Exhibitions - Frequently asked questions
When it comes to promoting your services, company and products, trade show displays are a great way to go about it. Time is money, and exhibiting at a trade show is a big investment in both. How are you going to sell to customers when you get to the trade show? Exhibition marketing can seem a little daunting, so we’ve put together this list of FAQs to help you on your way.
If you’re going to make the effort to show up at an exhibition or trade show, you’ll want to make sure you’re using your exhibition stands to their full potential. It all starts with your display. When exhibiting at a trade show event, the goal is to build a stand that will really impress your clients. How you’re going to set them up will need to be worked out in advance, and it’s important to have a good idea of what you want your stand to look like.
1. When Should I Start Thinking about Exhibition Marketing?
To give yourself the most time possible, start working on your plan as soon as you know you’re exhibiting at an event. Your layouts will need planned in advance, and there are materials to order and services to book.
Start planning now, even if your show isn’t for another few months. Ensuring all bases are covered is vital, which is why the most successful exhibitors plan well ahead. It will also allow you to ensure the best return on your investment, as it gives you plenty of time to plan launches and potential media coverage.
With enough planning and consideration, you can make sure your stand is the one that people will remember most clearly. You can make your company look amazing with your secret arsenal of weapons: tools like cafe barriers, portable counters, pop-up display stands and folding display boards, portable brochure stands and portable flag poles.
As well as being a cost-effective method of enclosing your stand at a busy trade show, café barriers offer a fantastic marketing opportunity.
2. How Do I Plan My Layout?
Create a scale model of your plan that can be laid out on a table as soon as you know how much space you have for your stand, or measure out the area in an open space. If you’re working on a scaled-down version, use cardboard cut-outs to represent your products and elements. If you have enough space in your office for a full-size mock-up, you can use the real thing.
As well as your key products, think about your display infrastructure – things like pop-up displays and portable counters. Getting the right roller banner size to fit around your stand will be easier if you have a clear idea of what’s going in your space, as will other orders you need to make. When you set up on the day of the exhibition, things will be far less stressful if you have an accurate floor plan to follow.
3. Aren’t Café Barriers just for Cafés?
Café barriers are useful in a wide variety of settings. If the trade floor becomes crowded, these barriers will give you the benefit of promoting your business using branded banners, while protecting your stand from accidental mishaps. There’s no need to decide on a fixed position for your café barriers, as they’re very easy to move around and transport from place to place.
The following are just some ways to use a café barrier in a trade show display:
- To display your brand clearly to everyone who walks by.
- To keep those engaging with your display stand separate from those who are just trying to get past.
- To highlight the division between your stall and the one next to it.
- To separate different areas of your stall. If you’re using different areas for sitting down and talking to your customers, doing product demonstrations or running competitions, café barriers can be used to clearly distinguish these areas from each other.
- Outside of trade shows, café barriers can be used…
To create an outdoor smoking area. Many clubs, bars and pubs do not have a designated outdoor smoking area and this can cause problems. By using café barriers, it is easy to see where smoking is allowed and where it isn’t.
4. When Should I Buy My Marketing Materials?
As soon as you know how you’re going to promote your appearance, you should look at purchasing your marketing materials. Much like starting your exhibition marketing plan, it’s best to start as early as you possibly can. From small items like business cards for your sales reps to large portable flag poles, you should give some thought to all of the products available to you. Get an idea of lead times by doing a little extra research.
The venue may also have some advertising space that can be rented, and this is well worth investing in. Take into consideration the fact that there may be a deadline for submitting artwork to these spaces. There are lots of different types of B2B events, and many of these tips will also apply to your marketing plan for other such events.
5. What Are The Best Promotional Materials to Go For?
To avoid an overspend, your first action should be to consider your budget. The way in which you want to promote your presence at the exhibition is also worth considering. Consider popular options, such as…
- Promoting your top show deals with flyers and other literature.
- Somewhere to put your leaflets and flyers, like a leaflet stand.
- An eye-grabber, such as a roller banner or pop-up tower.
- Exhibition stands to provide a focal point and desk. Whatever conferences, events and shows you need to attend, display counters are the perfect solution for you.
- Flyers to promote competitions or vouchers.
- Brochures to provide info on big-ticket items.
6. What Is a Portable Counter?
In areas of high foot traffic, a portable counter will stand out without taking up as much space as a full-size table. The wide range of portable counters at Red17 are ideal for that added touch of professionalism and branding and are easy to set up, built with minimal fuss and super simple to move from one location to the next. You could use your portable display counter at any trade show you like – they’re just so fun and useful.
A portable display counter could be just what you need, whether you’re displaying at an exhibition or any other type of event. Portable counters are commonly used:
- At exhibitions. For example, if at the end of the exhibition there will be a special event, all visitors can find out what they need to know.
