Having exhibited at one or two shows ourselves, we know the time and effort that goes into them.
We’re always amazed when we walk around an exhibition and see unplanned, untidy or fairly bare stands. A stand is your shop window at events – it needs to entice people in and make them want to find out more about you and your business.
A couple of leaflets and a poster stuck to the wall just won’t cut it!
Here are some tips on how to dress your stand, attract people over and be noticed!
Bowl of pens:
We’ve been to many exhibitions where stands consist of a pop-up banner and a bowl of pens and we always think the same thing – they left it to the last minute and that’s all they could get done!
Perhaps the person on the stand wasn’t responsible for dressing it, or they were too busy running their business that they just didn’t fit it in before the show. Take some time today just to think what you might need and get it ordered – some stuff has a two-week turnaround once you send it off for print so you’ll be cutting it fine!
Work 6 weeks ahead at least to give yourself time to plan, find suppliers, get artwork created and be ready!
People love stationery freebies!
Stationery is a staple exhibition freebie and we’re not saying don’t use them – just don’t have them on their own. At the last show Izzy PR exhibited at, we had some branded pens made with a little maze in them. We’d not seen them before and thought they might be fun!
You could also go for pencils or more modern stylus pens too – take a look through the merchandise websites and brochures and see what catches your fancy. But do it asap to make sure that what you order arrives on time!
At a show last year, we used playing cards and a Rubik’s cube on our stand. Nothing to do with PR & marketing but they’re a bit of fun and an ice-breaker. We turned a whiteboard into a leaderboard for who could solve the puzzle in the quickest time! Sarah, who was on the stand, has never, ever completed the cube so it was fascinating to watch others! The playing cards have Izzy PR written on them and people can’t help picking them up – to play a quick game of 21, houses of cards or just to fiddle with. Games are a really nice way to start and build relationships – plus they are memorable too.
If you have professional videos of your company, have them playing on a screen – your stand will look great and people can watch what you do easily and then ask you more questions.
If you’ve never done a video before, now’s the time to get it done – you will use it for all sorts other than the exhibition.
A large jar of lemon sherbets has worked for us in the past. You can order large jars online plus you can also get branded sweets and cupcakes made too. My favourite place to get these is The Egg Free Cake Box – give our good friend Shelinder Bhurji a ring to place your order…he can turn them around on the day for you from one of his Medway/Maidstone/Gravesend shops!
One way to get people over is to have a competition with a great prize! The last time we ran a competition, it was nothing to do with our work but we chose three great Kentish prizes as our give away, to show our allegiance to the Kentish business market.
Just ask people to pop their business card in the box to be in with a chance of winning.
Flyers, postcards, business cards brochures – have them all ready to hand out to your prospects! Make sure they’re updated and have all the information you need in them.
Never, ever, update them with a biro. Bin them and get new printed – it looks so terrible!
If your business lends itself to this, give away samples so that people can try your product – there’s no better advertising!
Of course, your sparkling conversation will be a winner but think about what else you could offer to make your stand interactive. Get people to join in, bring others over to you and don’t let them walk by!
Most of all – enjoy it!
If you’d like help designing and creating a stand or materials for an exhibition, drop us a line at email@example.com
- Revised from a May 2019 blog