4 months out…Planning and presenting a stand that can help you achieve your objectives

In the last article we looked at the importance of setting objectives and having specific goals in mind for exhibiting. Below we look at how stand layout should be designed with those goals and objectives in mind. How your stand functions will determine the success of your experience on-site at Education Expo. Stand design deserves detailed planning and careful preparation. You only get 2 days to hit the mark at Education Expo so put as much time and effort into your stand preparation as you can to get the best results.

Here are some interesting ideas from Facetime.org.uk to get us started.

  • Count the senses. There are five. Taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. When you brief your stand design agency – tell them you want as many of the five senses in the stand design as you can.
  • Be brave. Humans and primates have specially-wired brains which allow them to have ‘selective attention’. It means we can process massive amounts of information in milliseconds. With attention spans increasingly diminishing keep your stand simple to avoid being lost in the information overload.
  • Be human. We all like to maximise our business ROI but that doesn’t mean we have to be dead serious and boring. The best businesses entertain, inform and inspire their customers. Promote your personality.
  • Be seen. Did you know that people love to get interactive with plasma screens? They’re a BIG winner and one of our top tips from our eye tracking research. See link for more information : facetime.org.uk/eyetracking

How does this relate to Education Expo 2016?
The standard exhibiting package at Education Expo includes the items outlined below. These may already suit your needs or may be a starting point that can be built upon:

Exhibiting package includes:

  • Shell scheme with white in-fill panels
  • Trestle table
  • White table cloth
  • 2 chairs
  • Strip lighting inside front fascia
  • Double power socket
  • Plain text ‘bus stop’ name plate

Remember: The way you present your stand will determine how visitors to the stand will interact with you and this may influence their expectations.

Do the following:

  • Design your stand with your sales strategy in mind. If your strategy is based on spending time with a small number of key customers, a sit down consultation area with refreshments may be suitable. However if your objectives are based on a large turnover of attendees and snappy sales pitch, design your space accordingly – standing is better and collecting attendee data is essential
  • Stand towards the front of your stand area, show that you are approachable but allow for visitors to get a full visual impression of your stand
  • Use clean, eye-catching graphics that summarise, in a nutshell, what your product offering is – passers-by will decide in 3 seconds if they want to stop
  • Keep your stand neat and tidy – it doesn’t just give an impression of your stand, it gives an impression of your business
  • Engage visitors and passers-by with a question that requires a response, it is an ideal way to start a conversation
  • Use giveaways to attract visitors and spread the word about your stand at the event.
  • If your budget allows, consider having a low cost takeaway item that carries your logo for every visitor
  • Keep customers engaged by offering a good coffee or confectionary while you chat
  • Have plenty of products/examples to demonstrate to visitors
  • Always contact the Education Expo team if any aspect of your stand is not functioning correctly or if you think we can help with a problem. Wherever possible we will help. We want you to have a successful event so don’t put up with something for 2 days that could have been changed in ten minutes.

Don’t:

  • Don’t sit while visitors stand – it is intimidating and will make visitors feel unwelcome. However if it’s appropriate for your business you can conduct a sit down consultation while another staff member catches passing traffic by standing towards the front
  • Don’t overcrowd your display with large amounts of text, passers-by may not be close enough to read nor will they won’t have time to read it all. Be clear and concise
  • Don’t offer your most expensive glossy brochures and swag to every visitor. Target key leads that are more likely to convert to customers
  • Don’t make misleading promises about your product offerings to attract visitors, they will soon see through a scam and will result in bad publicity for your company. Word of mouth is a powerful tool among Expo attendees
  • Don’t invest in expensive custom-made panels and exhibition materials unless your objectives can ensure the return on the investment. Avoid eating into your profit margin if there are low-cost and no cost options available. This is where your publicity campaign will come into play (more on that later)

Read more:

FaceTime have produced an excellent resources for exhibitors. While not all of it is relevant to IPPN’s Education Expo there is a wealth of good advice for new and seasoned exhibitors.

FaceTime.org.uk Top Twelve Tips for Exhibiting

Getting your exhibition stand right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=261&v=jHfBvF7wd5Q

Related articles:
Setting Objectives for Education Expo 2015

IPPN's Education Expo is Ireland's largest trade event for the education sector bringing together more than 125 companies and 1,200 primary school principals from primary schools over 2 days. Education Expo is a component of IPPN's Annual Principals' Conference taking place adjacent to the conference auditorium in Citywest Convention Centre.

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