Exhibitions and trade shows are excellent opportunities to build new relationships with potential customers and promote your products and services. Therefore, you should create an attractive and unusual stand that captures visitors’ attention. There are many criteria to consider when organising and designing your stand.
Here are 9 tips and ideas for setting up a successful stand:
1. Planning is key
As with any event, planning your participation in the fair and your stand is essential. To make the most of your presence at a trade show, you can send out invitations in advance, increase promotion on your social media channels in the weeks leading up to the event and, as far as possible, directly inform your customers and potential customers that you will be attending. Also, plan how many people and who will attend the event on behalf of your company, as well as the overall strategy and goals:
- Do you want to target new potential customers and make contacts?
- Is the aim to introduce a new product? To be visible in the sector?
- Which products will you give as gifts or to try?
- What actions will you undertake after the fair?
2. Strategically choose your location
The location of your stand is crucial to its success. If you are in a corner of the fair with little traffic, it will be difficult to attract potential customers.
Find out in advance about the site plan and available locations; you may have to pay more for a better place. The best areas tend to sell quickly. Generally, the centre of the fair is the most coveted spot, as it is located in the middle of the transit areas and usually close to the most visited points (stage, round tables…). It is also where the most beautiful stands are generally set up. Being at their side can only be beneficial.
3. Offer unique experiences
Companies are becoming increasingly inventive and innovative when it comes to stands.
To keep up, create an experience that is different and catches visitors’ attention. One of the latest trends is undoubtedly VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality) technology. Integrating VR or AR into your booth design is one of the best experiences you can offer your potential customers. Thanks to augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, you can, for example, show your products in new ways, create an immersive space if you are in the real estate business, create a travel experience if you are an agency, and so on. The possibilities are truly endless!
The good news in all this? Many companies offer daily or multi-day rentals of RV/RA hulls to minimise your costs.
Choose a theme
If you really want to capture the attention of the attendees and attract them to your stand, forget about your usual trade show stand and develop an original theme which captures the essence and reinforces the positioning of your company.
Consider unconventional options such as artificial grass and garden chairs, flowering walls, or industrial decor for maximum impact. The key is that they refer back to your company in some way. Be creative and remember that the visual aspect of a stand is key: the potential customer must have a visual and even olfactory experience at your stand.
Aesthetics for your marketing materials
Your exhibition stands will be more attractive if you use large format graphics, high-quality printing and a large, legible font. To get a better idea of what your stand will look like on the day of the show, you should ideally use a trade show stand designer who can provide you with 3D views. Well-thought-out and designed graphics will attract more visitors to your exhibition stand.
Prepare a detailed budget for the costs of the marketing materials used. This may be a significant part of your overall stand budget, but it is a crucial element that attendees will see from afar, and it will help your company stand out from the crowd.
Offer something to drink and some snacks
Rent a fridge and a coffee machine, and ensure you can offer drinks and snacks to visitors to your stand. These details should hold them a little longer, often translating into a better chance of a fruitful conversation. Be creative and offer food and drinks that people usually like, such as a glass of champagne if allowed, smoothies, juices, cocktails, coffee, chocolate, sweet and savoury snacks, etc.
Before the event, announcing your presence and publicising your stand on social media may be a good idea.
Don’t forget to share your day at the fair on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram…). Create your own hashtag and use the hashtag created by the fair, then tag the attendees you interacted with during the event. Ask a team member to keep an eye on social media throughout the day to interact with those who want to ask questions or close meetings.
The right team for your stand
Choosing the right people to represent your company at a trade show is essential. Remember the goals defined beforehand and bring experienced people who know the sector, the potential customers and the companies present at the fair.
Offer goodies to potential customers
Every exhibition stand needs to have something to offer to certain people. This is a strategy to attract customers to your stand. Most companies hand out items with the company name or logo, such as pens and coffee mugs.
You have a wide range of options for this type of merchandising. For example, it is common to see personalised USB sticks or notebooks. Be creative within your budget.