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 Black Pear Creative, 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.
- 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 Black Pear Creative, 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 Black Pear Creative to find out how we can help you get more bang for your buck at your next exhibition!