Exhibition Marketing – Cut Through the Visual Noise!
The most successful exhibition stands are designed on the back of a thorough brief. The word ‘brief’ in this context is as misleading as it can get however. A brief should be anything but brief! Detail is key.
Your brief will evolve through talking with the designer. They’ll quiz you and question any assumptions you’ve made. They’re not being arrogant, they’re just perfectionist by nature! Their sole aim will be to find the optimum solution for you and your business.
It’s all about communication; helping them to help you maximise the return on your investment.
Nitty gritty: Talk about your budget, so they won’t waste your time producing a fantastic solution that’s completely unaffordable.
Where are you headed?: It’s not just about one event. As part of your marketing strategy, your stand needs to be an extension of your brand. Help your designer to understand you, your company’s vision and the message you want to communicate. Go back to basics. Explain what the company is all about, when and where it all started, and how you see the company in the future. Be specific! Say how you’d like your industry to view the company and what sets you apart from others in your market. Think of five adjectives that best describe your business.
Why?: Exhibitions offer incredible marketing opportunities to raise your brand awareness or introduce new product and services. They provide the perfect environment in which to engage with customers and cement relationships and at the same time meet prospective customers. But you may be more interested in identifying new strategic partners, suppliers and distributors. The point is, you know exactly why your company wants a stand at the exhibition but the designer won’t…unless you tell them!
What are you promoting?: If the company deals in products, chances are you will want them displayed. Give the designer copies of your product brochures and highlight the product(s) that you want to show and which ones you want to give focus to. Make them aware if there are Health and Safety issues that need taking into consideration.
Your shopping list: Commonly incorporated into an exhibition stand design include facilities such as a demonstration area, audio-visual capacity, a seated hospitality area, a reception area, an office, a meeting area, a storage area, a kitchen or even a bar! Utilities, power and lighting, telephone or internet connection, water and waste are generally available, but all need planning for early on in the design work.
Impact: Graphics are one of the best ways to make a visual splash. You’ll want your company’s logo clearly visible on the stand, so give the designer a copy that they can manipulate and decide on any other graphics early. They’ll advise you as to the best form for them to take. If you can provide your own images though, this saves the designer time and saves you money.
It is a lot to think about, but time that you spend on your design brief is invaluable. It’ll help you focus your ideas and clarify your thoughts, and could increase the probability of your company winning business from your competitors!