Friday 29 September 2017

Give that ugly shell scheme a makeover! Simple tips to stand out at your next event

If you’ve exhibited your business before, or you’ve attended trade events in the past, you’ll probably be familiar with the term “shell scheme” – a modular system with walls that defines each company’s exhibition space at the event. 
Now it has to be said that a shell scheme in its natural state doesn’t exactly inspire. If you were visiting a trade event, would this basic shell scheme below tempt you to wander over? (Let’s assume your feet aren’t aching and you don’t need somewhere to sit down – fast!).

Now compare it with this lively stand, primed to catch your eye with lively graphics and plenty of colour.

Though none of us dress exactly like Gok Wan, our team at Guardian Exhibition & Display are shell scheme makeover specialists.  We’ll help breathe colour, life and energy into your exhibition space, with a creative and professional on-brand stand that visitors won’t be able to ignore.
We’re pretty generous with our knowledge, too – so if you’re looking for tips on how to make your shell scheme sparkle, look no further!

Cover up those boring walls

We’re sorry to tell you this, but half-heartedly Velcro-ing a few posters just isn’t going to cut it.
In a crowded exhibition hall, you’ll only have seconds to make your first impression.  A flexible stand solution allows you to do just that, filling your entire space with much-needed colour and interest. 
Better still, as flexibility is the name of the game, Versaform stands can be reshaped to fit any space, and your graphics re-used for later events – meaning plenty more people will have the opportunity to be enthralled by your brand!

Don’t be afraid to get creative

Imaginative graphics demand attention.  Don’t worry if you’re not artistically inclined, as our design team come fully equipped with some great ideas to get you started.
Alternatively, how about arranging an old-school creative session with your team?  Book a meeting room, grab some paper and pens and let your imaginations loose!

Fill your space completely

Just as 1950s housewives were encouraged never to leave the house without their ‘face’ on, don’t let anyone see your shell scheme in its natural state. 
Let’s not forget that your company is going to be judged – most of the time completely unconsciously – on how it looks as people stroll past.  You want them to stop in wonder, not because they’ve spotted something that doesn’t seem quite right.
Not only that, you’ve probably spent quite a lot of hard-earned profit on that precious floor space – so doesn’t it make sense to make the most of it?

Encourage visitor interaction

Trust us, good coffee and comfy seating are always a great start! 
You can also remove any fascia boards and corner posts to create a feeling of openness – and of course, always make sure there are no obstructions in people’s way as they approach you.

Give your team a makeover, too!

We’re not talking tassels and sequins (unless that’s part of your brand, of course!)  But you do need to make sure that the your event team look the part, in keeping with the style and impression of your stand.

If your shell scheme could do with a much-needed makeover, we’re the experienced team you need to contact.  We come complete with an inspirational and diverse portfolio of stunning stands for clients across all industries – to take a look, or to begin a friendly chat, simply contact us (here).

Friday 15 September 2017

Working the glow factor – why you should use a lightbox at your next event!

If you’re anything like our team here at Guardian Exhibition & Display, you’ll have nurtured a lifelong, secret desire to see your name up in lights.

Now you can make that secret dream come true for your brand, by incorporating a LED lightbox at your next exhibition!

Vanity aside, if you’re looking for the best ways to beat the competition and attract more visitors to your stand, clever use of lighting is a fantastic solution that always enthrals.  Just ask any artist or photographer.

Yes, we know your chosen venue will have its own lighting – we don’t hear of many events that take place in a dark underground cave, after all – but given the amount of enquiries we’re starting to receive about our amazing lightboxes, it seems people are catching on to the fact that bespoke lighting makes a huge difference when it comes to attracting attention.

Illuminated advertising is an essential attraction element that many high-end High Street stores have been effectively using for years – next time you’re strolling along London’s Oxford Street, why not check for yourself? – so why share the spotlight with your competitors, when you could generate your very own?

Allow us to shed some more light on the subject for you!

Lightboxes attract attention

We can’t help being hardwired to notice bright, colourful things over dull, bland ones.  It goes to follow, then, that a winning combination of colour and light is guaranteed to attract more visitors than a stand relying on colour alone.

This is a theory that is ably backed by market research, which consistently shows that illuminated advertising drives more attention, enquiries – and ultimately, sales – to a brand than non-lit advertising of the same type.

Your brand will appear more vibrant than ever before!

High resolution graphics are created from tension fabric panels, and then illuminated with bright LED lighting that distributes even levels of light across the graphic surface. 

Event visitors will have no choice but to look, without even thinking about it – meaning that from the moment they enter the exhibition hall, you’ll be leaving your competitors in the dark.

You can use lighting in whichever way works best for your brand

Use a floor standing lightbox for all-over illumination, or integrate lighting as a bespoke part of larger stands to highlight particular messages, images or branding elements. 

Enjoy the opportunity to get really creative here – why not brainstorm your ideal stand components, and see where you could throw some extra light to captivate your visitors!

We offer a complete range of lighting options for your stand, so whatever method you choose, and whatever option you decide upon, our friendly and knowledgeable team can bring it all to life.

We also know very well that the best way to explain more about lightboxes and bespoke lighting options is to show you! 

So why not head on over to our website to view some examples of our work and learn how to see your brand in the very best light possible – or better still, arrange a free demonstration to view all the potential of bespoke lighting right up close?  We guarantee you won’t regret it!

Interested?  Simply contact our team (here) to get started.

Friday 8 September 2017

Are you ready for GDPR?

Don’t worry, it’s not a trick question!  But it is an important one.

