GUIDE TO EXHIBITING

We appreciate that you may be well versed with the organisation and management of exhibiting to maximise your business success. However we have put together this information to ensure that you are asking your self the right questions and implementing procedure which will strengthen your exhibition success.

This page addresses the following:

We hope that you find this guide useful.

Before you start: here are 3 tips you should be considering before you even think about exhibiting:

  • Are you clear on your budgets? As money is scarce have you considered attending smaller shows using a smaller/cheaper but better designed stand to reduce your costs? Get some quotes from us based on last year’s stands.
  • Assuming all is well and the stand is booked, have you considered accommodation? Book now to get the cheapest rates.
  • As soon as the show dates are known and your position is booked the next step is to create a wish list of visitors and begin to build a relationships with them making them aware that you will be there.

Fact from organisers data:-
on average 75% of visitors to an exhibition are there to buy or plan to buy in the future.


Stand Design.

Your goal is to ensure that you own the space around your stand, but as you may have seen there is a lot of money being spent by large organisations on maximum impact stand manufacture. It can be easy for you to get dwarfed or overlooked by bigger-budget stands nearby. However you can stand out without spending money, but by utilising intelligent design.

There is a lot of thought that needs to go into a stand design and set up to ensure that it not only looks good but that visitors are willing to visit and engage with staff on the stand.

Depending on where you are in the exhibition hall, you are going to get different types of traffic. So, what are you close to?

  • Cafe.
  • Toilet.
  • Bar.
  • Entrance/Exit.
  • Seminar rooms.
  • VIP/Hospitality areas.
  • Major sponsors.

Download this FREE Guide to Exhibiting Today!

Each of these areas will generate different types and volumes of traffic past your stand. For example, if you are near to a café, why not provide some seating on your stand and encourage visitors buying food to sit on your stand and eat? How could you theme this to be part of your stand? If you are near a bar, maybe offer branded bar snacks. If you are near a seminar room, you will get large bursts of traffic at predictable times. How can you take advantage of this? Can you theme your stand to reflect topics under discussion in the seminar room? Maybe encourage visitors to vote on contentious issues and collate the results to be sent to them after the show…

Once you know why traffic is coming past your stand, you can devise ways to attract it onto your stand. Every stand we build takes this point (and many others) into account. If you want help get in touch.

To ensure the design process is quick and headache free, think about the following in order to decide:

  • What percentage of attendees falls into our target market?
  • Which of our competitors also exhibit at this show?
  • Has someone from our organisation visited the show?
  • How much will our investment need to be in this show?
  • What type of promotional assistance does the show management offer?
  • What return on investment can be expected from this show?

Staffing.

The most critical aspect of any booth or stand is the people who will staff it during the course of the show. Your image doesn’t stop with an elaborate stand, fancy graphics and exhibits or impressive literature. These certainly help, but its people who sell your company and its products or services.

Exhibition staff training is essential for a unified and ultimately successful effort. Choose staff that are:

  • Enthusiastic
  • Observant
  • Have a good level of product knowledge
  • Are keen listeners
  • Are empathetic to your stand visitors.

Getting the Most From Your Show… after the event.

You may have gathered a large number of contacts from the show, you need to make sure you get value for money by turning these into leads whilst they are fresh in your memory and you are fresh in theirs. Don’t just help prop up the exhibition industry.

If your show left you feeling that your entire exhibition budget has gone to waste, here are some tips to help you make the most of the information gained.

  • Prioritise the potential customers you met into 3 bands:
    1. Those who seem interested and ready to buy now.
    2. Those who are interested but not right now (they have a yearlong contract etc).
    3. Those who aren’t interested, the tyre kickers.
  • It is important to make sure that the people you met are followed up methodically and feel valued. Write, email or call everyone you met. Have you followed up all these and thanked people for visiting you?
  • Be regular – you have started the trust building process at the show, but the contact needs to hear from you semi regularly. Monthly contact will help you to build trust and keep you ‘front of mind’ for when the contact has a requirement you can meet.
  • Analyse your ROI – work out how valuable the show has been for you. How many clients have you signed? How much are these worth per annum? This way you can modify the process for next year to make the show more successful.

If you’re just too busy with your main stream business we can provide a tried and tested post show follow up process that will follow up all your leads, engage you contacts in conversation and extract all possible business to help pay for your show, but primarily we would like to help you to an even better show next time.


Show Strategy.

