Does your exhibition stand help you meet your objectives?

PRG’s prize winning design studio discuss standing out at your next B2B exhibition.

At PRG, we believe B2B exhibitions are a great way to network and showcase what your business has to offer.

We’re regulars at business exhibitions in the South East and were crowned winners of the best stand design by none other than Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Levi Roots at the Brighton Let’s Do Business event last year for our ‘Digital Marketing makeover’, a spoof of TV’s much loved ’60 minute makeover.’

We were also runners up at this year’s Let’s Do Business Brighton, for our pop art inspired ‘The Art of Successful Marketing’ stand as chosen by Trunki’s CEO, Rob Law.

Naturally, business exhibition success comes down to a number of factors, but ensuring you have all bases covered and are consistently delivering key messages about your business and its offering at events is important if you’re to reap the rewards.

While having a great team on your stand that can engage with people and sell your business is undoubtedly crucial, it’s your stand that initially attracts attention and drives people towards those who can then keep people interested and engaged with your brand. The process is not dissimilar to that of marketing and social media – it may be your sales team who end up securing the ultimate goal of placing a booking or gaining investment in your products and services, but if no one wants to speak to your business or has not heard of them in the first place, they have no leads to work with.

That’s why here at PRG; we don’t underestimate the importance of an eye catching stand design. A well designed and intriguing stand makes people ask questions – of course, it should be clear what you offer from the outset, but don’t give away everything from the outset-the key is to still have things to talk about once people are at your stand.

Most B2B exhibitions are busy and have many stands in close proximity. Turning heads is important, as is being spotted from a distance, so what should you look for in a great stand design? Firstly, it’s worth thinking about your objectives, as most businesses attending a B2B event want to generate brand awareness and make potential customers find out who they are, while explaining how they may be able to help them. Many people also want to capture the data of those they’ve spoken to, so it’s also worth considering how your stand design can assist you with this.

So how do you make people want to talk to you? Firstly, consider your theme. While having clear branding and a logo is obviously advisable, think about what makes people want to ask questions-perhaps it’s the fact you have something ‘fun’ about your stand, or something that intrigues people. Having something quirky or memorable about your stand enables your team to talk to people about your stand design, which takes away from the initial ‘sales’ pitch and gives the opportunity to build a rapport with visitors.

If you want to get quality leads, you’ll need to get visitor details in order to follow up effectively and efficiently post event. If you can find an engaging way of incorporating a business card drop or data collector in to your stand design, half of the hard work is done for you. Think about incorporating a game in to your stand – it gives you a talking point with potential customers and also generates opportunities for social media mentions during and after the big day.

Many businesses believe that they are restricted when it comes to design if they operate in more a more corporate marketplace, but it’s still important your brand is relevant and visible. Consider undertaking social listening to find out what your audience is talking about, and incorporate trending content in to your design for a stand that’s interesting and shareable.

It’s also important to ensure you don’t ‘clutter’ your stand. There’s a difference between an interesting and creative design, and one that has so much going on it leaves people confused and unsure what you offer.

Top Tips from our design studio;

  • Make it memorable – the idea is to create a ‘water cooler moment’ whereby people will leave your stand and tell other people about it. If you’re unsure what works test out some ideas on people outside of your business to get honest feedback
  • Be original – think outside the box. The easiest way to do this is to get everyone involved. It takes a few suggestions before you find the right one, so call a meeting and get your employees talking –after all, if they will have to manage the stand on the day and sell it, you’ll want them to buy in to it. Often you’ll find people will bounce ideas off each other too.
  • Less is more – think about it, often the bigger brands that are instantly recognisable by their logos and don’t go for fussy design, they let their brand name do the shouting. A creative idea doesn’t necessarily equal a busy design – keeping text to a minimum is key
  • Seek professional assistance – Whether you need full stand design, or you need someone to point you in the right direction, speak to someone who knows their stuff and has expo experience.

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