Exhibitions are one of the most intriguing environments to find yourself in. For a matter of just a few days, companies are all thrown in together to battle it out with their branded USB’s and bad coffee all in order to be heard above the noise.
Often only a few feet away are your biggest competitors — so how do you shout that little bit louder? The companies that I’ve seen succeed at exhibitions never overlook the most important factor in their brand story — the people.
At FortyTwo Studio we make sure your full brand environment is in top condition prior to showing at any exhibition, we’re involved in all aspects of design to help best position your brand and grab attention. Then it’s over to you. That’s when the focus really turns to the staff who are manning the stand — and it’s their job to convert that initial interest into engagement, and ultimately into a lead. We believe that the best show staff aren’t always those with the most confidence or that have been with the company the longest, but the individuals who are focused and well informed on the purpose of your attendance.
The FortyTwo team have managed full service stand builds for clients at shows around the world, and as a result have been privy to some of the best pre-show staff training techniques for those managing exhibition stands. Here’s a handful:
- Stand Handover Document — Prepare a document on why you’re exhibiting and what you’re looking to achieve and circulate around those members of staff who will be on the stand. Cover areas such as; what the stand will look like, what services will be promoted, details of any demonstrations that may take place, what marketing collateral will be available and reasonable expectations of results (leads). This will build up a full picture on the purpose of the show and will ensure everyone is confident in what they should be saying to stand visitors.
- A personal thanks — Never underestimate the power of a thank you. One of the best intro’s I’ve seen in a stand handover document was a personal message from the Managing Director thanking everything for their help in the build up and explaining how important the show was to the overall company.
- Warm welcome — If you’re expecting any visitors/VIP’s to the stand, make sure those who are manning the stand that day are aware so they offer a personalised welcome. The first few seconds of any interaction when building a relationship are crucial, and in an exhibition setting a warm welcome can help leave a positive lasting impression.
- Clarity — Shows often require people to travel away from home. Be crystal clear about what staff should expect from the company. For example, will you provide uniforms, subsidise food and drink, arrange travel to and from the exhibition. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time we have seen wasted trying to find out if a round of coffee’s could be paid for on the company credit card.
- Issue Management — Issue’s do (and will) crop up. Screens can stop working, lightbulbs blow and the catering can sometimes go AWOL. Create an info sheet with all the important contact information you can think of (stand build support, internet provider, catering supplier) and pass around everyone . Every minute counts at an exhibition and this helps problems to be dealt with as quickly and disturbance-free as possible.
In our next post about making the most out of exhibitions, we’ll discuss how visually representing your brand is more than just having a big logo.
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FortyTwo Studio are an Aberdeen based design agency with vast experience in designing for brand, digital and print. If you think we can help you or your business achieve its goals, drop by for a coffee, we would love to hear from you. Alternatively, why not join us on our journey via our email newsletter, or following FortyTwo on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.