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10 Tips to Increase Visitor Engagement & Stand Interactivity

For exhibitors, standing out on the exhibition floor, gaining attention and interacting with visitors to the show are vital to the success of any stand.  At The Black Pear, one of the most common requests from our clients whilst taking a detailed brief from them regarding the design and functionality of their stand is ‘What are the most effective ways to increase traffic to our stand and ensure optimum visitor engagement?” This is a crucial element that both parties need to be aware of – ie the client and the design team. Working to solve this issue is a key concept of our designs; and we have compiled a list of 10 Top Tips to share some of our insights to this complex problem.

  1. Pre-Event Promotion

Connect with your audience as soon as you have confirmed your space at the exhibition (even if this means you book your floor space at the next year’s exhibition the minute this year’s show has ended!) We recommend a minimum of 6 – 8 months generally to start building up your pre-show communications; start with a simple ‘Save the Date’ message on your key social networks, website, email signature banners and from there build on that with regular updates of your stand’s location; what you will be exhibiting, ‘tease’ with any new products or services you will be launching and ensure you keep a regular flow of updates and posts across all your channels.

2. Connect with the Show Organisers

The organisers of the show are the best place to start with your initial enquiries. Contact them to find out what promotional platforms and opportunities they are offering exhibiting – could you become a top sponsor of the show’s lanyards or promotional bags for example? There will be a multitude of options available to suit your budget, even something as low cost as producing content for their website or email marketing campaign.

3. Reach out to Trade Press

Industry-specific trade press are your next port of call. Prepare a show-specific press release containing all relevant information about your company and why you are exhibiting; not forgetting to include key contact details, notes for editor and high resolution imagery and logo to submit along with the written content. Make it as easy as possible for a publication to run your article by preparing everything well in advance. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain media attention particularly if you are launching a brand new product or service.

4. Appointment setting with Hosted Buyers and Visitors

Do your research to find out who the visitors to the show will be and prepare a short email along with your portfolio or link to your website, inviting visitors to make a pre-arranged appointment with you to visit you on your stand. Alternatively, investigate how you could get involved with the show’s Hosted Buyer programme – is there any option to engage with these key buyers in a more intimate, engaging way? Making pre-arranged appointments with top prospects is a great way to ensure your time on the stand is best spent and you are meeting guaranteed top quality leads.

5. Be savvy when it comes to Data Collection

Games, quizzes, competitions and prize draws are a great way to maximise engagement (and capture data!) but also think about ways in which you could bring your product to life for stand visitors – how can you provide them with a way to immerse visitors in to whatever it is you are offering?

6. Interactive Showcase Opportunities

Visitors to any show will engage with brands and exhibitors the most who invite them to get hands-on with their product range and interact freely on stand. Think about how you could do this to best showcase your offering. Product demos, video displays, touch screen presentations, relevant graphics and imagery are some of the most popular tools to create the most interactivity on stand – at The Black Pear, we are always happy to suggest a multitude of other solutions tailored to your brand and product

7. Soft seating, comfortable private meeting space

Put yourself in the shoes of any visitor to an exhibition – and their fitness tracker – and you will soon realise just how tiring walking the floor of an exhibition hall for hours on end can be! Make your stand more welcoming and inviting by providing soft seating, cushions, privacy and comfort. Think about offering refreshments on stand (many show organisers allow you to hire an on-stand barista) – bearing in mind any health and safety implications of course!

8. Offer an ‘Event Only’ promotion

Use this exhibition as a way to offer a promotional deal that is specifically only available to visitors to your stand during the show. Unique discount codes, special offers and huge reductions on a specific product or service are sure-fire ways to get attention and will generate new leads and business for you to follow up on after the show.

9. Invest in high quality Giveaways

Attract more visitors to your stand by investing in high quality merchandise for give-aways on stand. Use this another opportunity to promote your company’s’ brand by having nicely branded stationary, gifts and sweets. Something that can be used after the show by the visitor is always a good idea – eg a travel coffee cup, key-ring, stress ball or a bag to name just a few.

10. Celebrity Guest / Host on Stand

Is there a well-known celebrity type figure popular in your industry, who’s own personal brand aligns to yours? Celebrity endorsement of any product is a huge trend, and a very attractive draw to any stand would be to offer photo opportunities (great for trending on social media) or to set up a series of talks given by the celebrity host on your stand – space permitting. Utilising a well-known figure in your industry to offer educational insights, inspirational tips or to share their own personal experience of your product for example are great ways to add value to any visitor interacting on your stand.

We hope these tips have been useful to you, and provided some fresh new creative inspiration on how you could maximise audience engagement and leave a last impression on visitors to your stand. We fully appreciate the significant level of investment our clients put into their presence at exhibition shows and trade fairs and always aim to provide the most impactful solutions to meet budgetary and space restrictions.

Email us today at The Black Pear to find out how we can help you get more bang for your buck at your next exhibition!

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Exhibition Stands for a busy Spring Season

Spring 2016 has seen us busier than ever, designing exhibition stands for some fantastic companies. Check out our designs that are functional and impactful.  We have had some great feedback from our clients who have seen a real return on investment from their bespoke, custom built exhibition stands. I am sure you will agree that our stands are bright and attention grabbing, just what is needed at a busy Trade Show to get potential clients flocking to your stand.

