How can exhibitors stand out at trade fairs?

New products and a well-conceived stand design are not the only drivers for a successful presence. Many other factors are also important, but trade fair planners often lose sight of them. 

Photo: Amelie Raisch

Amelie Raisch
Event & International Communications Manager

Trade fairs are like construction projects: The right location is crucial. Exhibitors should, where possible, also factor neighbouring stands, aisles, F&B and the location of wash rooms into the planning of their trade fair presence. Ideally, the stand should be clearly visible on the main route of the visitor flow - and stand personnel able to refresh themselves from time to time without having to walk long distances. 

Long-distance effect
How the stand looks from a distance is a major factor. Illuminated eye-catchers arouse curiosity. Do visitors instantly notice the stand when entering the exhibition hall? Plus: If you are expecting a visitor to a more remotely located stand, you should arrange a meeting point at one of the entrances. Ideally, the “host” will accompany guests to the stand himself. This is also a good opportunity for a few introductory words.

Even if it means a bit of organisational effort: Daily meetings with the entire stand team before the start of the trade fair are essential. Together with the team, exhibitors can rehearse tours of the stand, just as they would make them with visitors. On the other days of the event one should discuss in the mornings what guests are expected on that day, whether there are any technical problems - or what products are the focus of attention. After a day at the fair, one can hold another meeting to take stock again. One can give praise for successful achievements or identify weak points.

Beyerdynamic’s own presence: How the stand looks from a distance is a major factor. (Photo: beyerdynamic)
Beyerdynamic’s own presence: How the stand looks from a distance is a major factor. (Photo: beyerdynamic)

Uniform look
The corporate design should also be retained at the trade fair. This applies not only to the stand design but also to the employees. A uniform dress code ensures that contacts are instantly recognisable and strengthens the team spirit of the stand crew. In practice, this means asking all colleagues to wear trousers and shirts or blouses in uniform colours. Even better: Shirts printed with the company logo and highly visible name tags will contribute to a good overall impression.

Big fairs are noisy. Be it non-stop promotional videos flashing on the screens, music blaring from loudspeakers or presenters with amplified microphones explaining their products - conditions can soon get uncomfortable for neighbouring stands. An audio system for visitor guidance is a sensible alternative to booming loudspeakers. The technology should be easy to operate, failure-proof and flexibly extendable - for example when visitors come and go spontaneously. One system that fulfils these requirements is the Unite digital communication system by beyerdynamic. Stand visitors are provided with a receiver and headphones and guided through the product portfolio by a speaker via a transmitter. The system is also ideal for press conferences. Sound from external sources can be easily integrated and guests can even ask questions via a return channel. The many interfering signals from various wi-fi networks and radio microphones at a trade fair are no problem at all. 

Illuminated eye-catchers arouse curiousity (Photo: beyerdynamic)
Illuminated eye-catchers arouse curiousity (Photo: beyerdynamic)

Creative giveaways are an excellent way to turn trade fair visitors into brand ambassadors. Ideally, the information material and a few small souvenirs are packed in fabric bags featuring the company logo. They can be gifted to select guests as goodie bags. At the end of a guided tour for visitors, the participants are pleased to receive the little giveaways they contain. In addition, they will probably be carrying the bag with them all day and be clearly visible at the fair. One can even add samples of the exhibitor’s products. Or themed gifts that will allow the exhibitor to leave a good and memorable impression even after the fair.

After taking part in a fair experiences are still fresh and all participants are in “the flow”. This is the perfect time to plan the next upcoming event. No later than one week after the fair one should organise a meeting or telephone conference to receive feedback. What went well? What could be better next time? How was the media feedback? Which guests were in attendance? How did the technology work? All voices should be heard in order to get the broadest possible picture and collect all their experiences - this way, the next fair is guaranteed to be a success.

This article was published in TFI issue 1/2020


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