5 top tips on how to behave on an exhibition stand

Do you know how to behave on an exhibition stand? Of course, we all know that we should mind our P’s and Q’s, but how should you behave to make sure you have a fantastic exhibition that gives you a return on investment?

Here are our 5 top tips for how to behave at your next exhibition.

1. Stand at the front of your display

Stand at the front of your displayStanding at the front of your display allows you to give visitors a smile and a greeting.

This is a very simple technique to use but can have a big impact.

In a busy hall where visitor’s eyes will be passing from stand-to-stand, being at the front of your display and offering a greeting can focus their attention on your stand and give them that split second to decide if they want to talk to you.

It’s then easier to guide people onto your stand when at the front – you can’t expect people to simply browse your display, or want to pass over the threshold to meet you at the back of the stand if they want to talk to you.

Remember, make it as simple as you can for a visitor to turn into a potential lead!

2. Do not use your mobile on-standMy eyes are up here, not in your phone

I cannot stress this enough. It is so off putting when somebody is using their mobile on a stand. It pretty much says “don’t come near me, I’m busy” or the far worse “I don’t want to be here, I’m bored”.

You could simply be checking an email from your team back in the office… but if you need to do this it’s best to leave the stand.

For visitors, it looks unprofessional and the reputation of your business could be at risk from that split second decision to check your phone.

Ban mobiles on your stand and save them for break time… after all, you’re there to talk to people, not to play Candy Crush Saga.

3. Do not eat or drink on-standSay it don't spray it

“I’ll just quickly eat my breakfast and drink my coffee on-stand…”

Aside from the debris, drinking and eating on your stand can look unprofessional.

For starters, if somebody tries to come up to you to talk, you’ll either have stagnant coffee breath (yikes) or be spraying them with a light mist of whatever it is you’ve just eaten.

Need I say more?

 

4. Don’t sit down

Sitting is for losers, stand up
Standing lets visitors know you’re ready for action. You’re ready to talk to them.

Sitting on the other hand says that you’re tired. You may be on a break. You’re unapproachable.

Standing allows you to look approachable and be in eye-line of visitors to attract their attention.

Be ready for them and stand to attention!

 

5. Be nice!

Let’s face it. Not everybody is going to want your product or service. But even less are going to want to work with you if you’re being pushy.It costs nothing to be nice

It may get you the odd sale, but it won’t generate long-lasting relationships.

Be approachable – a simple hello, or “Hi, do you use [insert service here]?” Is a simple enough opener. It’s then up to the visitor to show interest to allow you to continue.

Being positive and approachable allows visitors to think “Yeah, I could work with those guys” and can help to influence their decision.

Suggested reads:

·         Naughty exhibitors caught in the act infographic 

·         5 tips to stay motivated on-stand 

·         Ignoring visitors at your peril

Celebrating our first birthday banner

First birthday bannerFirsts are always important, momentous occasions worthy of celebrating.

So for my daughter’s first birthday, we decided to have a party – and to have a party we needed a birthday party banner.

I wanted something that was big enough to act as a centre piece for our entire party theme of fairy tale /princesses.

Luckily enough, we’d just created a few banner designs using our online artwork creator tool so I was eager to try one out.

With a mixture of designs, I could have chosen pirates, bunting, dinosaurs and more… but my heart and party theme was set on pink princesses.

So, I gave the tool a test drive to design my very own birthday banner.

Creating a pink princess birthday banner

I chose a 1m x 1m banner, which is the perfect size for a living room feature wall, but a larger 2mx1m banner is also available.

I chose Pacifico font (quite swirly) to type ‘Happy 1st Birthday’ in white for the title and ‘Georgia’ in the bottom ribbon in light pink.

I had the option to change the size, colour and style of font to fully customise the banner.

After I’d added my text, I then uploaded my own image and cropped it around her head so that only her head would be seen through the circle.

Once I’d finished the design (and gone through the checkout), I was contacted to ask how many eyelets I’d like.

