Posts Categorized: Exhibition Engagement

3 ways brands engaged with bloggers at Blog On 2016

Just three months until Christmas and bloggers from around the country came together at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry for a blogging conference called Blog On.

Dressed in festive jumpers, t-shirts, antlers and a few santa-outfits, the theme for this conference was clear: Christmas.

With Christmas being the busiest season for brands that sell toys, festive treats, party supplies and more it’s an important time to engage with bloggers to increase brand awareness.

Here are three ways that brands engaged with bloggers – to get them talking about them during this busy season – with their exhibition stands at the event: (more…)

We Love Wimbledon

It’s that time of year when us Brits pour a glass of Pimms and tuck into a bowl of strawberries and cream.

Yes, it’s time for Wimbledon.

So to celebrate, here’s a look at a recent campaign run by the Wimbledon Foundation with a little help from one of our display stands.

Tennis fans pose with replica trophies whilst at the Wimbledon Foundation Tent during the Wimbledon Guild Village Fair. Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon.  Day -9 Saturday 18/06/2016. Credit: AELTC/Jon Buckle

Tennis fans pose with replica trophies whilst at the Wimbledon Foundation Tent during the Wimbledon Guild Village Fair. Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon. Day -9 Saturday 18/06/2016. Credit: AELTC/Jon Buckle

(more…)

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. (more…)

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.

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.

Make the most of every Morsel – BBC Good Food Show London

mary-berry-cakeThe success of TV’s The Great British Bake Off is proof that Brits are more deeply in love with food than ever before. With tummies rumbling and mouths watering, more people than ever are set to burst through the doors of Olympia between 13-15 November for this year’s BBC Good Food Show London.

Celebrity chefs now have rock-star status and there’s a stellar line-up cooking on stage at the Kenwood Supertheatre including Michel Roux, James Martin, Paul Hollywood and, drum roll please – Mary Berry.

Famous hands signing books, a tasting theatre sponsored by Lindt Excellence, pop-up restaurants, street-food vans, shops, craft beers and cocktails… it’s all part of the fun of the fair.

This is also your chance to check out the competition, showcase your latest products, listen to invaluable feedback and gather new leads.

Are you properly prepared to greet the visitors who will make their way to see you? Are you confident you can offer them an unforgettable exhibition experience?

Here are a few basic ingredients to help…

  • Make sure your stand has enough staff to handle the volume of visitors. Train them well – the face of your organisation needs to smile.
  • Never ask ‘can I help you?’ The answer will almost always be ‘no’. Use open questions such as ‘How would you describe the taste of this raspberry beer/organic Cheddar/chocolate-coated locust?’
  • When manning a stand, never eat, swig a drink, use a mobile, sit down or turn your back on the public.
  • ‘Food proof’ your stand. Protect your stand against spillages and stains by using easy clean materials.
  • Keep surface areas and floors clean to avoid injuries such as burns and twisted wrists.
  • Know your way around your workstation before embarking on a live demonstration of any kind. Have several practice runs and memorise where everything is.
  • Provide a survey. Whether you opt for a paper and pen or an iPad, it’s a great way to gauge just how tasty (or not) your dish really is.
  • Have a dedicated area for taking contact details and making sales. While being in the mix is great, taking money across a sugar-covered counter will not make the best impression.
  • Promote yourself! Pre-show promotion and staying connected during the event is crucial or you risk being overlooked.
  • Provide branded bags. Visitors will be happy to have something to carry their freebies around in and they’ll act as unpaid advertisers at the same time. Win-win.

Tease the taste buds

  • BBC Good Food Show visitors know their onions (especially if they’re caramelised) and they’ll be eager to try old favourites as well as new flavours. Make sure your best-selling products are displayed beautifully whether they’re on sale or samples.
  • If you’ve done a great job, the food on offer will disappear as fast as you present it. Make sure you have enough supplies so that you don’t run out. Don’t waste this unique opportunity.
  • Clearly list all of the ingredients in whatever you’re serving. People will ask anyway but, most importantly, you’ll avoid the risk of an allergic reaction.
  • DO NOT attempt to eat super spicy food in a live demonstration if you can’t handle it…

Finish it off with a cherry on top

  • Entice the crowd with a deliciously-colourful stand. Choose shades that reflect your brand and products.
  • Don’t be afraid to accessorise. Whether you choose an iPad stand, literature stand, or banner stand, use accessories to bring everything together and boast your USP.
  • Entertainment can also be important and as long as it’s relevant to your brand, include it. Whilst you might be doing a live demonstration inside of your stand, what’s stopping you from bringing it into the crowd? Think outside of the box.
  • See more tips on images and (stand) design.
  • After the show, follow up on leads to make the most of your investment.

sliced-foodRemember, the way to this nation’s heart is through its stomach. So chop all of the above in equal quantities, cook well, and garnish with style – that way, your customers will be coming back for seconds, thirds and more…

 

*Mary Berry cake image from beautyandthedirt.com.

So you want to make a Successful sale?

With exhibition season about to take hold, it’s safe to say that you won’t be the only business setting up your stand to entice customers. In fact, you can guarantee that competition will be fierce.

In order to make your exhibition stand really stand out, attract leads, and ultimately sales, there are a few things you need to keep in mind…

One Word: Design

Exhibiting is all about capturing the attention of your audience. Once you’ve managed to do that you can go into overdrive to keep them entertained with your sales talk, freebies, or even dazzle them with the newest technology.

Remember your design though. It’s the design of your exhibition stand that will get the sharks circling around you so ensure your stand is visual and stands out from the others in the room – don’t be shy about going bold, bright, or contemporary. It’s the way to your customers’ hearts!

