“How can I make my event a success?”, the million-dollar question we hear from our clients almost daily. Ever growing expectation from director level for an even bigger return on their exhibition stand investment. Whilst the team’s marketing budget is increasingly stretched to cover all activities.
Alongside budget cuts and an ever-competitive market, how can you quantify the value of exhibiting and plan for an event which surpasses expectation? How can your brand deliver an exhibition stand designed to entice your visitors? How can you continue to rival other businesses?
In our minds, there are several basics to address before anything else; five fundamentals which will support your event objectives. Leading you in the right direction for positive feedback and bring important qualified leads to your sales team.
To deliver something outstanding, the first item on your agenda should be clear, relevant and visually appealing. A striking exhibition stand is the first step to grabbing the attention of a busy event attendee. Visitors will naturally be drawn to visual, impressive spaces – make sure yours is one of them!
Ultimately, if your stand has well executed design and demonstrates that you have invested time and energy in delivering something beautiful. It is likely that your visitor will apply this same connotation to your business. Invest time and interest in understanding how your time and care can instead support objectives.
Avoid unnecessary clutter, stand furniture, entertainment spaces, and live demonstration areas squeezed within an already compact structure. This will confuse and lose the attention of overwhelmed event attendees.
Keep it simple!
Clarity will shine among a loud and hectic exhibition hall – be sure to keep focus upon your key business offer. Make it clear what it is that you do. Hold the attention of busy visitors and deliver your own event objective by answering theirs.
Once you have captured the attention of your visitor, you will need to engage with them, keeping them interested with relevant and useful information. Make it memorable – keep it interesting and find common ground with your potential lead. Allow them to buy into something they need and deliver clear and concise information to consider.
Rather than only splashing your content across exhibition walls, you will need supporting marketing material which attendees can consider once the event is over. It may be a digital follow up or more traditional printed takeaways. But plan it so that it doesn’t get lost in the melee of event literature. Deliver information personally – ask questions and answer only what your visitor really needs to know.
Hands up – who loves something for free?
Offer samples or freebies to your visitors – from the simple, to the sublime, attract the attention of attendees with something that costs them nothing. From branded stationary, to edible treats or portable mobile phone chargers, make your mark with something the visitor can take away.
If your business is unable to provide product samples, present the visitor with a valuable discount or competition opportunity – either way, they’re intrigued, interested and walking away more satisfied than when they arrived; be generous and personally engage with your exhibition visitor.
As an attendee navigates a crowded and cluttered exhibition hall, they will look for simplicity, an open space with clear, accessible entry. Deliver an event space which is welcoming to all, with ramps for easier access, chairs for comfort breaks and desirable refreshment opportunities. Your weary attendee will appreciate your time and care in helping them to reset.
While the visitor is engaged with your stand, take time to understand their requirements, connect with them and present the information you set out to deliver. Personable and friendly ‘service’ will go far in welcoming your event attendee and delivering your own objectives.
None of these fundamentals are particularly challenging, and we have no doubt that you will have already addressed many of these ideas in your event planning. However, it is amazing to hear how easily the basics are forgotten. Make time to strip back your extravagant event concepts and focus on your main objective. Consider the really simple ways in which to connect with your exhibition visitor.
To find out how you can make your exhibition stand a success contact us.
At Formation, we like to talk. We are communicators who take pride in delivering bespoke exhibition solutions for our clients. Getting to know them, understanding their objectives and helping them to deliver an effective events strategy is all part of this.
The act of communication has allowed us simple humans to convey ideas, express emotions and deliver messages. Helping us do this, is the often undervalued art of storytelling.
Storytelling allows us to deliver complex information and exciting ideas. Therefore the art of visual storytelling means that a brand’s ‘story’ can be delivered quickly, and understood immediately.