This is helpful if you’re going to use your banner outside as you can amend the number of eyelets depending on how you’re planning on attaching it.

Putting up the birthday banner

Displaying the banner was really simple.

We attached with two small nails in the wall and decorated around using confetti balloons.

I was really happy with the finished design and it’s helped us to make some great memories for my daughter’s first birthday.

Everybody who came into our house was really impressed with the quality and size of the banner – it was definitely the centre piece we were looking for!

Not just for birthdays…

Just for fun, I’ve also had a play with some of our other birthday banner designs using a shot of Andrew, our Sales and Marketing Director. They can be used to celebrate pretty much anything, or even as motivational banners if you’re creative enough!

Birthday banners alternative uses

5 tips to stay motivated on an exhibition stand

There's no I in TeamYou’re going to an exhibition, you’ve got a great team lined up and you know you’re going to be raring to go at 9am when the doors open to visitors.

But the prospect of keeping motivated on stand all day – and keeping your stand staff motivated – may seem a little daunting when reality kicks in. Probably at 10.32am.

Exhibiting can be exciting, but also physically tiring and emotionally draining affairs when you need to be on top form all of the time. After all, you’re on a stage where everybody is watching your every move. Even one slip-up can turn off a potential client and affect your sales figures.

It’s imperative that you remain motivated with a positive demeanour all day in order to reap the rewards of leads and sales. But is that even humanly possible?

Follow these top tips to help you motivate you and your team throughout the day:

Tip 1: Make it competitive

If you’re exhibiting with a team, make it competitive. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy banter and competition based on sales target to motivate your team to do their best on the day.

If they beat their targets – or even if they have the most collective leads or sales, acknowledge them. Why not give them a nice bottle of bubbly as a prize? It’s a small token of appreciation that can go a long way to motivate your staff.

Tip 2: Don’t use coffee or sweets as a booster

By all means, have a nice cup of coffee or tea in the morning because you enjoy it, but don’t use it as a motivational tool to keep your energy up.

We know that 20% of exhibitors use tea and coffee as a motivational tool at exhibitions. The only trouble is, using it as a tool will also mean that you’ll experience a ‘downer’ as a consequence, which is not worth living through.

Instead if you’re in need of a food and drink related boost, opt for slow-releasing energy foods such as porridge in the morning or a banana and make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

With all that talking, you’re bound to get a dry throat! Just make sure that you keep all water bottles and food off of the stand as it could put visitors off.

Tip 3: Take regular breaks

If you’re exhibiting with a team, make sure that you book in a schedule of breaks, with a morning and afternoon break to rest your feet off-stand as well as a lunch break.

This time away from stand is important to rest your feet, collect your thoughts and have some down time.

After all, it’s near-on-impossible to maintain a happy-go-lucky attitude and reach your full potential if you haven’t had a pit stop or two. It can be tempting to think “I haven’t got time for a break”, but making this time and sticking to it religiously can help to make sure you’re on peak performance when on-stand without running yourself into the ground.

Tip 4: Remember there’s no I in team

Teams that exhibit together, stay motivated together.

Make sure that your team are well acquainted before you exhibit – they should act symbiotically on the stand, making sure that everybody knows their role, their expectations and how they fit into the team. This will help every member to feel a part of the team, which will in turn help them to feel motivated toward their common goal.

Tip 5: Choose the right people

It’s important to choose the right people to exhibit with you to reach your goals.

This doesn’t always mean choosing the most outgoing, driven people in your team that you think will perform best (although if this is a choice then that’s definitely the best choice!).

But in reality, it’s making sure that your team are prepared. They may not originally want to exhibit as they don’t feel confident. So make them confident.

Put training sessions in place before the exhibition to run through your key messages and your campaign messages so that everybody is focused on the same goals and understands what you’re trying to achieve. Making them part of the journey to exhibit and letting them know how important and valued they are will always help in increasing their confidence and excitement about the event – which in turn leads to a motivated and happy team.

