How to plan your exhibition stand

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by No Comments

It’s a common error to invest in an exhibition stand space without carefully thinking about what your exhibiting needs are.

For some, this can result in very busy looking stands, or stands that disrupt the flow of traffic. Even if your sales team are the best in the world, your stand needs to be carefully designed to allow your amazing sales team to do what they do best.

See our video with Andrew Pocock explaining the key considerations for designing your stand and read our top tips below.

 

1. Clear branding

Exhibition halls can get very busy, so it’s important that your stand is fully branded with your logo clearly seen from a far. It’s also important to add clear USPs and key messages to explain what you do in a nutshell. Keep wording to a minimum as your stand should tempt people in for your sales team to do the talking. This will help passersby to determine if they want to find out more about your business.

2. Space for clients

With stand space, less is most definitely more! Overcrowding will repel passersby rather than encourage them on-stand. Getting this balance right could be the difference between your stand generating a positive and negative ROI, so think it through carefully.

Think about the amount of space you’ll need to interact with clients. Will you need a desk or counter area to take down their information as a lead? Are you planning on meeting with existing clients for a prolonged period? If you are displaying lots of products, then you’ll also need to consider the amount of room you will need for clients to view or interact with these in addition to the space you’ll need to take leads and sales.

3. Giveaway

Not all exhibitors will want to give away freebies, but they are a great reminder of your business if you get it right. It may seem like a quick win to have a bowl of unbranded sweets, as a token gesture, but this won’t help with your brand awareness after the event and won’t help with your ROI.

Giveaways should be relevant and should be memorable. For example, sweets with your name on them, or longer term gifts such as branded mirrors, pens or stress balls.

If you’re giveaways are of higher value, consider only given away as a thank you to leads rather than to everybody – this will make sure that you aren’t a target for freebie hunters who aren’t interested in your business.


Maximising your ROI – Charity Survey

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by No Comments

We know that marketing display equipment is vital to all local and national charities in their quest to gain more exposure about their cause, to educate people as well as to help raise vital funds. But we want to help charities to better understand which displays charities are using that maximise their return on investment, to use their funds wisely. We hope that our resulting report will help charities to feel confident about investing in the right display equipment to maximise their opportunities by following best practice.

To do this, we have put together a short survey to find out just how important display materials are to charities, how they are used and how ROI is measured.

The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. Everyone who completes the survey will receive the free results if they provide a valid email address plus get the chance to win £50 of Amazon voucher which you can choose to donate towards your charity of choice or treat yourself for all of your hard work.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Also, keep an eye out for our annual charity competition where you could win Marler Haley vouchers. See how last year’s winners Orpheus used their vouchers.

Prize Draw Ts and Cs
To be eligible for the £50 Amazon prize draw, you must provide a valid email address and the name of the charity that you work, or volunteer for. The prize draw will be open until the end of September 2014, at which point the survey may still remain open at the discretion of Marler Haley. If no response from the winning prize draw entry is received after 2 weeks, then a second winner will be drawn.

 


Setting objectives for exhibitions

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by No Comments

How are you planning on measuring success at your next exhibition? Success can mean many things to many different people, but it’s important to make sure that you know what success means for your business and how you are going to measure it before the event has begun. This will help you to find out whether exhibiting was a worthwhile experience, or whether you need to go back to the drawing board to find out why it wasn’t so great for your business.

In this short video, Andrew Pocock explains the importance of setting objectives and speaks about two of our objectives for an upcoming conference, sales and relationships.

Objective- Sales

Andrew Pocock from Marler Haley explains, “What we’re looking to do is to pick up as many new contacts as we can – obviously new contacts that have a need for what we do.”

Although it may be tempting to measure all contacts gained as potential leads, in reality this won’t be helpful to your business. It is more helpful to qualify these leads from their potential value.

Using a simple A, B, C scoring system can help with this.

A= Priority / high value

If the lead has an immediate need for your product/service or they are of high value, then score these people as ‘A’. These are the leads that should be your top priority to follow up with to try and convert into a sale.

