How to stand out in a sea of exhibition stands… and beat the standard goldfish!

Trade shows are a great way to gain business exposure, meet prospective clients and generate high quality leads. But in a sea of exhibition stands it can be difficult to stand out in an arena filled with your competitors.

Especially when (according to Microsoft) the average attention span is down to eight seconds. That’s a lower attention span than your nine second goldfish! With that being said, how can you become a star of the show?

Consider your space.

We understand the initial cost for the space alone (before you’ve even considered your stand build) can be a shock, so talk to and gleam advice from your event professional from the start.

Sometimes you don’t need to book a huge space to make an impact. Shell scheme packages are usually the cheapest way of attending a show but please don’t be the guy sitting with the standard bistro furniture package and a pop-up banner! There are lots of tricks to pimp up your stand, so you can be that peacock you’ve always wanted to be!

Graphics are hugely powerful, but like PowerPoint don’t plonk your logo onto a white background and have lengthy bullet points that run down to people's ankles! Remember to stand out and grab visitors’ attention.

Create an atmosphere by using a combination of graphics, lights, textures, colour and even scent. No matter how small your exhibition space may be, you can always get creative! Transform your space into a garden, beach or comfy living room, letting your visitors escape the hustle and bustle of the trade show floor to relax on your stand. A place to recharge will keep them still long enough for you to present that sales pitch.

Bamboo propose a revolution! Let’s make exhibition stands more fun and interactive.

Needless to say, most exhibition stands will have graphics, seating, demo pods, storage and a reception desk, but we don’t believe this is enough to stand out amongst competitors.

By adding an interactive element to your stand design, you’ll not only attract higher footfall but will also create a buzz, encouraging people to stop and take notice. Games, vending machines, graffiti walls, photo opportunities, VR, touch screens, robots, live quizzes or optical illusions that can all relate back to your sales message and prompt visitors to spend time with you.

You can also hire experienced stand presenters and crowd stoppers to rave about your products into the aisles, educating passing visitors and reeling them in.

As mentioned in our ‘Top 10 Event Mistakes to Avoid’ blog post, interaction is a surefire way to get prospective clients to understand your business and pay attention. Chances are if you include a surprise interactive element, your stand will be hard to forget!

No point having a rocking stand, unless you have top staff onboard too.

Choose your stand representatives carefully! After all it takes a lot of energy and continuous 'bubbliness' to run a stand all day long. So, why not reward them too! There’s nothing like a little incentive or competition to keep your sales force in high spirits, energised, engaged and motivated! Also consider if your team could benefit from exhibition stand staff training (yes - that's a thing!), to teach them the secrets of trade stand sales and interaction, so you don’t miss any potential leads in the crowd.  

Be creative with giveaways!

We all like to grab a branded pen, mug or notepad when visiting trade shows, but why not think a little differently and stand out further by offering the best freebies. Think fans, lolly pops, laptop skins, socks, sunglasses, fortune cookies, even Rubik’s cubes! We reckon you’ll get a lot more attention if you’re handing out fun, unexpected and inexpensive swag.

Promote your presence in advance of the show.

A great way to attract more visitors is by simply promoting your attendance before the show. Create teasers and hype leading up to the dates, by letting people know what to expect if they do come and see you. Don't just leave it to the show organisers to promote your presence.

Always remember your reasons for attending.

At the forefront of everything you do (with any corporate event!), always go back to ‘why’. What are your top 3 reasons for attending? To attract new customers, to showcase a new product or purely because your competitors are going!?

Whatever your objectives, make sure your stand truly represents your company, your brand and your ethos. Inviting a visitor onto your stand should be like inviting someone into your home (so to speak!), allowing them to get a real feel for who your company is. Any stand contractor can build you a stand, but an event management company can give you a fresh perspective delivering an eye-catching design, with added experiences like no other!

Written by: Emma Knights, Event Director