Assembling a stand is child’s play

Ever wondered how easy it really is to assemble one of our displays? We’ve all had those moments where we’ve been caught fumbling with a fiddly display that just won’t go together.

But it really is easy when you know how. In fact, we know it’s child’s play. But don’t just take our word for it.

We recruited some children to help us assemble four common displays – a counter, a pop up display, a banner stand and an outdoor flag.

Here they help us to show you how easy assembly is… after you’ve read the instructions.

After all, if a 7-year-old can do it, then you can too!

How to build a counter

Putting together a counter with a graphic wrap couldn’t be simpler. Here’s what Josh and Lila, aged 7 did:

  • Attach the poles to the base unit by tightening into place using the thumb screws.
  • Add the Velcro fastener to the side of one of the poles (this will later be used to secure your graphic wrap in place)
  • Add the counter top and securely screw into place
  • Attach the graphic wrap using the hook and loop fastenings and pull the graphic around the counter top
  • Fasten the loose half of the graphic wrap to the remaining Velcro.

How to build a pop up stand

For the bigger pop up display, we recruited the help of Cameron and Rebecca, aged 10.

  • Pull up the Pop up frame
  • Attached magnetic strips to the bars
  • Using a step ladder, attach the first graphic (from the left) to the top of the stand the magnetic tape on the sides of the graphics secures it in place, take care to make sure the graphics are lined up correctly.
  • Move along to attach the next graphic as you did the last
  • Add the curves last and smooth round the corner of the end of the stand
  • If you have a transportation case that doubles as a counter, then move into place, add the counter top and secure the graphic in place.

How to build a banner stand

Lila and Josh are back to assemble a banner stand!

  • Straighten out the bungee cord pole and secure pole parts in place by gently pushing each section together
  • Add the pole to the banner base
  • Pull the banner graphic out of the base
  • Tip the banner over so that you can pull the graphic to the length of the pole and secure the top of the banner to the pole
  • Twist out the foot for stability.

How to build a flag

Lila is joined by Evie to put together our MH feather flag. Here’s what they did:

  • Attach the flag pole pieces together to create one big pole
  • Thread the open part of the flag material onto the pole and carefully pull down the length of the pole
  • Erect the pole and flag onto the base for support
  • To stop the flag material flying off of the pole, attach the rope fastening through the metal hole of the tension pole and tie securely.

Ignoring visitors at your peril

Following on from our suspicion that younger visitors to business exhibitions could be being ignored, we sent Guy off again to a second exhibition. This time, one aimed at a fairly young audience of sports clubs, where his age may not be a contributory factor to him being ignored.

It was a less busy show and on average people greeted him in less than 3 seconds, which I’m sure you’ll agree is pretty good. These exhibitors get a big thumbs up from us.

But, what he was quite surprised at finding was that three out of 25 exhibitors that he visited completely blanked him. Not even a whisper of a greeting. So, he upped the ante to show them he was a ‘real’ potential lead. He thumbed through leaflets on their stands, showed all the signs of interest – including the nod of interest and a casual grin that you’d expect to see in a potential lead to say “hello, talk to me”. Still no contact.

The exhibitors were stood (or in some instances sat), well aware of his presence but scrolling through their phones, completely oblivious to the fact that by ignoring him they’ve shown themselves as bad exhibitors.

Marler Haley naughty exhibitors infographic

Ignore visitors at your peril

To ignore anybody at an exhibition seems futile. The aim of exhibiting should be to drive brand awareness, sales, launch a new product and generally get people excited about what you do. With a short amount of time to get your message across to potentially thousands of passers-by it’s not just your stand that has to look visually appealing.

You are your brand when you’re on your stand. As such, your actions – both good and bad – are a direct reflection on your products and services.

By standing on your exhibition stand (or indeed in some instances to sit on it) and ignore potential customers, regardless of their age, you’re telling passers-by that you don’t care about them. You don’t need their business. So what would any self-respecting visitor do?

