Thursday 27 July 2017

How to Buy an Exhibition Stand: Five Essential Tips

Most investment advice carries a high element of risk.  Yes, you can make plenty of money, but you can also lose it pretty quickly if you’re not careful.

Luckily, when it comes to event stand investment, the outlook is far brighter!

Exhibiting is one of the most reliably proven business-boosting methods around, meaning all you have to do is follow our five essential stand purchasing tips – which we’ve based on many years of practical experience – then get ready to enjoy all that wonderful return on your hard-earned investment.

1. Understand your space 

First up: make sure you know where you’ll be exhibiting!  This doesn’t simply apply to the event, or even the venue, but your actual exhibition space.

Your space will determine the type of stand that will work best for you, as each will have different features.  If you’ve booked a shell scheme, for example (a modular system that can be built to just about any size), you will need walls, while island spaces will have exposure from all angles – so your branding will have to be seen from all angles!

2. Think flexible future-proofing

Think practically about how many times per year you’ll exhibit your company at trade events (beware: once you start, you may find it becomes addictive!). 

Flexibility may not be too much of an issue if you’re planning to book similar spaces at similar events, but if you’re looking to branch out and experiment then a simple, self-build stand that can be easily customised may be the perfect solution, such as Versaform Flex or Lite.

If you’re booking larger spaces with maximum impact, our team can help take the stress out of setting everything up by installing your chosen stand for you!

3. What will you use the stand for? 

Do you want your stand to be interactive, informative, or simply act as an eye-catching company backdrop? 

If you know how you plan to use your stand, you’ll save money on unnecessary gadgets and add-ons.  After all, if you’re promoting a specific product launch or showcasing a media demonstration, your focus and setup will need to be different from a stand on which you’ll be holding client meetings. 

4. Accessorise!

The fashion industry tell us all the time that accessories are everything – and so it goes for event stands!  So, once you’ve decided how you’d like to use your stand, it’s time to browse the rails. 

For example, comfy seating and a coffee bar will probably be at the top of your ‘must-have’ list if you’re arranging on-stand meetings, while shelving and a stock room for literature will be key for promotional displays.

5. Customise your stand

The X Factor is awash with singers who “made that song their own.”  Now it’s time to do the same with your stand!

We’ve stressed the importance of working with your event space, but it’s just as important that your stand tells visitors – quickly, cleanly and at first glance – about your company.  Ideally, it will also offer something different to your competitors.

So don’t forget to incorporate your company’s unique branding and colours, with original themes that work well alongside your product or service.  

Now that you have the perfect stand, all that’s left to do is put it firmly to work at your next event…and watch all those enquiries come flooding in!

If you found our stand investment tips helpful, why not get in touch with our professional team?  You’ll find us friendly and approachable, not to mention full of expertise and practical advice on how to make exhibiting your business work for you. 

What are you waiting for?  

Monday 24 July 2017

Dressing for success – eye-catching event branding outside the exhibition hall

We’re a versatile bunch here at Guardian Exhibition & Display, and you probably know us well enough by now to know that we specialise in brand-boosting event displays for a whole host of clients, at exhibitions all over the world.

But what you may not know is that our expertise travels a lot further than the exhibition hall! 

When it comes to full-scale event branding, our insightful team are highly skilled at creating everything from venue signage, graphics and banners, to window vinyls and digital wallpaper. 

In short, just about everything you’ll ever need to attract and inspire your event visitors can be left safely in our experienced and accomplished hands.

A creative approach that works hard

We know that the right event branding can take your show to the next level, so our approach is simple.  We’re endlessly creative, but we’ll also take a strategic and practical view of your event – by getting to know your aims and whom you’re looking to attract.

Our services are completely bespoke, and we’ll survey the event venue well in advance to ensure our ideas fit not only with your audience, but also the unique layout and design of your surroundings.