Ask yourself these important questions and carefully consider your responses:

1. Do we want to…

  • Increase existing products/services in existing markets?
  • Introduce new products/services into existing markets?
  • Introduce existing products/services into new markets?
  • Introduce new products/services into new markets?
  • Introduce the company into existing markets?
  • Introduce the company into new markets?

2. What products/product lines need to be displayed?

3. Who is our target audience at this show?

4. What are our exhibiting objectives?

5. Do we have a written exhibiting plan?

6. Has a budget been established?

7. Can we refurbish/use our current exhibits?

8. Do we need new exhibits?

9. Do we need new graphics?

10. What services are needed on the stand?

  • Audio/visual equipment?
  • Furniture?
  • Plants/floral decorations
  • Computers
  • Telephone chargers
  • Sockets/lights

11. Has insurance been arranged?

How you measure great results is up to you, but our clients typically measure exhibition results in terms of existing client retention, new client acquisition and projection of the company message and brand to their target audience.
Download this FREE Guide to Exhibiting Today!


Overall Stand Success.

With these goals in mind, our four steps to Stand Success are:

Use the 50 Metre test.

A visitor is stood looking at your stand from 50 Metres:

  • What will they think?
  • What assumptions will they make?
  • What will they want to talk to you about?
  • Are they likely to want to visit you?

This sounds simple, but the answers may well surprise you. Try it next time you visit a trade show, or you are looking at your own stand, then ask yourself (and your stand designer) how your stand would look with your competitor’s logo on it. Does it really represent your company, or is it equally applicable to anyone else in your industry?

Make your visitors feel comfortable visiting your stand.

Walk around any trade show or exhibition and you will see some stands that attract you more than others. There are a lot of factors involved in making your stand feel comfortable to visitors including staffing, layout, seating and design:

  • Get staff levels right. Don’t have 10 staff waiting to pounce! Use a lead person to welcome and filter to others (more on this below).
  • Visitors don’t want to be trapped on your stand. Give them the security of an exit route.
  • Don’t use low sofas or chairs, use stools that keep the visitors heads at eye level – it’s far less intimidating.
  • Position yourself in front of your stand and ask yourself how comfortable you would feel visiting this stand for the first time.

Run a filtration system.

Not all the visitors to your stand are equally important to you and so need to be dealt with in different ways. Have a lead person greet and filter visitors so that:

  • Customers are handed onto account managers.
  • Prospects are introduced to relevant sales people.
  • Technical enquiries are routed to a technician.
  • VIPs are immediately identified and dealt with accordingly.
  • Students are offered information off to one side.

Have something new.

Make your stand eye catching; people will gravitate towards something new or unusual. And as more people see your stand they will tell their associates, word will spread. Curiosity draws in many potential customers and new ideas earmark you as a trend setter and make you stand out from the crowd. Customers will form a judgement about your product when they see your stand. Make it a good one!

Examples:

  • New product release.
  • New product branding.
  • New information.
  • New forms of presentation.
  • New look stand.

Your goal is to apply your best resources to your most valuable visitors. You can also hold a list of customers & VIPs that you know will be visiting the show with the name of the person in your company to deal with them.

There is a lot of thought that needs to go into a stand design and set up to ensure that it not only looks good but that visitors are willing to visit and engage with staff on the stand.

We will help you stand out, draw visitors to your stand and help you avoid being overshadowed by your competitors. After all, exhibitions are the only medium which allows you to use all 5 senses when interacting with potential customers.


Your Obligations as an Exhibitor.

When deciding whether or not to exhibit at a show you should take a few things into consideration:

Most information must be submitted by the latest, 2 months before a show opens. This is to include:

  • Health & Safety declaration – Submit via Exhibitors manual.
  • Contractors Form – Submit via Exhibitors manual.
  • Risk Assessment – Submit via Exhibitors manual (and see note below).
  • Method Statement – Submit via Exhibitors manual.
  • Stand Plans – Depends on stand type.