Don’t forget to incorporate what you do into your design too.  Let your visitors know who you are and what you do because on average, they’ll probably only spend around 30 seconds at your stand. Impress them immediately and give them a reason to stay.

exhibition-stand-design

Don’t be afraid to bring a banner with you that will attract the crowds. Be innovative and make your display two dimensional. Curved display surfaces featuring moving images and pictures also work really well as do innovative videos that are both funny and interesting.

This is a fantastic way to bring the curious visitors to your doorstep.

Don’t be shy and get Interactive

TelescopiciPad_MaxHeight_LargeVisitors want to feel involved so give them something that will engage all of their senses and not just their eyes.

Consider incorporating the latest technology or your product or service into your stand to hold your visitors’ attention. Consider including innovative videos that are funny and interesting – answer their questions with the information you provide. And how about showing off your social media platforms? Stream your live tweets and encourage visitors to join in using their smartphones.
Yes, leaflets are a good takeaway and provide your visitor with vital information but you need to make it interesting and you need to be interactive.

It’s also worth using iPads to collect information which can eventually be used as leads to generate new sales. It also helps speed up the after-show contact process.

Depending on your budget you could also create a free app specifically for the exhibition that picks up on the design themes of the stand itself. This will give your visitors a visual prompt and/or reminder when they look at it later on, allowing everyone to access information about your company at their leisure.

Get your Staff Motivated

Now that you’ve managed to get visitors to your stand, it’s important to ensure that they’re engaged and interested in what they’re listening to. In order to do this successfully, it’s important that your staff are on the ball.

Contrary to popular belief, visitors do not want your staff to stand there with a smile painted on their face preaching about how your company has changed the face of the industry. Instead, they want to be greeted by a personable character with a sense of humour.

Ensure your team are knowledgeable about your brand and the products you’re trying to push to ensure that they can answer just about every question that’s thrown at them.

Your stand design should primarily focus on your core strategy and make use of the tools that you have at your disposal to ensure you get your message across loud and clear.

Now that you understand how an exhibition can really get you the sales, it’s time to get set up and communicate with your audience!

*Images from Pinterest and Marler Haley

A Board’s Uses – Say Goodbye to Boring Boards

A Boards and pavement signs are a very effective tool to catch the eye of a passer-by and they need to be able to do just that; they often sit in key locations and should be maximised because of this. We’ve taken a look at a couple of ways that people use A boards.

To shout over here

A well placed board can drive valuable customers your direction. We recommend the use of bold strong designs showing exactly who you are, whether this be your brand if recognisable, if not then descriptive imagery and plain simple text; its key to keep things uncomplicated and interesting to the passer-by. You need to instantly gain their interest whether it be jogging their memory of who you are and where you are or create intrigue and interest for a potentially new customer.

Special offers

Your boards are an effective way to show any special offers you’re currently running; it can quickly and visually represent any deals you want to shout about. It’s a great way to get a customer interested, everyone loves a special offer so utilise this with easy to understand graphics which will punch home your deal, grabbing their attention instantly.

Things of interest

New products, new lines, upcoming events, anything that might create interest to the user about your company its products or services. A teaser of a new product or upcoming event will always create great interest from the viewer.

Location, Location, Location

Think carefully about where your board will be placed when positioning it and more important designing it. Is there any nearby seats or coffee/ food shops this could allow more information to be portrayed to the viewer? Is it a thorough through or are people tending to pass by slowly? Get out there if you can walk past where your board is likely to be and get an understanding of how the average customer will see what you are trying to portray, then correctly design your board with this in mind.

Important Things to Know

Getting your spelling wrong may lead to awkward situations or could maybe just be a handy talking point!

Starting to Plan for Exhibition Season

As we are in the midst of preparing to exhibit at the Elite Business Event next week, I’ve got a few tips to help you choose the right exhibition, equipment and messages to display to help drive sales and awareness:

How to choose the right exhibition

Deciding which exhibition is right for your business can seem like a daunting task, but it’s important to make sure that you carefully research the exhibition before making any decisions. Consider the demographic of people that will be attending and whether that matches your typical customer that you want to engage with. If it does, then the exhibition may make it to your shortlist of ‘potential’ exhibitions to attend.

Once you have a shortlist, consider the total cost of exhibiting at that event – including costs that you may not otherwise consider at this stage including budget for travel and exhibition equipment.

Use this figure to work out how much you would need to take to break even from attending the event. If this is an unachievable amount, then it may not be the right event for you to gain a good return on investment.

What exhibition stand equipment do I need?

3x2 corner modular exhibition stand L shaped

Once you know where you are going to exhibit, your next step will be to choose what exhibiting equipment you need to take with you. This will largely be determined by the stand space you have available and of course your budget!

If you have a low budget and a small stand space, then items such as a printed branded tablecloth and a banner stand are a great start to exhibiting, allowing you to display your items or talk to potential customers on a professional looking stand.

On the other side of the spectrum are larger, 3mx4m exhibition stand spaces which will need considerably more branded displays. This could include a complete modular kit, shell scheme graphics and pop up stands to create a printed backwall.

Accessories that can also aid sales and compliment your chosen display include literature stands and counters that can be used for any size of stand.

How to design your stand

When designing your exhibition stand, it’s important to consider what information is important to tell passersby to drive them to your stand. I’d always advise to keep your messages short and simple – less text is often more impactful when it comes to getting people’s attention. With displays, your aim should be to get their attention to drive them to your stand – it’s then your job to convert them to leads and sales.

Focus on your unique selling points to tell people why they should stop and talk to you and make sure that your logo can be seen from afar for brand awareness.

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