Exhibitors at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013), one of the largest shows in the world, insist on making common exhibiting mistakes. Over 3,000 exhibitors are currently showcasing a wide range of innovative technology products at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Walk the show floor and you’ll find many of the exhibitors who don’t have a clue how to interact with the visitors, and what they need to be doing to maximize their time and money investment at CES. Unfortunately, many of the behemoths in the industry are some of the worst culprits. Company representatives stand around chitchatting to their colleagues, ignoring booth visitors, or they spewing out their sales spiel showing zero interest in what the visitor is really interested in.
It is obvious they lack the trade show exhibitor training needed to learn the essentials to really make the most of their time on the show floor.
Successful selling at CES depends, not only on innovative products and services, but more importantly, on how well the booth staffers represent them.
Working a trade show requires a unique mix of skills. Savvy exhibitors know that they’re there to listen to the attendees. People come to shows seeking answers to specific business problems. If you’re too busy spouting off your sales spiel, to listen, you’ll never even hear the problem, much less understand it and offer viable solutions. Rest assured, the attendee will move on to someone who’s willing to help them fix their problem.
Creating a lasting impression on people through your exhibit display is becoming increasingly vital in the ever competitive world of trade shows and exhibitions. First impressions do count massively when attracting people to your exhibit display, even if your company has superior products/services. Initial negative impressions from a poor exhibit display might detract potential customers – but not to worry! These seven key ingredients can help you design an eye catching exhibit display that will inundate you with visitors:
1) Marketing aims and/or exhibiting goals
First of all, it is worth considering what kind of message you wish to communicate through your display, as well as your reasons for exhibiting at the show. Make sure you hang on to these reasons throughout the whole process! Even the most perfect exhibit display might fall at the last hurdle if it doesn’t efficiently convey your aims, image or brand values. Consider what kind of image you want your design to convey – is your company cutting-edge, functional, silly?
2) Target audience
Make sure to keep your target audience in mind when designing your exhibit display. You need to steer your concept towards what your customer base wants – there’s no use creating a display that attracts the wrong prospects.
3) Maximizing space
Exhibit displays ought to take full advantage of your allocated space, so ensure that you find out the dimensions from the organizers before entering the design process. Show shows will allow you to build exhibit displays up to 20 feet in height, so make sure to capitalize on such allocations so as to outdo your competitors. Flaunt your logo across the hall by creating signage with a high arch, or by having your brand featured on a central tower or on a top truss. To assist with the flow of your exhibit display, make sure there are no obstructions blocking your visitors from seeing your brand, and try to keep meeting areas to the back.
When it comes to text on an exhibit display, less is most certainly more. Stay as brief and succinct as possible, remembering that you don’t need to use full paragraphs or sentences when a few words will do. Use fonts large and legible enough to be seen from a distance, making sure that they are in line with your brand image. Place any text high up so as to avoid it being blocked by people visiting your booth.
The phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ couldn’t be more appropriate when it comes to exhibit displays. The correct use of images can help to convey complex ideas quickly and effectively without the need for text. Large scale images can be particularly successful – bear in mind that your target audience will use your company logo and images to confirm your business’ identity. As with text, remember to consider image placement in order to ensure that they can be seen from a distance without being obscured.
Adding lighting to your display is a key requirement for increasing traffic and ensuring that your message is clear. On a standard level, lighting allows potential customers to clearly read your display and its message. On a deeper level, however, it can convey a mood or atmosphere, and even highlight a particular area of an exhibit display, such as a new service or product.
You could for example use angled light boxes at the entrance to your display, or even adapt colored lighting to create a particular mood you’re after.
Using the right material will help reinforce your brand, creating a dazzling design that can attract your target audience to your display. For innovative and forward thinking companies, try using brushed aluminum panels or silver and chrome details to create a contemporary look. For more traditional and corporate businesses, you should opt for richer wood tones. It’s also worth considering the use of fabric, i.e. fabric dividers which are perfect for separating specific areas apart.
Incorporate these tips into your design and you should be set to create an effective, attractive, and perfect exhibit display!
Guest article by Amy Henderson, writer on marketing businesses through trade shows, display stands
and exhibition stands for Marler Haley.
Do trade show giveaways, and holiday gift-giving have something in common?
The calendar tells us it’s time yet again to feel pressured into playing the gift-giving game. The question is whether you believe you want to, or you have to take part?
Gift giving has long been a favorite subject on human behavior for psychologists, anthropologists, economists and marketers. They’ve established that giving gifts is a surprisingly multifaceted, and significant part of human interaction, helping to define relationships, and strengthen bonds with family and friends. Psychologists say it is often the giver, rather than the receiver, who gets the biggest psychological benefit from a gift.
At every trade show you participate in, you’ll find the show floor littered with giveaways, tchotchkes, or swag, which according to the dictionary, are usually decorative, worthless and disposable knick-knacks with little or no purpose, or if they are useful, chances are they’ll break easily.
So what do holiday gift-giving and tchotchke-giving have in common, and if you choose to participate, does it come from your heart, or out of a sense of obligation?
Let’s look at five ways to tell whether you’re a grinch or a giver:
1. You’re a giver if: You spend time deciding on the right gift for the recipient. You picture the person using and enjoying it.
You’re a grinch if: You don’t question why you’re giving the gift, but rather you do it because you feel you have do, and then you find something that’s cheap, and useless just to get the job done.
2. You’re a giver if: You give the gift as a token of your appreciation to show that you care.
You’re a grinch if: You leave stuff lying out in your booth so people can help just themselves.
3. You’re a giver if: You feel good about giving the gift. The act gives you enormous pleasure and satisfaction.
You’re a grinch if: You hand your swag out to passers by just so that you can get rid of it, and not have to ship it back to your office.
4. You’re a giver if: You view your gift as a way to partner, show interest or strengthen a bond with the recipient.
You’re a grinch if: You really don’t care about your tchotchke, and don’t realize that it can help promote your company.
5. You’re a giver if: You give from the heart, with no feeling, or pressure of reciprocity.
You’re a grinch if: You give with a sense of self-serving, to get something back from the receiver, such as a contact, referral, or best of all, their business.
Whatever the reason you give a gift, be it for the holidays, a birthday, or to reward behavior, remember that when you give sincerely from the heart, you’ll get far more pleasure, than a sense of obligation.
And, for your next trade show, think about the giveaway you want others to receive. Make it useful, educational, or business related, and one that you’re proud to give. In fact, use yourself as a litmus test. Ask yourself if this item is something you’d like to receive if someone were to give it to you.
Happy holidays and happy gift giving!