Case study: helping the Sahara Force India F1 team to liven up a drab conference room, located in the brand-new wing of the Silverstone race track! 

The room was the setting for a media conference to launch the VJM06 race car, and our brief was to create a colourfully seamless display that was swift to set up, as well as being re-usable and cost-effective. 

Our team closely surveyed the room, quickly settling on the bi-folding Italian crafted doors as the ideal focus to hang the large-scale Fabric prints.  To ensure absolutely no damage was done to the doors, we tested an array of adhesives and our fitting team got straight to work on hanging the giant 3.5 x 3m prints on the day before the event…which ran as smoothly as the car itself!

Impactful and dynamic, the display was as easily removed as it was set up – with no damage whatsoever to the surroundings.

Built-in consistency

If you’re planning an event, you’ll need a thoughtful and consistent branding approach.  After all, event planning is hard work – hard work you won’t want to waste by randomly filling a room with colour and then hoping for the best.

Effective event branding incorporates a number of design elements, bringing them all together in a consistent and visually compelling journey for your visitors, right from the moment they arrive.  This is exactly the approach you can expect from our professional team.

Case study: as part of our long-standing relationship as preferred branding supplier for the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) at Savoy Place, we were tasked with branding Ivanti Interchange 17.  This is a high-profile global event dedicated to modernising IT solutions.

We dressed the building in a stylish suite of consistent and eye-catching branding materials, which included 6m Foamex balcony signage, entrance displays, and 1m x 2m fabric panels for the Lecture Theatre. 

The entire display was professionally installed and broken down by our team – leaving the event organisers to focus on what they do best!

We are proud to show endless examples of the successful event branding projects we’ve worked on, from hanging displays at the BNC Global Event Show, to a fun and child-friendly campaign for Tomy’s Chuggington! 

Come and take a look at our website to see more, and if you’re planning an event in the near future, why not get in contact with our friendly team and find out what our professional expertise could do for you?

Friday 14 July 2017

Location, location, location! How to select the perfect spot for your stand

 Summer equals holiday time for most…with crowds of people vying for the best spot on the beach to lay out their towel and relax.

Did you know that finding the best space for your stand at a trade event is just as important?  OK, so you won’t return to the office with seashells and a golden tan, but if you get your stand positioning right, you can bet you’ll end the event feeling revived from all that business-boosting activity, not to mention raring to follow up on reams of new contacts.

The great news is, it’s not hard to ensure you’re in the best place at your next event.  Most show organisers will allow you to choose your ideal location…and if it’s not clear, all you have to do is ask.

To help get you started, we’ve come up with a few more top tips – based on our dedicated expertise helping clients from a wide array of industries – to ensure your stand is seen by all the right people at your next exhibition!

Study the floorplan well 

It’s such an obvious point, but you’d be surprised how often people don’t check their stand positioning, assuming that the cost of the event means they’ll automatically get a great spot (newsflash: it doesn’t!). 

If you can, check the plans for previous events held at the venue too, including where the entrance is, so you can see where footfall is naturally likely to flow.  Then…

…get yourself a great vantage point!

Not only will you be able to see visitors coming (and arm yourself with that all-important smile well in advance!), but you’ll also be able to angle your branding to its very best, brightest and friendliest effect.

Don’t forget that while positioning yourself close to the entrance means visitors will find it hard to miss you, the entrance area is also often the most hectic and crowded place, with clusters of people jostling to get past and into the main event areas.

Look for interesting neighbours 

Your event neighbours will impact you, so make sure you know who they are.  Contrary to often imagined belief, positioning yourself near a high-profile industry leader could actually increase the chances of bringing visitors to your own stand.  A neighbour who offers products or services that complement your own is also a good bet.

While industry groupings can be hugely beneficial, bear in mind that it may be a lot harder for you to stand out in the crowd.  Some visitors might also feel overwhelmed, or put off from approaching a glut of stands all offering largely the same thing.