They’d look to your competitors. Your brand is now no longer in the run in for that person’s, and their company’s, business.

It’s such a waste of potential and it doesn’t need to be that way.

Bad exhibiting practice

We know from previous research that 63% of exhibitors do not follow exhibiting advice and best practice. From 44% of people using mobile phones while on an exhibition stand, to 71% of people not measuring ROI, the results were astounding.

Mixed with the above, our findings from a visitor’s perspective of being ignored as a consequence of exhibitors not following best practice could result in serious consequences for exhibitors.

What may seem like a simple thought of “we’re not busy so I’ll check my phone or rest my feet”, may actually result in a loss of sales and reputation.

What could have been a positive experience and an opportunity to grow a new relationship, could have been shattered.

So, we’d always suggest brushing up on best practice before your event – making sure that mobiles are banned, greeting passers-by with at least a smile etc. Speak to your exhibiting team about expectations to make sure that everybody is performing at their best and knows the do’s and don’ts of the exhibition floor.

Capturing a moment with Jenny Drew

We recently interviewed Jenny Drew from JHD Photography, who has supplied some of the images for our ‘design your own’ banner tool. We asked her a few questions about how she got into photography and the sorts of images she likes to take.

You can now use her photography when creating banners online by selecting ‘upload image from library’.

How did you get into photography?

Well I practised a little bit with my friends who are professional photographers. I picked up a camera, it was probably four or five years ago, and somebody said to me “Jen, do you realise that actually, those pictures are pretty good?” I hadn’t noticed myself. It wasn’t until somebody said that to me that I thought actually… I quite enjoy doing it.

It’s spiralled from there. I’ve supported other photographers alongside them to see what it was all about and fell in love with it to be honest.

What sort of photos do you enjoy taking the most?

Natural, candid, when people don’t realise you’re there photos are definitely what I enjoy the most. For me, photography is about it being a moment. A moment in time that you’ll never get back and actually it’s about capturing a memory.

I absolutely love weddings, taking wedding photos – just seeing sheer happiness in people’s faces and being able to capture that moment. And then the people being able to look back in years to come and just go… I didn’t realise that happened or I forgot about that or just being able to see happiness in people’s faces. For me, that’s what it’s all about – definitely.

Do you have any advice for budding photographers?

Follow your heart. Follow your dreams.

I know that sounds a little bit corny but for me, I was always going “oh, well I can’t do it because life gets in the way”, but actually I would say just go for it if it’s what you really want to do.

I think time passes by so quickly sometimes. Like my little girl, she’s growing up so fast. I look back and I go back through my photos and just think… Where’s time gone? For me, that’s what it’s all about.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

For me, being around people. Not necessarily people that I always know. But it’s being able to connect with them – or hopefully connect with them – and them just be themselves and be able to act just as they would do if I wasn’t there walking around with my camera.

 

Funny exhibiting tales

No matter how much time you put into preparing for your exhibition… sometimes we just can’t stop things from going wrong. Instead of shying away from these moments, we’re embracing them. Have a giggle and read on at some of the funny, embarrassing moments we’ve had.

Join in and share your embarrassing exhibiting story with us on Twitter @malerhaley.

Wine O’Clock

Back in 2007, at the International Food Exhibition at Excel in London, there were a lot of free wine and beer being dished out by other stands so towards the end of the day the visitors we saw could sometimes need a little sit or a rest.

We had a high table and two stools placed at the edge of our stand. As you can imagine someone a wine or two passed their best tried to get on a stool to chat and promptly slipped off.

Whoops. Maybe we’ll opt for sofas next time?

Something fishy

Fish costume at exhibitionI was asked if I’d be willing to dress as a giant fish for Marketing Week Live and at first I thought they were joking.

After trying on the outfit, it was bigger than I thought it would be. To keep the outfit up, I had to keep my arms in a half scarecrow, half robot stance as the arm holes were nearer to my elbow than my shoulder. The face hole was also quite far forward, so I had to hunch over a bit. My face was also constantly being attacked by masking tape that was holding the inside of the contraption together, as if it were trying to claim me as its latest victim.

