Exhibitions are an excellent way to build relationships with potential customers and gain experience of selling your product in a competitive environment. But in a busy show, how do you make your exhibition display stand out from the crowd?
At Skyline Whitespace we have gained a wealth of experience by creating bespoke exhibition stands for events around the world. With that in mind, here are the most important lessons we’ve learned about standing out at an exhibition.
Make the customer your top priority
The question you need to consider is, how can you best construct your stand in a way that appeals to customers and provides a break from the exhausting exhibition circuit?
Your solution may be to provide seating, interactive elements or something more innovative for visitors to your stand. By maintaining an awareness of your customers and their perspective of the event you should be able to provide an engaging and enjoyable exhibition experience.
The Lego exhibition stand, pictured above, is an excellent example of understanding the needs of customers and providing a solution that is eye-catching and unique. The bean bags created a child-friendly and comfortable area for visitors to take a break from the exhibition. All the while ensuring that the Lego brand and products remained a focal point of the area.
Have a strong brand identity
Brand identity has come to mean so much more than designing a logo and ordering some personalised letterheads. It means finding a way to express your core values and company aesthetic in a way that attracts customers and creates a memorable image.
For many exhibition visitors this may be their first time hearing about your company, which means it is quite possibly your first and only chance to make a lasting and professional impression.
As Grant McCraken recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “say boring, repetitive stuff and you suffer the punishment that every bad conversationalist faces. First, we ignore you. Then, we exclude you.”
Decide which elements of your product you want to emphasise, and find out the best ways to make sure your exhibition display will be able to stand out from the crowd.
In 2011 Skyline worked with Polaroid to create a memorable exhibition stand for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This exhibit was not only aesthetically impressive, but it also made a strong statement about the Polaroid brand image. The distinctive monochrome image of the Polaroid film took centre stage surrounded by striking example images. The black and white colour scheme enhanced this initial impression, while overhead images provided a unique way for visitors to view the product, which helped this stand literally rise above the competition.
Provide an interactive element
Over the last decade technological options for exhibition stands have diversified drastically. This means that you will likely be in a minority if you haven’t invested some time in creating a way for customers to digitally interact with your product.
The range of interactive technology available for exhibition stands has grown exponentially in recent years. With branded digital games, augmented reality, social media and digital surveys prompting countless inventive and engaging possibilities, you will have plenty of opportunities to make your stand memorable for visitors.
Aligning the interactive elements of your stand with your brand image can create a lasting impression. If your business ethos is lighthearted you might want to create a competitive game, which will create a buzz around your stand. For businesses wanting to present a more formal front a technology bar could make you stand out to industry professionals.
The Saudi Aramco exhibition stand, pictured below, used a mixture of staff demonstrations and touchscreen technology to create an informative, intriguing display stand.
One final lesson to remember is that nothing will put off visitors to your stand more than overly aggressive salesmanship. Think of exhibitions less as opportunity to sell individual products, although this may still happen, but instead as a chance to sell your brand as a whole.
Studies have shown that positive cumulative returns can take up to three months to appear after attending an exhibition, but that they followed by continued long-term positive returns and increased product awareness and interest.
Building relationships with potential customers will help to ensure that they think of you in the future as a trustworthy and professional company able to deliver high quality products and excellent customer service.