How To Maximise Your Event Presence
If you’ve got a stand booked, or you’re considering booking one, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips to help you maximise your event presence and get the best return on your investment.
Set A Goal for Your Event Presence
It’s important to take some time to decide what you want to get from your presence at the event. For example, do you want to increase brand awareness, do you want to do some market research and sampling, or is it all about sales?
Whatever it is, make sure you are clear on your goal for the event. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, it ensures that you choose the right event for your goal. Secondly, you can make a plan to ensure that you and your team have everything you need at the event to achieve your goal.
Choosing Your Stand Location
This will depend on the show you’re going to, but there are a few key things to consider when choosing your location no matter what show you’re going to.
Getting Near to the Action
It used to be that people went to shows to get deals they couldn’t get at any other time of the year. But that’s no longer the case thanks to the incredibly competitive world of online shopping. Which means that nowadays many events will have some form of live-action or exhibition element to them to entice visitors. Which in turn draws lots of footfall to the live-action area of the show making them great spots for your stand.
Near the Food and Drink
We’ve all got to eat and drink which again means that the food and drink area of a show will have very high footfall. Visitors often choose to stick around this area while they eat too, meaning there’s lots of time for them to spot your stand if you’re nearby.
A Corner Stand
A corner stand is a great option as they have two open sides meaning they’re incredibly open and inviting. Two open walls also mean that you have more chance of being spotted by people coming from either direction. Another good option for a stand layout is one that has no walls at all. Instead, you have a central display area that can be seen from all angles making it very hard to miss.
People are nosey, and as much as we’re told not to follow the crowd, we do. So a busy stand is one that automatically becomes more attractive to passers-by.
You can’t control whether a general visitor decides to visit your stand or not, but you can influence it. Arrange meetings in advance which mean you have people on your stand at different times across the event.
Have An Eye Catching Stand Design
Events are incredibly competitive. You’re in a room, or several rooms, with dozens, if not hundreds of others competing for the visitor’s attention.
This means that investing in a great stand design, something that’s eye-catching and engages passers-by at a glance is a smart move. And when done well, your stand graphics can be kept and reused for future events.
A good way to think about your stand design is in the context of it being a billboard for your business. If you were to have a billboard on the side of a busy street what would you put on there?
It needs to be punchy, sell the benefits of your product and service and speak to your target audience, all in a matter of a couple of seconds.
Unless you’re a hugely well-known brand that people will be looking out for don’t plaster a massive company logo on the back wall. And resist the urge to pack your wall design with big blocks of text and lots of information. Passers-by won’t stop to read it all.
Instead, entice them with a strong headline. Follow it up with a line that piques their interest. Include a strong graphic or image and then watch them walk up to your stand ready to talk to you and your team to find out more.
Whilst not directly about event stand design, our previous article “How To Design An Effective Print Advert” does have tips and advice that you can apply to stand design.
If you’re looking for professional help to give your stand the wow factor then our experienced team are here to help do just that…
…and let’s have a chat about making your next event stand the best you’ve ever had.
Make Your Stand Interactive
We’re not talking about creating some kind of whizzy AI stand – although we’re not saying you shouldn’t either. We’re talking about giving people a reason to engage with your stand, other than purchasing a product or signing up for something.
This can be something as simple as a free sample or drink, a game or challenge, or you could get fancy and have a guest speaker/celebrity run a Q&A on your stand. The main goal is to attract a crowd as, like we said above, a busy stand is one that automatically becomes more attractive to passers-by.
Don’t Neglect Data Capture
No matter your goal for the event you want to capture the data for as many visitors as you can, enabling you to market to them after the event. A few ways to do this are:
Create an offer that you promote with a specific data capture page on your website. Then have this page loaded onto iPads on your stand that people can fill in to claim your offer.
A simple data capture option at a business event is to have a jar that people can drop their business cards into to enter a competition.
Social Media Competitions
Where people follow your page and also have to share a photo of themselves on your stand to their social pages, tagging your company in. Not only does this help to increase your follower numbers, but it also gets your business in front of the visitor’s followers.
Organise Your Supporting Marketing Collateral
As well as your event stand graphics make sure you also have well-designed and impactful supporting marketing assets. They should engage the visitors whilst at the event and also give them something to take away. For example:
– Roller banners
– Plinth wraps
– Business cards
– Flyers or brochures
– Digital landing pages, accessible via QR codes on your stand
– Video content or animated explainer videos to play on your stands TV/screens
– Branded merchandise and freebies*
– Branded bags
Plus, make sure that your main stand graphics and any other branded marketing materials are all cohesive and that you and your staff are coordinated. After all, first impressions count.
*Side note: We’ve been the recipient of way too much branded plastic crap at events. Items that invariably find their way into the bin at some point. So we collated an article of ten eco-friendly promotional gifts, helping to make sure that your free gift doesn’t cost the earth.
Choose The Right Staff
Hopefully, your stand will be so busy you won’t be able to talk to every visitor personally. Plus, you will need to eat and take a break every now and again. So make sure you have staff around you who are comfortable talking to strangers. As well as being able to have an engaging conversation that sells your business, its services and/or products.
Keep your stand clean, tidy and well-organized.
Don’t sit down, being on your feet is a much more welcoming and open posture.
Stay off your phone or computer and don’t eat at your stand. But DO stay hydrated! We’ve left far too many events with dry chapped lips from all that talking and not enough water. Little tip – bring some lip balm, it’s a life/lip saver!
Wear company-branded clothing and comfortable shoes. We were actually given a great tip a few years back on shoes. If you’re at an event for more than one day pack a 2nd pair of shoes. Being on your feet all day compresses the insoles. By swapping shoes each day you have a fresh plush insole to cushion your feet.
Get Involved Beyond Your Stand
As we mentioned above, a lot of events nowadays have some form of live-action. Speak to the organisers and see if there’s a way you can get involved and your event presence beyond your stand. Can you get involved in a panel discussion, deliver a how-to/master class, run a demonstration?
As well as that, don’t stick to your stand. Take some time to visit the other exhibitors. You never know who you may meet. Who can you collaborate with? Who may be a future customer? Or who may be offering something that solves an issue in your business?
Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get some ideas and inspiration for what you may do differently at the next event.
Promote Wider Than The Show
Prior to the event, share updates on your social media and email your audience to let them know that you’ll be there. It’s also a good idea to see what opportunities the event organisers have available to promote your attendance to their audience. Can you send an email to their database? Put posts onto their social channels? Or have a company profile on their website?
Whilst you’re at the show it’s a great idea to share updates on your social media channels, making sure to use the event’s official hashtags. Not only does this create content for your channels, but it also extends your reach to people who will be checking out the show’s hashtags and may not realise you’re there.
After The Event Ends
The event hasn’t ended just because you’ve packed down your stand and headed home.
Make sure you follow up with your stand visitors.
Drop them an email to thank them for coming to your stand and engaging with your business. This is a great way to keep the conversation going and ensure that your business stays front of mind. This is also a great time to ask if they’d like to be added to your marketing email list, that is if they haven’t already.
Written by Lee Skellett
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Whether you’ve booked a stand at a trade or public show, we’ll help you make the most of it.
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