Consider popular event areas…

…such as coffee stands, or food courts.  These sections will always be well-visited, and if you’ve got a stand that features tech or additional entertainment (or even slices of tasty home-made cake), you’re likely to attract a lot more attention as people enjoy their well-earned breaks!

Take account of your event objectives

Your stand positioning needs might change depending on what you most want to get out of your event.  Whom do you want to attract, and what do you want to achieve once you’ve got their attention? 

If you need your stand itself to make a big splash, then heading for popular, buzzy areas should bring the right level of attention.  However, if you’re holding pre-agreed meetings on your stand, or you’re looking to engage people in detailed conversations, then you’ll benefit a lot more from a quieter corner.

Hopefully by now we’ve managed to convince you that event stand placement is just as essential as holiday beach positioning!  So if you’re looking for even more insider information on where to place your stand, or how to showcase it to its best effect once you’re there, our friendly and professional team is always on hand to help.  Simply contact us (here).

Friday 7 July 2017

Get people talking: Simple Social Media Tips for Your Next #Event!

OK, so you don’t have to use social media at your next event.  But you can bet your competitors will – and why should they have all the fun, not to mention all the increased business boosting attention?

Luckily, devising a social media strategy for your exhibition couldn’t be simpler or more fun – and best of all, it costs next to nothing.  So if you’ve got a show on the horizon, read on for some top tips on creating a stand-out social media strategy for your stand.

Before the show…

Start by listing your goals

Don’t send out a few random tweets and hope for the best.  Attention spans are fleetingly short on social media, so you need to ensure your strategy is tailored to what you want to achieve from the event.  For example, do you want to increase newsletter signups, or maybe encourage more client referrals?  

Once you’ve listed your goals, brainstorm how social media will help you achieve them.  You could run a pre-event competition for example, or tell followers they can expect a free cup of fresh coffee and a slice of cake if they visit your stand with a referral!

Socialise with your ideal customer base – and start early

There’s no point setting up an Instagram account pre-event if your potential customers prefer Facebook.  Find out where your ideal clients live on social media, then pay them a friendly visit!

No time is too early to begin promoting your presence and building a pre-event following…so make sure you don’t leave it to the last minute.

Be recognisable

If you can, post a picture of your stand before the event (pre-event stand visuals are something we’re very happy to arrange for you here at Guardian Exhibition & Display).  Pictures and introductions of the team members visitors will meet at your stand during the day will fuel a pre-show buzz, too – maybe alongside a weird and wonderful fact about each person!

During the show…

Use pictures and videos to promote your presence

Your team’s valuable time and that fantastic looking stand don’t come cheap, do they?  So make the most of the event by making sure people know you’re there! 

The beauty of showcasing on social media is that you’re not only promoting your presence to visitors, but also to those who couldn’t make the event – so make it easy for them to get in touch.

You may have noticed that live broadcasting is all the rage on social media at the moment – so take advantage!  Have your team regularly recording brief updates throughout the day.

(Remember, if you’re worried about not having enough time to fit everything in, you can always pre-schedule a few tweets and updates to get things started off).

Use the show hashtag 

There will be one, so ensure you know it, and use it every time you post.

Get visitors sharing

There are many ways to encourage visitors to talk about your event on social media.  Enticing add-ons such as the aforementioned cake, a fun game or a cutting-edge piece of tech will create an uplifting stir.  How about an instant ‘stand selfie’ competition, with photos posted to social media and the winner announced after the event?

After the show…

Keep the engagement going!

Don’t disappear without trace after the event – ask your followers to feed back what went well, or perhaps even nominate their favourite team member manning your stand!

Of course, you’ll have collected lots of details from interested potential clients throughout the day.  As well as the obligatory follow-up email or call, why not follow them on social media too?

Now we’ve convinced you of all the benefits of social media, why not connect with us for even more hints and tips on making your next event work for you?  If you’d rather talk in person, that’s great!  Simply contact us (here).