Do get in touch with us at info@theblackpear.com if you would like to discuss ideas to make your business stand out at your next show.

Accountex – Caseware Exhibition Stand

Bright with clean lines and lots of screens to demo software.  Accountex is a busy financial services expo. With lots of software companies exhibiting at the show,  the challenge was to create a bright, fun and appealing stand that could still function as a demo area.

 

Exhibition stands Caseware

BIBA – Broker Assess Exhibition Stand

Modern and eye catching, demo screens and counter area.  This stand was designed for Brand Formula, an awarding winning brand identity and brand engagement agency.

 

Exhibition Stands Broker Assess

CV Show – GT Radial Exhibition Stand

Large showcase stand, lots of space to show products with high impact.

Exhibition Stands GT

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What is good design?

Design is a very subjective thing, therefore, if you ask me how to come up with the best design for your marketing materials or publishing mediums, it would be very unfair for me or anyone else to tell you what is a good design and what is a bad design…….

 

But there are certain elements and principles that we should look for in a design to determine whether the design and layout of the material will be able to carry the message across effectively to the readers and your potential market. The main aim of every design material related to advertising or promotion is either to sell something, promote something or brand a company.

Keep the design and layout simple and clean

The more cluttered or messy the layout and design is for your marketing collateral, the harder it would be for your customers to find the important stuff. So, don’t overcrowd the design of your marketing materials. First and foremost, it should be kept clean and very simple. Yes, we all want to fit as much information as we can into the design but hey, keep the purpose of the design of the marketing stuff in mind. You want to design a novel or design something that sells.

Design Colors

If you have a set of corporate colors (like the colors that you use on your logo, letterhead, envelopes…etc), keep to the same colors in your design. You should present a very simplistic, unique, corporate, professional, consistent image, not a haphazard one. How can anyone rely on you when you have that kind of image, right? It’s best that you not use too many colors for your design. And another important point about designing marketing materials is this; avoid using all the colors of the rainbow in one design! You’re not trying to confuse your customers, you’re trying to make it easy for them to find information, attract them and urge them to buy something from you! I would say using 2 or 3 main colors from your corporate color for the design is good enough.

Fonts

There are tons of free fonts (quite incredibly attractive ones at that) that you can find off the Internet for the design of your marketing stuff – but the sad news is that it’s not always possible to use all of them. Keep to one single font for the content in your design, and if you wish to, you can use a different (a bolder and louder font) for the headings and titles in your design.

Images in your design

Unlike web publishing, using images in the design of your brochures, flyers, menus, company profiles is always a good idea. Enticing your customers with useful pictures or diagrams that illustrates your point or including pictures of your products in the design of your marketing stuff is encouraged. Be careful and weary of using stock photos from the web for your marketing material. One, the resolution of such images (those that you can get off the Internet) is never good enough for printing purposes. Two, you’ll get in trouble with the people who actually owns the rights to those images. So, if possible, if you want to use pictures or illustrative images in your design, it’s best to either get the pictures for the design yourself (with your digital camera) or you should just purchase it.

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Exhibiting at Trade Shows – Top 5 mistakes

We work with many companies who are seeing great results from their trade show marketing.  However, there are many mistakes that people make that can affect the results you get from exhibiting at any show.  We have listed our top 5 to watch out for:

 

  1. Plan Ahead.

    Some companies plan a year ahead, but if you have a smaller stand then perhaps you might not need to.  But you will need plenty of time to make sure that you have the right staff on board, all your marketing materials printed and that you have conducted an analysis of who you are going to target and how.

  2. Pre Show Marketing.

    Make sure your customers know where you can be found at the show and make appointments with key prospects.  You don’t want an empty stand, so a steady stream of pre arranged visitors will make your stand look popular and attract new prospects too.

  3. Cutting budgets when exhibiting.

    Unfortunately, the marketing budget is always the first to get adjusted when cash flow is tight.  But those extra few pounds spent to make your stand stand out from the crowd when exhibiting will be worth it.  Especially when you think that you have a couple of days each year, when all of your existing and potential clients are in one room looking for new suppliers.

  4. Staff Training.

    Make sure you send your best sales staff and that you have developed a great process for capturing those important leads when exhibiting.  Set some goals, whether to make a follow up appointment or actually taking orders on the day.

  5. Follow up.

    Post show marketing is just as important.  Make sure you store all contact details in your CRM and have a follow up process in place straight away.  You don’t want to let those hard earned leads go cold now do you.

 

The Black Pear helps companies all over the world exhibit to their best advantage.  Contact us at info@theblackpear.com to discuss how we can help you too.

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When we went to Pure London

In February, The Black Pear team visited the Pure London exhibition at London Olympia.  We were excited to be there as we were building a great stand for our client and wanted to make sure everything was ready for the show launch.

The show was a great success and we did see so many great stand designs, however our stand took center stage in the main walkway.  Our client wanted the stand to be the place to be at the show, so we fitted the stand with a counter for DJ equipment and a great sound system.  Not forgetting the fridge mini bar and space to mingle, the stand certainly lived up to the brief of being the best place to spend time at the show.

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