In a challenging climate, the need for brand awareness and communicating what you offer becomes even more vital.
Exhibitions, trade shows and conferences continue to achieve attendance from companies looking to achieve visibility. However, exhibiting during a challenging climate comes with its own set of constraints.
Over the past year, I’ve seen a shift in the focus of exhibitions from hospitality, giveaways and "being there", to them being used as a key strategic tool focused on delivering results.
This change has come at a time where there is also a desire (and need) to achieve more for less, whether this is working to a smaller stand space, or having a restricted marketing budget for collateral and materials.
However, a reduction in stand space or spend doesn’t always mean a reduction in purpose...
Purpose comes from distillation - breaking down what it is you’re really trying to say and defining the value in the service/product you offer.
Transferring this to designing an exhibition presence, distillation is about thinking brand first. And by brand first, I don’t mean panels with a big logo. It’s about looking at your brand positioning, it’s value, tone of voice - the essentials that make you worthy of being heard and taken seriously.
At leading exhibitions such as Offshore Europe - which is set to attract upwards of 1,500 exhibitors - it’s easy to cast a wide net with your message, ‘list-sell’ your services and hope that something sticks.
The result, more often than not, is a cluttered, diluted message with no relation to your core audience.
How does distillation work in practice?
Relish the opportunity to pull together a structured exhibition brief.
It will provide you with the best opportunity to understand, create and deliver a complete and targeted brand presence across not only the stand design but also any required materials. Really think about your space, it’s purpose and what it offers. In your brief, look to answer:
What do we need to overcome:
- What are your biggest challenges as a business?
- What do your clients need to know to make a decision?
How do you communicate what you do:
- What is the USP? Core strengths?
- What should your stand get across in a couple of seconds?
- Which service/product is your priority/most profitable?
- What level of technical knowledge do customers have?
How do you stand out to the right clients:
- Which sector is your focus?
- Who are your target audiences? - Industry/ Job Level
- Why do clients pick you over competitors?
- What problem/issues do they have that you can reduce?
Distilling what you have to say and to who will take time, however the result is a brand focused message that clearly defines your value proposition.