So, arms out, head forward, bending forward a bit – a classic duck pose.

To add insult to injury, our stand was right next to where the ‘pit girls’ were standing (young, slim, attractive girls wearing branded T-shirts to direct people to stands)… and there was me dressed in a giant cod, stood like a duck, right next to them.

Beautiful.

Poking the Prime Minister

Tasked with assembling our roller banner stands at a parliamentary event, I was on a deadline and had to work quickly to get everything sorted before everybody arrived. I pulled the graphic out of the base and without looking swung the support pole from behind me to attach it to the top of the banner. Little did I know that David Cameron was walking behind me… missing my pole by the width of a hair.

I could have easily impaled him!

If you have any funny stories you’d like to share with us, please let us know by tweeting us @Marlerhaley, or leaving us a message on Facebook. We’ll add our favourites to this list!

Are we ignoring younger exhibition visitors?

A few weeks ago we visited Autosport International. It’s the ‘go to’ exhibition for car aficionados and our own Guy Wenham was raring to visit as a racer himself.

As well as going for his own enjoyment, we also set him with a few missions. We asked him to measure how long it takes for on-stand staff to approach him – a young guy aptly named Guy – versus someone older with ‘MD’ on his badge.

On three stands, it took an average of 1 minute 3 seconds for Guy to be approached, compared to the MD, which took 38 seconds.

This tells us a little about prioritising visitor’s on-stand and suggests that staff are de-prioritising young visitors versus those with suspected higher purchasing power.

Ignore young exhibition visitors? Think again

Deprioritising younger visitors

When you’re really busy, this may seem like a sensible decision for most exhibitions. Opt for the people with buying power, who are going to be more likely to follow through on a lead.

But is that right or is it an outdated view?

With younger team members, interns and apprentices being sent out to exhibitions to meet potential new suppliers on behalf of their managers, should we really be ignoring younger visitor’s on-stand?

Should we be making them wait for nearly double the amount of time? Or are businesses missing out on potential leads by making them wait too long?

Value of younger visitors

They may have youthful grins and not be as experienced as more senior members of the team but what they do have is excitement.

New in the industry, they’re eager to make their mark, to help their teams make great decisions. That includes scoping out new suppliers, which could be you.

By ignoring less senior members on a whim that they don’t have buying power, businesses could be missing out on leads.

They may not hold the purse strings themselves, but if they don’t bring your brand back to the table then you may not even be in with a shot.

Next steps…

We’re on a mission to find out whether the above findings are true at the next event Guy attends by visiting more stands.

Stay tuned for our findings. But in the meantime, if you’re starting to plan for exhibition season, take a minute to think about whether you’d treat younger visitors to your exhibition any differently with the above in mind.

School Design Competition

This competition is all about encouraging children to be creative

School kid drawingDeadline for entries  31st March 2016

Do you have a school anniversary coming up? Think it would be nice to recreate the school’s logo through the eyes of your school kids? Or perhaps you want to show that you’re a champion for children’s creativity at your next open evening?

Whatever the occasion or reason, we encourage you to help the children to produce a creative eye-catching design that will leave a lasting impression on all who see it in your school.

The winning design could be printed onto a choice of materials to create anything you can think of!

Here are a few ideas of designs and finished products we could make to get your creative juices flowing:

  • A large printed, backlit acrylic featuring pictures of what the school means to the kids (friends, books, smiles etc)
  • A stunning fabric display giving a high-quality canvas-feel featuring drawings from all the children (a big step up from a standard tea-towel!)
  • How about being really inventive and asking for your chosen design to be replicated onto sashes to use for sports days, or even tutus!It’s really up to you how inventive you want to be with your design and what finished product you’d like us to create.

We’ll look at all of the designs we receive and will pick our favourite. We’ll then recreate the winning design for you for free so that you can display it at your school.

