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
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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