By: Cheryl Cliffe
So, you’ve booked your exhibition stand, you’ve decided what products you’re going to showcase and whether you are going to construct the stand yourself, or get a professional to do it for you…now’s the time to start thinking about exactly how you are going to bring your brand to life.
An exhibition stand is essentially a pop-up shop and gives you the opportunity to create your dream sales space. Sometimes, in the real world, constraints – be they physical or financial – inhibit your creativity, but an exhibition stand is the ideal platform to let your imagination run wild.
One of the main reasons for exhibiting at a trade exhibition is that you are exposed to an audience that has come to that specific exhibition to do business with companies like yours. But, as is so often the case in life, the biggest drawcard can present the biggest hurdle: at a trade exhibition you have a captive audience but you also have significant competition, right next door. Visitors will be viewing your competitors alongside you and you want yours to be the brand that makes the most memorable impression.
The old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression is never truer than when it comes to exhibitions. Most visitors have a limited time at the exhibition and will move down the aisles looking for displays that catch their attention. A sad truth about many exhibition stands is that often one could just swop the logos because the stands look exactly the same and are unlikely to appeal to buyers.
The most successful exhibitors are those that create a little magic on their stands, making it impossible for exhibitors to walk by without stopping to have a closer look. Human beings are inherently attracted to beauty, and there is no doubt that an aesthetically pleasing exhibition stand immediately creates a “bond” with the brand, drawing the visitor in.
According to Anton Nikolov, a UX Designer at , “Aesthetic design is influencing how people think and feel. It influences how much pleasure we feel from the product. Aesthetic design affects our long-term attitude about products and even people.
The most dominant sense in majority of people is our sight. We can’t stop ourselves to look at what we find beautiful. It is as if the light that reflects from the beautiful design acts as a magnet for our eyes."
While Nikolov is referring to product design, his observations are applicable to exhibition stands too.
Don’t make the mistake of simply replicating a conventional (read: boring) showroom on your stand – be bold and create something that will not only catch visitors’ attention but capture their imaginations.
Here are some practical tips to turn your exhibition stand into a little bit of theatre, designed to make an impression that beguiles visitors to engage with your brand.
- Keep it clean and simple – less truly is more when it comes to what you are going to display! Go for a sleek, eye-catching design rather than a cluttered display that overwhelms the senses.
- Everybody likes a bargain, so give some thought to how you can entice buyers to spend on your stand. Show specials are a great way to get boost sales at the exhibition and give you the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the buyer by providing great after sales service.
- Use the exhibition to launch new products or showcase new uses for, or ways to display old products.
- A well-chosen theme makes it easier to design the stand and display your products for maximum visual impact.
- Lighting is one of the most cost-effective ways to draw attention to your stand and make it “pop out” from its neighbours.
- Don’t be shy to use backdrops and props – exhibition stands are as much “theatre” as they are showrooms.
Above all, remember that an exhibition stand is essentially a brand adventure - allowing you the creative space to showcase your brand dreams.