What do I have to do?

Simply encourage the children to be creative. You can submit design ideas by age, class, gender… it’s completely up to you! We will accept entries from Infants, Primary and Secondary schools.

Each school can send up to 5 design ideas too!

When you have your ideas ready, send us an email at info@marlerhaley.co.uk. Please make sure your subject line says ‘School Design Competition’.

freestanding-designWe have a choice of four materials for the designs to be printed onto which are fabric, acrylic, rollable PVC and foam board. Please let us know which material you would like to use with your entry – if you’ve got a more creative use of material other than standard printed displays (such as sashes, tutus or your own ideas) please tell us!

Please also let us know if you’d like your design to be wall-mounted or freestanding. Not sure? Please include this in your email and if you’re picked as the winner, we’ll discuss these two options with you.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one. Some of us here at Marler Haley have young children and it’s nice to celebrate their work.

All you have to do is supply the design and we’ll choose our favourite and will recreate it – all costs will be covered by us. We only ask that we can display your lovely design on our website once it’s finished!

We’ll let all entrants know the verdict by Friday 14th April 2016.

What can you expect from us?

A high quality finished design.

A choice of four materials to print on: Fabric, acrylic, rollable PVC and foam board.

We look forward to receiving your entries.

Top 5 products of 2015

We’re very excited about the year ahead and have a number of exciting products coming to the site in 2016! These new products will be joining our already exciting line up which include these top 5 products of 2015…

Genesis roller banner stand

ZoomGenesis-Roller-Banner-Stand-Front-71Genesis is our top seller so it’s no wonder it’s made our top 5 list.

With a roll out premium non-curl graphic and recently added multibuy options available, Genesis boasts many other positives including price and ease of use. As a popular product, Genesis has been at the centre of many promotions in the past. It currently features in the design your own section of the site and has been available for 2 for £99 on multiple occasions. For Black Friday, this stand was on offer for 2 for £90.

3×3 curved Veloce pop up kit

Veloce pop-up banner

The 3×3 curved Veloce is the medium sized pop up stand with the ability to command attention wherever it’s placed. It’s the kit that has seen particular preference this year. The kit includes the stand with your custom design graphic, two lights for extra illumination of your message and a wheeled carry case that doubles as a counter – a printed graphic wrap is included.

Perfect for retail environments and a range of events such as conferences and exhibitions, the Veloce has a choice of either graphic or fabric panels and can be assembled by one person.

Horizontal curved zip up

Zip-Up-Horizontal-curve-Fabric-DisplayThe perfect alternative to the pop up display, the Horizontal curved zip up is lightweight, quick and easy to assemble and comes with a seamless one piece graphic that is printed using our dye- sublimation technique.

Whether you choose a single or double sided graphic, this is perfect if you need a big backdrop for an event such as an exhibition; it’s even perfect if you need a semi-permanent display in your place of work.

MH Senior folding kit

Folding Display Board System Display Board Parts

Available in 14 Expoloop fabric colours, compatible with our Dots and Dash hook fasteners, and flexible because you can easily join panels together with a hinge, the Senior folding kit is lightweight and perfect for displaying literature, posters and small artsy items.

Whether you need the kit for a school presentation or large scale seminar, this is the perfect display for displaying information and changing it quickly!

Freedom feather flag

Freedom-Feather-FlagThe freedom feather flag is not only lightweight but it’s available in a range of sizes. Ranging from 2500mm high to 5200mm, this flag saw a surge in popularity when we introduced an express production option to all four sizes.

With the ability to withstand winds of up to 18mph and the flexibility of being used on soft ground by way of a ground stake or on solid ground with a weighted base, the promotional opportunities are endless with the Freedom feather.

