deadlines and make it less of a rocket science and a more pleasurable experience for exhibitors.

Marketing your company at an exhibition is an investment and it is important to get a good return on your investment to help business grow. It’s what good marketing should be doing and exhibiting is just one part of it.

So let’s get it right, let’s help you achieve a higher return on your investment with some straight forward advice. For free. Go for it – ask a question.

Email your questions to Q&A and you will get an answer by return and the most commonly asked and the best questions will be posted on our blog and included in the newsletters.

It doesn’t matter if your stand is big or small, your budget huge or tiny or whether your stand is installed by another company, ourselves or you are using pop up graphic display. What matters is getting it right and if we can, we want to help.

Send your questions to Q&A@blackiris-exhibitions.co.uk

Hire a bespoke exhibition stand

We often hear people say they would love a bespoke stand but can’t justify the budget, especially when they are going to an exhibition for the very first time and are not sure if it is in fact the right one for them.

There is no better way to make yourself different from the rest of the exhibitors than showing your brand with a bespoke exhibition stand. So we have put together an all-inclusive offer for a hire of a bespoke timber built exhibition stand – see images below.

 

This is what’s included:

hire of the timber built stand structure for a 3x4m stand with a walk in storage (other sizes available but might incur an extra charge depending on the size);
12 square meters of raised flooring with carpet (your colour choice from the available swatches), aluminium edging and ramp for disable access (not shown on the visuals);
installation and derig – you turn up to the venue and the stand is ready for you, at the end of the show you go home and we come to dismantle the stand;
a freestanding plinth with lockable door, a display drawer and perspex top;
two curved tables on the walls with perspex tops;
32in screen;
printing of the graphics but not the design (freestanding plinth front, front L shape and short back – long back subject to surcharge);
we will liaise with the organisers direct for drawing approvals, insurance, health and safety and method statement forms;
transport to most venues (within 3 hours of drive from our workshop)

All this for you to hire for £3,990 plus VAT for the duration of the show* (maximum 5 days)
*subject to availability and T&Cs.

Other cost you will have to consider are:

cost of the space of your stand (from the organisers);
electricity supply;
internet supply;
furniture;
other extras ordered directly from the organisers;
artwork for the graphics;
accommodation for our crew depending on the venue location.

Give us a call on 01978 780 421 and tell us about your next exhibition or drop us an email on info@blackiris-exhibitions.co.uk


5 reasons to exhibit

Exhibitions are a powerful face to face marketing activity Here are five reasons why:

1. Every person at an exhibition is a potential customer. Exhibitions provide you with unique and invaluable access to a highly targeted buying group.

2. 37% of exhibition visitors believe that experiencing a business first hand makes it more memorable. This is a great opportunity for brand engagement.

3. 71% of visitors believe a trade show is the best way to meet new contacts and 80% of visitors expect to find new things. (How Live Works, Cog research, 2010)

4. After experience a brand at a live event, 28% of visitors indicated they would buy that brand. (How Live Works, Cog research, 2010)

5. Exhibitions give exhibitors an opportunity to see large number of prospects and customers over a short period of time.