How to Make Your Trade Show Display Stand Out From the Crowd

It doesn’t matter whether your exhibition display consists of a pop up stand, Foamex boards, PVC banners or you’ve got a completely bespoke custom-built stand – the main goal of attending exhibitions and trade shows is to ensure you get a good return on your investment.

If you’re new to the world of exhibitions then you may well be under-prepared for the effort that you need to put in to really make a success of your exhibition space.  Unfortunately it’s not quite as easy as setting up your stand at the show, sitting back and waiting for the customers to roll in.  If that’s the way it happens, then you either have the best business ever or you are very, very lucky!  However in reality, exhibitions – and preparing for them can be extremely hard work.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Planning is an essential part of any exhibition display.  You’ll need to decide which exhibition or trade show to attend, the format of your display, which members of staff will man the stand and most importantly what message do you want to get across to your customers and how you will measure the success of the show.

You should think carefully about your display as this is one way to make you stand out from your competitors – although other factors will come into play too.

For an indoor exhibition you may want to consider Foamex boards.  Most trade shows consist of a standard shell scheme, and Foamex boards are perfect material for covering the panels.  These can be printed with a design of your choice and can be easily backed with Velcro for adding to the walls of the shell scheme.

Alternatively you could choose to have PVC banners printing which display your message or a simple pop up stand that can easily transported if you are planning to attend a number of exhibitions in different formats.

Enjoying a successful exhibition is not just about having the biggest and best stand the show – of course it helps, but there are also a number of other things to consider that will help you to have a successful exhibition.

Here are some top tips to help you on your way:

Choose your exhibition wisely

Take a look at past attendance for visitor types and numbers – does this match your audience?  Also look at exhibitors from your sector – if they attended this year, are they returning this time?  If not, why not.  If you have other contacts within the industry why not ask them to share their experiences.  Maybe not direct competitors though – they may not want to tell you the whole truth!

Location, location, location

You may think locating an exhibition display right by the entrance is a good idea, but think about it… as soon as visitors come through the door, they’ll be putting their badge on, putting their tickets away in their bags etc.  Sometimes it can take a few minutes to focus by which time they may have passed the first few stands by.

Statistics show that most people turn left when entering an exhibition – so think about choosing a stand in this direction.

Let people know

Although the organisers of the show will do their own advertising to publicise the show as a whole, it’s not their responsibility to get people to your stand.  By advertising your presence at the show in advance, perhaps offering incentives for those that do come along, you have already warmed up potential visitors to your stand who are likely to be interested in the services you’re offering.

Choose the right people

A bunch of bored looking staff on an exhibition display stands can be the nail in the coffin of you ROI.  Make sure you have the right staff members who will be able to promote your product and service with the right combination of knowledge and enthusiasm, treating every customer that they meet with the respect they deserve.

React quickly

It’s important to gather as much information as possible from your customers at a trade show – it’s not often you get the chance of valuable face to face contact so make the most of it while you can.

But it’s not all about what happens at the show – if you can, make sure you have resources back in the office who can deal with phone calls, emails and mail outs etc.

The sooner you can get back in touch with the customer once they have left your stand, the better the chance you have of converting them into a potential sale if you haven’t already done so.

Follow up

Once you’ve returned to the office yourself, you should ensure that all potential leads have been followed up and that you can measure your return on investment.

Keeping track of this will help you make a decision when it comes to taking a display at the same exhibition the following year.