Its that time of year again where business expos, exhibitions and convention are starting to pick up and what better a way to meet your customers than at these events? Trade shows are a great way to increase one's business presence whilst also able to get feedback from customers during your marketing efforts.
Many of these events bring together fans or consumers of a particular industry or interest together, be it for business-to-business ventures as well as direct sales with customers, allowing for a highly targeted market. Whilst many of these expos are considerably larger than others (The Spring Fair at the NEC is a prime example of this, the variety is outstanding!), you are only given a small space to showcase your wares and to make yourself know to your audience which is made all the more challenging when you have fellow competitors there.
Presenting your stand in a way that catches the eye and more importantly consistently performs better than your rivals through the use of engaging signage and brand imagery. Whilst making the most of your space to fill it out and have a commanding presence, you want to ensure that it is bold yet travel and storage friendly by being compact, collapsible whilst impactful and budget friendly.
When designing your exhibition space, don't think you're confined to just the square you've been given on the floor and it has to be flat, make the most of the space you're allowed. At a previous event we witnessed a stand that was permitted to have a temporary second floor and walls put up to simulate a house setting for their items, which has always stuck with us. Clearly, such an endeavour could be a be more costly, but there are other solutions such as hanging signs or banners above your stand to clearly advertise your position over the crowd for easy finding, perhaps a walled stand with a full wall graphic on the reverse telling visitors to pop around the other side to find you. These options would be subject to the approval of location, so please, please check before doing so.
Inside your stand, you could fit the space out as you might your own business location with brand appropriate colour schemes, images, messages, floor and wall vinyl stickers to fit your company's presence. Vinyl banners also make a lightweight yet high impact piece for your stand.
How else can you expand your branding to stick out to your customers even after the event is over? FREEBIES. Promotional goods are always a great way for customers to keep you in mind for weeks, even months after they've visited your stall, even with something as simple as stickers to apply to their own goods. Pens are always a great giveaway too, or notepads, especially at events where hastily scribbled notes, meeting times and such are always a necessity during the hustle and bustle. Informational postcards with your social media information, hashtag and even potential future events are a great way for attendees to share their interactions with you at the event whilst also possibly gathering more followers.
One word of advice, if giving away items, please do pay extra for something that has a quality feel as the quality of these also reflect your company even though they are not necessarily your own products.
One last thing, dress to impress. You don't need to be wearing a suit to look the part, yet, to casual consumers this may look imposing, but equally wearing any old shirt may push away potential visitors. If you are going for a more casual approach, consider branded t-shirts or similar to match your signage or banners with the company logo emblazoned on them, the matching appearance brings a greater sense of a tightly knit team whilst also easy to identify at a busy stall.