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So you’ve booked the stand space, now what? Exhibition Advice from ITTFA

19 September 2011, 11:55

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With an exhibition hall full of people, many of whom will be potential customers, how do you ensure that your space will attract visitors? How do you stand out from all the other companies and products on display? Not only do you need to attract the right visitor traffic, your stand also needs to project the right company image and effectively communicate your desired message or messages. So you need to think hard about your choices and how you can maximize the potential of your stand space.
 
The style and design of your exhibition stand is what first grabs people’s attention, encouraging them to look closer. It needs to look professional but eye catching, whilst ensuring that your product is the most obvious feature. It is important that all passersby know what you do!

Make sure that graphics and signboards are large, bold and simple. Use the same thought process as you would for a roadside billboard. You only have a few seconds to attract a visitor’s attention and get your message across. Moving displays or motion of any kind are usually a good attention grabber, bright lights and projected images awaken the senses. Music is also a draw but bear in mind competing background noises and the constant show announcements which could reduce impact.

Hopefully you have secured a stand that is in an area with high traffic flow, near an entrance, next to a kiosk or on a corner and ideally your stand should have more frontage than depth, this will increase exposure to passing traffic. Also if possible, ensure you have plenty of room left for visitors on the actual stand, once you have placed your displays and furniture.

Having done all your pre show advertising and PR, you can concentrate on what you can do at the show itself to maximise your presence and help achieve objectives. Whatever you choose to do must be in line with your company and product profile and must be appropriate for the audience you wish to target. It is an easy mistake to run gimmicky promotions that create the wrong impression or serve as a major distraction which prevents your staff from engaging effectively with the right visitors.

When it comes to gimmicks and give-aways, try to think outside the box whilst keeping it relevant. You can hold publicity stunts, demonstrations and competitions on the stand, you can offer hospitality facilities, put on a musical display.  Give-aways that promote the company name around the show are the best type so make it something of use on the day. Good quality bags or backpacks are always useful at a show, incentivise further by giving on the spot prizes for those displaying your branded product.

Whatever you do, make sure your sales team are educated on how to engage quickly and relevantly to make a quick pitch to clients. Working in such a fast paced, face to face environment may require additional staff training, so bear that in mind.

It is critical that leads are followed up as soon as the show has closed, possibly with some initial form of contact and then with further more detailed interaction. Attracting large quantities of visitors is great but objectives may not be met if that traffic is not turned into leads and eventually sales. 

ITTFA, International Tourism Trade Fair Association, is dedicated to the continual development of the travel trade show industry, increasing participation and setting high standards across Europe and worldwide. For more information on our member shows or how to become a member, please visit www.ittfa.org.

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