Top 5 Blogs of 2015

2015 has been a fantastic year. We’ve had many great moments as a business and that includes what’s been happening on our blog. We’d like to take this time to share 5 of our top blogs from this year with you…

2015

  1. Charity Competition Finalists 2015

    This year was our biggest year in terms of entries and visibility for the Marler Haley Charity Competition. This was also one of our best performing blog post of 2015 with more than 750 social shares! The winner of this year’s competition was Animal Rescue Cumbria who won with a massive 816 votes.
    Keep an eye out for next year’s competition.

  2. Fabric displays, are they the future?

    Pop up stands have been dominant in the world of portable displays for many years but finally, they have a very popular rival: the fabric display. The fabric display boasts many pros including being much lighter than its traditional counterpart, having a machine washable shell, and let’s not forget the fact that the fabric display is very easy to assemble.

  3. Freestanding displays vs shell scheme graphics 

    Do you know how to best utilise your shell scheme space? This post takes a look at the pros and cons of both shell scheme graphics and freestanding displays whether it’s a pop up display or banner stand.

  4. Our top 5 favourite products

    We have many amazing products on the Marler Haley site and decided to pick our top 5 favourites back in June. The products were chosen because they’re a mix of quality, reliability, excellence and innovation. The Maxi roller banner stand and Veloce pop up are just two products that were picked!

  5. Starting to plan for exhibition season

    This timeless piece takes a look at how to choose the right exhibition, what equipment you need and also how to design your stand. If you need help with any of these things or simply want to refresh yourself on the best way to raise awareness and drive sales, this piece might be of use.

BBC Good Food Show 2015

Call us consummate professionals or just plain greedy…either way, we were among the first through the doors at the BBC Good Food Show London 2015.

The first thing to touch our lips was chocolate, which is how every Friday morning should start. Staff at the Kinder Choco Bons stand were a lively bunch with a never-ending stash of treats to give away. Free sweeties – how could there be a better way to win hearts and minds?

origami-car

Working our way through the exhibition hall, we joined the crowd who were gathering around a truly extraordinary exhibit – a Lexus car made from origami.

A marketing exhibitor tip to take away – there was no information to hand about the origami car, just a hash tag to find out more: #OrigamiCar.

As we spent the day observing here and tasting there, we came up with nominations for our own heroes of the event.

Pick of the bunch, our five-star favourite was Bake Box

bake-box-1

Among all the fluffy, frosted delights of the Bakes & Cakes Show area, the Bake Box stand stood out. Even though it was their first showing at the event, our eagle eyes could find no fault at all.

We asked Johnny, one of Bake Box’s representatives, to talk us through the thinking behind the set-up.

  • The stand had no corners, so visitors could see everything on offer.
  • The stand was well tended by staff who had in-depth knowledge of the brand and its product offering. They scored an extra point for getting into the festive spirit by wearing Santa hats!
  • Live demonstrations brought crowds to the stand and educated them on the products and services available.
  • Pop-up banners and display boards gave the brand a unique stamp to the area.
  • TV screens showing Bake Box’s TV advertising added to the visual impact of the stand.
  • Seasonal decorations created a warm, festive atmosphere.
  • iPads were displayed at eye level to record visitors’ details for a competition.
  • Glass cabinet stands displayed finalised products and showed visitors what they could achieve when using Bake Box.

When we asked Johnny what the brand would like to do better if they were to exhibit again, he understandably struggled to answer. This stand ticked all the right boxes and proved you can have your cake and eat it after all!

Many other stands were eye-catching attention-grabbers too. We chatted with the exhibitors to hear their stories…

Wyke Farms

Profile: Family-run Wyke Farms is a regular at the BBC Good Food Show and the brand feel it’s the prime place to convey their heritage and deliver their message to their customers. Lyndsey told us they used free samples, plus a homely-themed stand to attract visitors. Brand awareness is clearly at the top of the menu, but Wyke Farms also love the thought of customers taking away their cheeses to use in their own kitchens back home. If they could add anything to their exhibit in future, it would be to showcase their production process, as they generate all of their own energy from renewable sources.