One set of plans should be sent to the show organisers, which must include:

  • Detailed technical plans at a scale of 1:50 detailing:
    • Side & height elevations.
    • Evacuation plan showing all necessary smoke detectors, fire exit signage and locations of fire extinguishers.
    • Stand number & exhibitor name.
    • Details of any rigging requirements or hung elements.
  • On site contact person and mobile phone number.
  • Detailed information about the materials being used. Including up to date fire resistance certificates.
  • A Risk Assessment and Method Statement for the installation and dismantling of the event has to be submitted.
  • If you are planning to build a second storey, a complex structure (i.e. a platform or stage over 50cm high) or any structure in the outside exhibition areas (i.e. the courtyard, the avenue, Zone 3,4,5 or 6), you must submit a second set of plans including the below additional information to the official structural technicians for the event. All costs relative to obtaining proper certification are at the cost of the exhibitor. Local architects may request participation by a representative of the event venue.
  • Distribution plans of both levels of the construction (if not included with the above documents). • Calculations of the main structure which must include the following:
    • Full structural calculations of all build elements, taking into account the maximum floor loadings of the exhibition floors. Details about the load transmission of pillars to the exhibition floor of any upper decks.
    • Details about the maximum horizontal impact strength of any walling or handrail element (should be minimum 1kN per m).
    • Outdoor structures only: Details about wind stability (minimum 0.52kN/sqm according to Spanish build regulations CTE ).
    • Author of the calculations, title, date of drawing & full contact details.

Download this FREE Guide to Exhibiting Today!
Please note that double deck stands are obliged to fill in the Double Deck Form in order to highlight their planned control measures to prevent accidents when working at height. When last minute changes to stand design occur how do you deal with them?
Changes to stand design can occur for many reasons, the most common are;

  • Your main showcase product will not be ready in time.
  • Your MD has come up with a good idea.
  • You have found good information on what your competitor is doing at the show.
  • Your budget has been cut.
  • Staff movement means a new face is organising the stand and has different ideas.
  • Graphics (which are always the last thing to sort out) don’t give the message clearly enough.

At Taylex we take care of all of the above to the client’s specification. However, normally at this late stage it is most likely to be the organisers concerns the result in things having to change. Examples of which are:

  1. Carpet colours clash with the halls corridor carpet, which can be a health and safety problem when platforms are involved, and anyway you don’t want your stand looking like it’s part of the gangways.
  2. Organisers get concerned if we try to wall in an open side of the stand because it spoils there open views through the halls. We have got round this and gained approval in the past by adding windows in the wall.
  3. Heights of stands are a big issue. We have had to reduce wall heights because we have a 4m high wall on a 50mm platform and this leads to plans getting rejected. So we then have to make walls that are 3950mm to allow for this or reduce the height to 3m walls and end up with 3050mm stand height.

Taylex comes across these problems on a regular basis and are experienced in working closely alongside the client to get them resolved time and cost effectively. And with Taylex’s good relationship with the organisers you can have a little more time to get stand drawings approved.


Food for Thought…

Here’s something you will recognise… You’ve just finished a successful trade show. You have some great contacts to follow up and everyone is delighted.

The marketing department are pleased with the results and the sales team immediately begin following up to close the hot prospects – about 10% of all of the contacts. The remaining 90% never receive another contact by phone or email!

Why?

Because neither the marketing or sales staff have the time or energy to follow up and weed out the 50% of “nonqualified” contacts and to nurture the remaining 40% that would eventually become future hot prospects.

Failing to remain in contact with these potential clients could result in a tremendous loss of sales. It’s only a matter of time before the remaining 40% of would be clients buy from your competition.

Thankfully your company is blissfully unaware of these lost sales. If it were you can imagine the discussion:

Marketing: “Sales are lazy – we work our butts off to produce great leads and you don’t follow them up.”

Sales: “Marketing produce time wasting weak leads. No one has budget or is ready to buy. We may as well just phone from yellow pages!” I parody slightly.

But … the real loser is your company that has spent out for an expensive trade show for only 10% of the contacts to be sold to. When a further 40% of contacts could have become customers too.

The challenge is to identify and keep in touch with these 40% of contacts, feeding them relevant information and keeping your name in their mind so that when they come to buy, you are their natural choice.

This is not a role that either marketing or sales traditionally do. But this is exactly what you should be doing; taking leads that are generally neglected and carefully, patiently and methodically nurturing them until they are ready to become buying clients. Building a relationship of trust until the lead is ready to become a dependable buying client.

Marketing and Sales departments really don’t have time to spend months upon months communicating with leads that aren’t yet ready to buy, but should they?

When the client is ready to buy, you should have the contact to turn the lead over to your sales staff to close the sale.

Each lead should receive a personal campaign based on their individual needs and proximity to a purchase of goods and services.

Please use the link below to download our FREE guide, alternatively please contact us directly if you would to discuss your exhibition requirements.

Download Exhibition Guide