B= Intermediate priority/lower value

If they don’t have an immediate need, or their potential value is lower than expected, then score these as B’s.  These are potential leads which should be followed up, but may not be as fruitful to your return on investment.

C= Low priority/ information seekers

If the person is simply browsing and wants more information, then score these as Cs. Cs can be sent follow up correspondence and added to mailing lists etc to keep them up to date with your products and services, but are unlikely to yield any immediate gain.

Objective – Maintaining relationships

Andrew continues, “We’re also looking to get ourselves in-front of existing customers.”

Maintaining relationships is vital to make sure that your existing client base is nurtured. You could even arrange to meet some of your clients at the event – as long as there are enough people to cover your stand while these meetings take place, to gain some valuable time with your clients.


Choosing the right exhibition for your needs

Posted on: March 25th, 2014 by No Comments

How do you pick the correct exhibition or event for you or for your business? Some may jokingly say “With a finger in the wind”, but picking the right exhibition is the first step in making sure you have a successful, and profitable event.

We’ve created a short series that follows our progress of picking an event to exhibit at and how we’re following best practice to increase our success from our exhibiting strategy.

1. Finding your target audience

Focusing on exhibitions that will bring visitors and prospects in areas that match your business strategy will make sure you have the right people visiting your exhibition stand. Also finding out if the exhibition will bring in the volume of footfall of your target audience that you’ll need  to achieve a good return on investment is a must!

2. Location, Location, Location

Consider where your target customers are based. If you’re a UK-wide business like us, then location may not be so much of a contributing factor to your decision. But if you’re a local business, or looking to expand into new locations then this should be carefully considered.

3. On-stand staff

When you exhibit, you’ll need to make sure that your stand is manned. Free up sales staff or office management for the event. Remember: although you’re exhibiting, you will still need staff available at your office to keep your business ticking over.

4. Stand space 

Before deciding whether the event is right for your needs, check that the price is right. You’ll typically find that stand spaces are bought by the square metre , so it’s a good idea to check that the square metre price is comparable with other events in the same industry or sector.

Remember, the size of space that you opt for will determine the display equipment that you will need to take with you to make sure you make the most of your exhibiting opportunity.


Make your exhibiting strategy a hit

Posted on: March 11th, 2014 by No Comments

Exhibiting can provide a great ROI as well as having far reaching benefits of increasing brand awareness for future purchases. But how can you make sure your exhibiting strategy is a hit and not a flop? Follow the advice from these four songs to make sure you rock when it comes to exhibiting.

Woman Singing Along

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Let’s get ready to Rumble – Ant & Dec

The key to success is preparation! Having a well prepared exhibiting strategy is vital to make sure you’re ready to take on the exhibition and your competitors to the best of your ability. Consider what your main reasons are for exhibiting are, does it include Brand awareness? Sales? Something else? Whatever your reasons, make sure you’re ready to measure it and make your competitors crumble.

 

2. Tubthumping – Chumbawumba

When exhibiting, you’re bound to have a few knockbacks from people that aren’t interested. But as the lyrics say, “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down”. Motivation is key to making sure that on-stand staff stay focused on the positive aspects of exhibiting and strive for goals, such as a key number of leads or sales to contribute toward the exhibiting strategy. Through our recent research, we found that 20% of exhibitors don’t use best practice to keep motivated and wrongly use tea or coffee as motivational aids! Don’t fall at the same hurdle and make sure you’re using great motivational aids.

3. Thank you – Dido

Having on-stand giveaways should be part of your exhibiting strategy. This is a great way of thanking people for visiting, as well as providing an opportunity to give them something to remember you by. Make sure these giveaways are branded, whether that’s a logo and contact details on a pen or something more imaginative such as your name inside a stick of rock. Remember, the more memorable and usable the item, the higher the chance that visitors will remember you in the future.

4. We are the champions – Queen

Want to be able to sing at the top of your lungs ‘We are the Champions!’ at the end of your exhibition? Of course you do. But how will you know if you’ve had a successful exhibition? After your exhibition has ended, it’s important to make sure you measure your ROI by assessing all the costs.

After a small drum roll, you can then find out if you can sing loud and proud, or find out what went wrong to improve for your next exhibition.