Storytelling within design allows for your business to demonstrate its ability. As a result allowing your event concept to become a language of its own. Research has proven that we possess the ability to process and retain images in as little as 13 milliseconds. Therefore immersive and imaginative design will allow customers the complete freedom to access the right information, quickly and efficiently. Creative narrative can not only bring your event space to life, but deliver its message without the need for any verbal communication at all.
How bespoke exhibition design can bring your story to life
It’s important to remember that your event space has the unique ability to break the confines of a printed brochure or website. Going beyond the limitations of traditional marketing. If designed right your event can guide your customer through a flow of information. A flow that delivers your message in a way that is valuable to each individual.
Event halls are busy and saturated. By creating logical narrative, we can help to guide your customer through a clear beginning, middle, and end. Effective narrative makes your message relevant. As a result it develops your identity and heightens your opportunity for real visitor engagement.
“Research shows our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts for very long. Our brains are wired to understand and retain stories.
A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey they feel different. The result is persuasion and sometimes action.”
Jennifer Aaker, Marketing Professor, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
Your clients will dream of something bigger than whatever ‘thing’ it is that you’re selling. Therefore the most important action we can take as creative professionals is to help capture the imagination of your audience. Remember, your customer is buying a vision, not your skills, they’re investing in the dream of reaching their own business goals – with your help.
Customers buy the story that tells the why, not the what, of what you do.
To find out how our bespoke exhibition design can help you bring your story to life contact us.
Marketers are always looking for opportunities to enhance audience experiences. Apart from your beautiful stand design (we can help out with this…call us!) Have you thought about Virtual Reality? It can attract visitors to your space, keep them engaged, and more focused on your product or services.
Virtual Reality (VR), and other simulated environment experiences, can add another element to your exhibition and event. Allowing visitors to physically engage with you and your service or product. It also adds an element of fun and something to talk about. There’s always a queue at the stand with the VR experiences on offer!
When considering Virtual Reality, the first thing our clients question is cost “isn’t it expensive?” well yes it can be, but doesn’t have to be. Entry level VR experiences for events really don’t have to break the bank. Gaming or challenge VR experiences can be provided via our off the shelf solutions on a hire basis and can be a great way to engage and entertain your audiences. Plus, with mirroring software, we can also provide a viewing experience for a wider audience. So, you can increase the reach of your VR.
If budget permits VR can be a great way to create far more in depth experiences and group interaction via bespoke content. Whether this be brand engagement, product delivery, or even training. And it doesn’t have to be single use. By working together on the brief, and considering future marketing activity, content can be tailored to work over an extended period, and way beyond just events. It can be used for internal communication and awareness, sales pitches, 3rd party marketing and promotion…the list goes on!
What else is there to consider?
The world of event tech goes past the idea of just wearing a headset. Why not consider augmented technology and bring the virtual world into the real world. What better way to show off your stand design and your capabilities?
Perhaps you can’t bring your largest product to a small event? Then simply augment it there! Or maybe you need to have multiple participants gathered around the same content. With augmented technology you can bring people together. They can then interact whilst understanding the value as a group.
Or maybe you want to go even further…how about near-field recognition, object recognition, crowd interaction, projection mapping or even visitor tracking (a great way to understand design effectiveness) . Whilst at the same time collecting valuable data and delivering real time info to your visitors’ inbox…honestly, it’s all possible
Whether it’s just for a simple, fun ‘reason to visit’ at an event or for assessing that ever-elusive ROI, there is an event technology for it.
But is it worth it?
Well, it is if you put together a brief, understand what your needs are and evaluate your reasons for employing a particular method of delivery. If you can really harness the potential for it then yes, it’s totally worth it. You will leave your visitors with lasting experiences, better brand awareness, and a talking point. As an exhibitor it provides increased visitor interaction and engagement, valuable data, and proof of ROI. As well as providing increased opportunity to boost your audience through social and digital channels. A true strategy for event technology/marketing can offer real scope in terms of amplification.
Contact us to find out how we can help bring your exhibition to life.