You may have seen the term ‘GDPR’ as you scrolled through various news feeds, along with a vague warning to make sure your business is compliant.  But you were too busy to click on the full story just then, so you resolved to find out more later on.

If this is you, we know the feeling!  But this EU regulation (yes, it does still apply to the UK) is going to affect most companies.  Since we don’t have all that long to prepare for it, we thought we’d bring you nicely up to date in one handy blog post.  Not only that, we’ll tell you about how exhibiting your business can actually help you along the way to compliance!

Are you ready?  Then let us enlighten you.

What is GDPR, anyway?

An easy question to start us off with.  The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new regulation that will govern how businesses handle and protect the personal data they collect.  Effectively, we will all have more rights regarding our own data.

When will it become effective?

From 25th May 2018.  You’ll need to ensure your company is compliant beforehand, so it’s not as far away as you might think!

What will I need to do?

Firstly, you’ll need to keep records of all personal data – along with proof that individual consent has been given.  You’ll also need to show what you intend to do with the data you’ve collected, where it will be stored and how it will be protected. 

The GDPR differs from the current Data Protection Act in its definition of “personal data”.  The extended definition includes categories that include computer IP addresses and genetic make-up.  In short, absolutely anything that could be used to identify an individual person will count as “personal data”.

So if you collect business cards, sign-up or feedback forms for example, the new regulations will apply.

What are the implications of not complying?

As well as complying with the regulations in full, you will need to ensure you report any incidences of personal data being stolen within 72 hours.

Non-compliance could lead to fines of 4% of global turnover, or up to €20 million – whichever is the greater.

So, what should I do now?

You’ll need to establish methods to ensure you gain visible consent for any data you collect.  Then, make sure you tell people what you will do with their data.  For example, this means you will have to ask before signing people up to your mailing list – you won’t be able to assume that you can do so just because they gave you a business card.

Then, you must make sure the data you collect is securely stored.

You could implement a ‘data audit’ in readiness for May 2018, appointing a team to check your current systems and processes and implement any changes.  A regular audit schedule will then need to be arranged once May 2018 has passed.

How can exhibitions help me with GDPR?

We’ve saved the best part until last!  Exhibitions are a fantastic way of collecting lots of individual data in one place, and as long as you get visible permission (such as asking people to sign a consent form when they pass you a business card), you’ll be able to continue.    

The regulations also provide a great excuse to follow up with people you met at the event, since you’ll have to request further consent to sign them up to your regular mailing list or database.

In short, there’s nothing to be scared of with GDPR, as long as we all take a little more care over how we handle client data…the new regulations should benefit all of us in the long run (we’ll have to endure far less cold-calling, for a start!).

Can we help you answer any questions about data handling at exhibitions…or about exhibitions in general, for that matter?  Our friendly team is always willing to help, so why not get in touch?

Friday 1 September 2017

Take your business on holiday this Autumn!

So September has finally arrived, heralding a reluctant return to work for many.  As you dust off your coffee mug, fill your diary with catch-up meetings and respond to all those emails, wouldn’t it be nice to have something to look forward to?  Wouldn’t it be even nicer if that something to look forward to could also be fantastic for business?

If you’re nodding along in agreement, exhibiting your business in Europe could be just the solution you’re looking for! 

The leading destination for trade fairs, Europe offers a tempting smorgasbord of opportunities to promote your company and boost your brand.  According to Expo DataBase, more than 90% of leading international trade shows are held in Europe – so if you’ve been focusing all your exhibiting efforts in the UK so far, you’re probably missing out (yes, even with Brexit looming on the horizon).

Of course, you probably already know that our friendly team at Guardian Exhibition & Display can help you make the most of your company’s UK showcasing ambitions, with our expertise and dedicated years of experience. 

But what you might not already know is that our expertise and experience travels extremely well!  We’ve designed and built exhibition stands at prestigious events all over Europe, on tours that amongst others, have covered destinations including Sweden, France, Italy, Poland, the sunny island of Jersey, and Germany – otherwise known as Europe’s most popular location for trade shows.

So if you’re looking to take your business on holiday this season and beyond, you can rest assured that our professional team will help you make the most of your company’s European experience.  Here’s how.

Our stands travel (almost) as well as we do

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing a stand for a European trade show, relax: we do.  Our team will advise you on the best materials, accessories and design for your chosen show, and we’ll pre-build your stand for you to approve before you go.

Better still, you’ll have the option to hire your stand if this works best with your budget.  Better still, we’ll store and seamlessly transport your stand direct to your chosen venue.

We’ll look after logistics and liaise with show organisers

…so you won’t have to!  We’ve got the experience and the know-how to organise your event in the background, so you can spend your valuable time in the foreground, promoting the show and ensuring your event-day smiles are fully polished up.

Boutique or grand, we’ve dealt with a wide array of European venues, so it’s likely we’ll already be familiar with the process for the one you’ve chosen.  We’ll deal with any associated documentation and admin, and when it comes to exhibitions we’re well-versed in European regulations and etiquette, so we’ll make sure you’re fully compliant.

We’ll take care of on-site services

Flooring, electrics, WiFi… wherever and however you decide to exhibit, we’ve got it all covered!

So there you have it – if you’re looking to branch out into European exhibiting, all our team need to know are the details of your chosen show.  Just tell us where you want to go, brief us on your exhibiting aims and your ideal stand size, and we’ll take care of absolutely everything else.

As they say in France: “travail bien fait!” (That’s “job well done”).

If you’re looking for some examples of our work, our website showcases the diverse stands we’ve created for our clients.  Why not ask us your questions about exhibiting in the UK or Europe?  Our team love to talk, and we love putting our expertise into practice even more.  Simply get in touch (here).