Linwoods

Profile: Health food company Linwoods are also loyal to the BBC Good Food Show. Kathleen Quinn explained that their stand went for maximum impact through their banner, ads, and backdrop all themed with their brand’s colours. Visitors enticed by the healthy food products were a captive audience to staff who were eager to answer questions and extol the brand’s virtues. Kathleen was particularly happy with the way Linwoods’ good online presence contributes to their success at the show.

Le Cordon Bleu London

Profile: The team at Le Cordon Bleu London, world leaders in gastronomy and hospitality, are confident the BBC Good Food Show provides the ideal audience for their brand to communicate what they have to offer. They attend the show every year, represented by some of the most prestigious chefs, and keep the stand’s formula more or less the same as it represents them so well. This year is their 120th anniversary and to celebrate, they had a second stand in the Bakes & Cakes section with a fun workshop drawing in the masses.

Le-Cordon-Bleu

Polskie Fuze Vodka Liqueur

Profile: It comes as little surprise that as soon as Polskie Fuze Vodka Liqueur poured out their samples, the stand attracted vast attention. Emerging from her adoring public to speak to us, Katrina told us that every year at the BBC Good Food Show, her brand connected with the right market with their simple stand and clear message. Once customers have a vodka liqueur infused with, say, honeycomb warming their cockles, they are willingly directed to Polskie Fuze’s sister stands, Quiet Irish Man Whiskey and Shannon’s Irish Cream Liqueur.

Quiet Irish Man Whiskey

Profile: It was Quiet Irish Man Whiskey’s first year at the show but they certainly knew how to draw the crowds with their clever display – it showed the story of the whiskey’s creation through two barrels at the front of the stand. The sophisticated presentation added to the brand’s historic, rustic appeal and the samples, served with or without water, did their bit as well, judging by the happy glow on customers’ cheeks.

Little Turban

Profile: Harj at Little Turban, creators of contemporary Indian sauces including the temptingly-named Tangy & Aromatic Makhani Masala and Spicy & Oaky Bourbon Masaledar – raises consumer and brand awareness at BBC Good Food every year. His magic ingredients for success at the show include: never keeping his stand the same, using different styles depending on the size of the stand, free samples and advertising in the show’s magazine. Loyal customers make sure they call in which engenders more interest from passers-by. Nice work, Harj.

Jim Jams

Profile: It was Jim Jams’ first year at the show and they were keen to spread the word about their healthier jams. As they’re about to launch with Ocado, they knew it was the right moment to let consumers know where to buy their jars of No Added Sugar Gluten Free Hazelnut Chocolate Spread or Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam. Banners brought visitors flocking to the stand, but Jim Jams’ feedback was that next year’s plans would include adding a counter to display more stock with a feature behind it, plus a banner saying CHOCOLATE. Sweet.

jim-jams

Canesmith & Co

Profile: Gourmet confectionery company Canesmith and Co have won many awards despite only being in business for a few months, and one included a bursary to help them exhibit at the show. It wasn’t hard to lure the treat-loving hordes to the stand with samples of divine caramels and taffies. Laura Brown, the brains behind the brand, said she was happy with the brand recognition raised at the show. Next time, they’d like a bigger stand for even greater impact. We’ll be there, devoted as ever to our duties.

Having digested all of the information we so eagerly swallowed, 5 key pointers for show success emerged:

  1. Visual impact – Show your brand in an innovative way to attract the greatest number of visitors to your stand.
  2. Well-staffed stand -Make sure you have the right number of smiling team members manning your stand.
  3. Product knowledge – This is the perfect opportunity to educate visitors about your product/services, so make sure everyone meeting the public is thoroughly briefed and well-informed.
  4. Samples – Everyone loves a freebie and the delights of your product should turn into sales.
  5. Live demonstrations – This builds trust in your product/services and raises engagement with future customers.

Now take a look at our exhibition stands and you’ll have the complete recipe for triumph, again and again.

To see more fantastic images of the stands we visited at this year’s BBC Good Food Show, please see our Pinterest board.

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