How to stand out from the crowd when participating at an exhibition


Zehra Zafar

Business Development Executive
July 5, 2016 Exhibitions

If you have ever participated in or attended an exhibition you will know that everything can start looking like one big blur after a while. Row after row of similar looking stands showcasing roll-up banners with the company name, a reception desk with a fishbowl for business cards, and maybe some giveaway pens or chocolates if you’re lucky.

With so many stands, and usually limited time (and energy), most exhibition attendees are selective about which stands to visit, so here are a few of our tips on how to stand out from the crowd when participating at an exhibition.

  1. Competitions

Now, we’re not just talking about a raffle draw with a chance to win an iPad. If you want to really make the most of your competition, find a way to make it relevant to your industry/company.

As an event agency, when TEC participate in exhibitions, we sometimes bring our custom Reaction Game (which works well even in small spaces) or Bob’s Box, as these games generate a lot of excitement in our space while also showcasing some of our inventory. The games are inexpensive to brand, and they draw curious bystanders to our stand. This gives us a chance to speak to visitors and pass on any relevant information about TEC and what we do. Anyone who enjoys the competition will often spread the word, bringing more people to the stand. To make things competitive we often display a scoreboard at the front of the stand, so people are aware of the score they need to beat in order to win.

Bob's Box - Combined

Reaction Game - combined

  1. Entertainment

From cooking demonstrations, to dances, to robot appearances, there are several creative forms of entertainment that can be included at your exhibition space to draw a crowd. These can be interactive, whereby bystanders are invited to participate in the show, or just purely to showcase the brand in an interesting way. Depending on budget and permissions, these shows can be held at intervals during the entire exhibition, or at aselected time when crowds are at their peak.
OSN - Food Network Stand (2)

  1. Social Media

It’s hard to ignore the power of social media. The most popular form of promoting exhibition participation is to post something along the lines of “Visit our Stand 123 in Hall 456! #eventname”. While this is a straightforward way of broadcasting your participation, there are other more effective methods to build momentum before and during the exhibition.

Before the exhibition, post information about what visitors can expect at your stand to arouse curiosity, without giving away too much, this will hopefully put your company on the list of stands they want to visit.

Visitors can also be encouraged to promote your stand during the exhibition. This can be as simple as asking them to take a picture at your stand/with your mascot/with your promoters/props, and posting it on their social media channels encouraging friends to visit your stand, in exchange for a small gift (or the chance to win something bigger after the event).

Social media hashtag image

  1. Promoters

Promoters are relatively easy to come by in the UAE, with thousands of freelancers and university students looking for part-time jobs.

However, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of finding the right promoter for your brand. The promoters are the people who will be encouraging visitors to stop at your stand, and stay long enough for you to pass on company information. It goes without saying that they should be friendly and well spoken, because they are very often the first point of contact and the face of your brand for visitors at exhibition stands.

Promoters should be selected based on your target audience (they should be able to speak the language of the majority of guests at the very least), and thoroughly briefed so that they are knowledgeable about your brand. There’s nothing worse than asking a promoter a question only to be met with a blank face or a nonsensical response.

Promoters

  1. Stand design

This may seem basic, but the stand design makes a huge difference when attracting visitors. And before you say “But I only have a small space to work with!” here are a few ideas to make your stand work harder.

Make full use of the wall space. Exhibitors usually get at least two walls to work with, and these can be covered with strategically placed eye-catching images of your product or even just your logo to make an immediate impact on visitors.

Adding a screen to showcase short videos is also an effective way of attracting attention. Videos can be a great way to illustrate your company products or services and can serve as a conversation starter. Be aware though that volume will need to be monitored according to the exhibition space.

Depending on the theme of the exhibition, it may also be fun to do something unexpected, so a popcorn machine at a university career day exhibition (see image below) when all the other stands have staff in business attire, can help to shake things up a bit without taking up space.

20160314_230602

While some of the above points may seem like no-brainers, it’s easy to forget these in the chaos that often surrounds exhibition planning.

The busy event season will be starting within the next few months in the UAE, and with so many brands, products and companies competing for attention at these events, it is essential that exhibitors find a way to highlight their participation to stand out from the crowd.

Making your exhibition stand interesting and memorable does not have to be costly, and will not only ensure that visitors are drawn to it, but that your brand will stand out in their minds long after the exhibition is over.

At TEC we design, produce and manage Exhibition stands on behalf of many of our clients. Click here to see examples of our work. If you would like some help making your exhibition participation stand out, contact us today.

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