Create memorable brand experiences, drive sales and build awareness.
After a few years in exhibition wilderness with ‘you know what’, we’re delighted to see exhibitions and events popping up across the country again. After such a long break, brands are fighting to remind their target audiences just what it is that makes them so special.
As seasoned exhibition and event experts, we’ve learnt a thing or two over the years about creating memorable exhibitions that drive awareness and sales. Here are seven of the most important things every brand should remember:
1. Impact is everything
It’s a fact of life. Even if a design looks impactful and impressive on screen, place it in a crowded exhibition and could look decidedly vanilla. Our advice? Be bold and think (quite literally) outside the box. What can you do within and – crucially – outside your stand to attract attention and engage with your audience?
Perhaps you could distribute flyers with QR codes that take your audience to engaging content such as a prize draw. Or how about creating irresistible opportunities for your audience to interact with the stand such as an Instagram photo wall or a giveaway? We’ve often found that having an interactive presentation at the edge of the stand is a great way of getting people to find out more without making them feel too committed. They feel anonymous while scrolling through your content, yet your staff have an opportunity to interact with them. These are just three ways to help you stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression.
2. Treat your stand like a doorway to your world
An exhibition stand is one of the biggest opportunities you have to bring your audience into your world. So go beyond playing around with 2D visuals. You have so much to play with, from your stand’s layout and signage, to lighting, audio and visual effects. Get creative and think of your stand as a theatrical installation, not a branded stand.
There is however a word of caution – be careful to balance theatre with respect. We strongly advise against music or sound on videos or presentations – the repetition will turn people off, or worse, will drive them mad. Strong smells and flashing lights are also exhausting for stand staff and your exhibition neighbours. Not only that but going overboard may even stop people visiting your stand.
3. Basic isn’t always best
Using a ready-to-go shell scheme might feel like the easy option, but can be frustratingly restrictive. A shell scheme consists of a box-style design supported by vertical aluminium poles. They’re wonderfully simple, but don’t allow for much creativity or impact. Opt for a bespoke stand design and you’re guaranteed to stand out from other exhibitors and stick in your audience’s mind. For example, a bespoke stand design allows you to use taller panels than everyone else or even hang panels from the ceiling – undeniably making sure you get noticed from all sides of the exhibition hall.
4. Hype it up
Want to know one of the biggest mistakes that brands make during exhibitions? It’s keeping their stand within the exhibition centre. Instead, use social media and other digital marketing channels to promote your exhibit to the sky and back. This helps you make the most of your investment by extending your reach beyond the event itself. And of course, you will also attract more visitors to your booth.
It’s best practice to share content in the lead up to and after the exhibition. How about filming content when you’re using the stand? This will showcase your hard work and communicate what people may have missed once the show has ended.
5. Make interactive work for your audience
The options for interactive stands are limitless and this makes it tempting to design every stand to be as interactive as possible. However, we’d suggest you take a step back and think about what your audience will actually find useful. Rather than play a game or answer a quiz, would they prefer to find out more about your ESG strategy? Perhaps they’d like to understand where you source your ingredients from. Or maybe they’d like to see case studies of your work in action. We’ve had great success with interactive kiosks that displayed product lists for one of our clients – a great way of incorporating sensory design into your stand. Simple? Yes, but also exactly what their stand visitors wanted.
6. Simplicity is always the best policy
We just touched on this point, but it’s so important that we’re going to say it again. You can’t lose if you keep things streamlined. This essentially means doing two things:
1. Telling a simple story
2. Keeping your messages focused and minimal.
We’d recommend you keep to one or two elements and shout them from the rooftops. Do this and your audience will understand exactly what you stand for, what you can do for them and what to do if they want more of what you’re offering.
7. Look the part
Your stand design shouldn’t stop at graphics and the messaging on your walls. So take a step back and look at the experience from all angles. You’re there to get noticed and to get your story across – whether that’s within your stand, when walking around or while visiting other stands.
This makes uniforms a fantastic way of creating a buzz and drawing attention. We’re not suggesting you put your staff in sandwich boards, but insisting on a simple and consistent outfit can work really well. This can be as easy as having everyone in the same suit or shirt or you could do something more creative. We’ve worked with dye sub printers and created sports official uniforms in the past – there’s fun to be had and it’s really effective!
Get prepared for your next exhibition or branded event
With decades of experience in event and exhibition stand development, Room11 is the perfect partner to help you make an impact at your next event. Get in touch to ask questions and find out more about how we work.