7. How Many Products Should My Stand Hold?
The stand space available will be the key decider here, as well as whether you’re showcasing a collection or launching one new product. The star of the show on your exhibition display should always be your products. Less is often more, and it’s important to remember that. If your space is small, potential clients may end up feeling overwhelmed if you’ve overloaded the space. Build your stand around the products that will potentially create headlines in industry magazines, or have the biggest appeal for prospective customers.
Whatever option you go for, take note of how successful it is and think about how you can improve or build on this at the next event. The best way to become an exhibition pro is to learn from your experiences and develop your plan after each event.
8. When Should I Circulate My Promotional Materials?
Leaving this to the last minute is always a mistake. As soon as one exhibition is over, successful brands begin to promote the next one. Send out a ‘save the date’ in plenty of time, treating the event with the same importance as any other key event. Try to keep everyone up to speed at regular intervals from this point onwards.
Providing a backdrop for your business message can be vital to ensuring you have a lasting impact on those you speak to, or even entice people to come and talk to you if you're hosting a stand at a roadshow or conference. Promote your exhibition presence to everyone who views your website or receives an email from you by adding a banner to your site and a branded signature to your email, advertising your appearance.
9. What Is a Pop-Up Display Stand?
A pop-up display stand is a large, temporary structure which holds up a promotional graphic behind your stall. There are a range of different ways to use pop-up display stands, as they’re an incredibly versatile marketing tool. They’re well worth investing in for your next event, whether it’s an exhibition, a trade show or a conference. Pop-up stands are used…
- To increase awareness of your brand. Pop-up display stands do not need to market a specific product or service – just like the other displays on this list. A great deal of marketing can be done if you do something as basic as placing displays around your stall with logos, quotes and basic information. Whenever they see a display, whether they realise it or not, your customers are being reminded of your business and its branding.
- As a way to stand out from a business’ competitors. Pop-up display stands make a statement and they really do look the part; this creates a professional image for any business.
10. Are Press Packs Worth the Effort?
Will a press pack be necessary for your event? Are you doing anything new at the exhibition that the relevant industry press will want to write about and share? What’s the scoop? Will it make your business look good? Events worthy of press packs include:
- The launch of a major new product.
- Announcing new company ownership.
- Celebrity appearance at your stand.
- Unveiling of a new technology.
A press pack is a great way to provide journalists with everything they need to know about your company if your event includes something like one of the above, and if your budget can accommodate it. If a journalist can’t attend on the day, they may wish to set up an interview, so be sure to send out your press packs in plenty of time. Place a download link on your website, and get in touch with relevant trade magazines to give them your press pack and let them know you’re exhibiting.
Of course, what you are marketing will determine the information you choose to provide to the press. The press coverage you gain in this way can work as a way to encourage potential customers or clients top pop in, check out your services and get in touch.
11. How Do I Draw Visitors to My Display?
Your stand can draw visitors in a number of different ways. Many of these involve a bit of pre-event planning. For example:
- Discuss potential promotional opportunities with the event organisers.
- Run a social media campaign about the event.
- Once the event is underway, liveblog/tweet/stream the event so those that couldn’t make it can see what you’re up to.
- Promote exclusive special offers available only on the day.
- Write a press release and distribute beforehand to relevant media.
You can also encourage quality customers to visit your stand by making appointments with buyers or investors prior to the event.
12. Are Folding Display Boards Too Basic for a Professional Event?
These products are super easy to use and can work in so many different situations, so it’s no surprise that they’ve gradually become the number one choice for many businesses. School fairs and trade shows always have their fair share of folding panel display boards, and for good reason! If you want a display that’s easy to change and update on the go, a good folding display board acts as a professional, cost effective and easy to maintain solution for showcasing photos, leaflets and other literature. The can be used...
- As a way of displaying facts and figures during presentations and product demonstrations.
- Outside of trade shows, folding display boards can be used…
In schools or universities. For example, during a science project where all children that have worked on a project have their own folding display boards to showcase the results of their project.
13. How Do I Stand Out from the Crowd?
Branding plays a big part here. Large posters and pop-ups are a good way to bring your space to life – just make sure you’re using your stand space effectively, and that your promotional materials instantly draw attention to your stand. Give a presentation or demonstration if you’re willing to go the extra mile. Creating a buzz and pulling in visitors is much easier if your stand is dynamic. Just be sure to advertise it beforehand if you’re planning on holding a one-off event.
Presentations are a great way to draw attention to the best offer your business can provide potential clients at the exhibition or trade show. You can tell your audience the information that you think is most important, with no room for misinterpretation.
14. Follow Up: Yes or No?
Yes! Collecting visitor information at the exhibition should be a key part of your game plan. Just make sure you’re following all of the relevant GDPR regulations. After the event, think about how you can market to these attendees. Make sure you stay fresh in their minds, rather than letting the work you’ve put into networking go to waste.
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