Printing solutions to promote your business at Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Exhibitions and trade shows are great at getting large numbers of people to attend and it’s likely that many of them are qualified prospects, at least for the overall industry you’re in. Many of the consumers of your product or service are likely to be there, looking for new innovative solutions to the issues and problems they have.
The biggest problem you have is that there are also many of your competitors there too. So standing out from your competitors in a closed environment is therefore critical to your ROI for the exhibition and probably the overall future success of your business.
Many people simply walk down each aisle and look at every booth (like doing the grocery shopping), but what I’ve noticed is that so many of the booths just have plain walls, maybe a poster or two and the Company name across the top of the stand – No real Branding. Naturally, most people just walk straight past with barely a glance in their direction. So all the money spent on having a booth is largely wasted.
By comparison, the major companies spend substantial amounts of money on setting up their stand; making it welcoming and attractive; well branded so you recognise who they are, with plenty of staff on hand to look after the volume of enquiries, they often run competitions to help gather data from prospects that will be followed up at a later date and inevitably have ‘Show Specials’.
But that sort of expense is clearly out of reach for many companies so you need to be a bit smarter about what you spend your money on.
Here are my top 5 must-haves…
You need to make sure your stand actually stands out (at least more than the plain stands). Some of the options include: Full/partial wall Banners or Media Walls, Pull up Banners, Printed Table Cloths, Display stands, A-Frames, etc. There is a huge range of products available and the size of your stand may limit some of the options, but remember there is nothing worse than a plain grey exhibition booth.
In this digital age, many people think that brochures are a thing of the past, but nothing could be further from the truth. If your prospects are at all interested in what you have to offer, they will keep your brochures. It’s something tactile that they can touch and feel, utilising more of their senses and making it more real than just images on a website (that they may never visit). Brochures should provide information in both written and visual forms. Creating great brochures is a subject for another article.
3. Presentation Folders
If you have a number of different Brochures and other information sheets or booklets, consider having a Presentation Folder to put everything in. They are a useful item for your prospects to keep all your information together and are great for Branding and Brand Recognition.
4. Promotional Products
Sometimes promotional products (or more specifically the branding on promotional products) is ignored, or worse not even noticed, so my recommendation is to have things that are useful to your prospects and therefore used regularly and if possible, kept in front of them. Pens are very useful but too often cheap pens are chosen that just leave that ‘cheap’ impression! Simple Note Pads and Desk Pads are great, they keep your Brand in front of your prospects & customers and are very useful.
5. Business Cards
Surely nobody would exclude or forget about business cards but … make sure that everybody working on your stand have their own cards. Once you’ve made a connection with somebody, the last thing you would want to do is give them a generic business card. It’s hard enough to make a good impression without handing them a card without your name on it (or a handwritten name).
If you need advice on how to design a great Business Card be sure to see our previous Blog – Tips on designing a great Business Card.
Sorry I couldn’t keep it to 5 because No 6 this is too important to leave out.
6. Uniforms or Branded Clothing
(Business Shirts, Polo Shirts, Hoodies, Pants, Hi-Viz Clothing, etc.)
Uniforms are also essential at Expo’s, even if it’s just a branded polo shirt and pants (so long as everyone wears the same coloured pants) which helps promote your Brand and ensures that all the team will look professional.
Most people understand that Expo’s are a marketing exercise and like most (if not all) marketing its important to use the services of a suitably qualified and experienced Graphic Designer who has a good understanding of marketing. Design plays a significant role in marketing; whether you will be noticed and then later recognised, how well your information is absorbed and whether you will be remembered, all comes down to the ability and skill of the Designer. How effective is the design in your marketing?
So to improve the likelihood of a successful exhibition, you need to ensure that everything is designed to be;
• Consistent with your Brand
• Focused on the solutions you provide rather than you
• Visually appealing and easy to understand (a strong link between your imagery and headlines).
Unsurprisingly, Design is at the core of all printing. And yet it is difficult to find printing companies that offer a quality Design service.
Something to remember
You don’t have to use the suppliers recommended by the organisers of the Exhibition for your marketing material, banners, signage, etc. You can often save money by using an external supplier and you are highly likely to end up with better results using a professional design company who will take the time to understand what your business is all about.
Your logo is (or should be) the centre piece of your brand, so having a great Logo is something you should have or be working towards. Most of the major Brands of the world have great Logos which are fairly simple and easy to recognise which helps their Brand Recognition. Don’t over complicate it.