Trade Fairs - Many opportunities


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A perfect stand

Zadbaj o wygląd swojego stoiska

The fair organizer will offer you a stand: without any construction, with standard or custom construction. Purchasing a stand with a standard construction profile is certainly the cheapest and the most convenient variant.  However, before making a decision, think whether it's not worth investing a bit more funds and time into the exhibition, gaining in return bigger distinctness and individuality among other, usually very standard stands.

Making a decision to order a standard construction stand remember, that you can also order additional furnishings, which can help you organise a more friendly and comfortable stand.

Deciding on a custom construction stand you can usually order it from the fair organizer or from one of the co-operating companies; or to construct the stand yourself, most probably with co-operation of a design studio or an advertising agency. Ordering a custom construction stand from the fair organizer allows you to assign part of your responsibilities to qualified specialists ready for this kind of tasks.  The fair organizer knows the facility perfectly well and will be able to avoid any cost-generating technical traps (e.g. hooking up power supply, fire-protection regulations, etc.). However, if you make a decision to purchase a design project from an advertising agency, make sure to co-ordinate all the details with the fair organizer’s technical department.  Regardless of the kind of stand construction chosen, remember, that individual character of the stand depends also on posters, flower vases, flowers, table-cloth and other such elements, obligatorily consistent with the company's image, decorations, as well as music.

During the introductory stage, your first task is to make sure that you will stand out from the group of other companies – some of them your direct competition - and will be remembered positively by the visitors.  Make advantage of an element of the positive surprise:  e.g. an interesting, attention-drawing event organised at the stand will help you draw attention of a bigger number of visitors - potential customers; it will also imprint your company's name and logo in the visitors' memory, thus supporting the creation of the so called brand awareness.

Consider it in the design

 When designing your exhibition stand you should consider several elements. First of all the design of the stand should directly relate to the character of your fair offer and increase its exposure ratio.  The stand is first of all a tool, a background used to sell a product.  Built with too great a panache, the stand will make visitors remember the exhibition but not the products or services, you want to sell to them.

At the same time, the stand must be consistent with the image of your company: reflect its character, dynamics, contain the same visual elements as your company does: the logo, the colour scheme, etc.

When designing a stand and its functionality, consider, who you address your exhibition to. It’s a completely different planning for a B2C show, where the visitors are retail target customers; and for a B2B show with institutional visitors.  The latter type of show will probably feature less visitors, but you will be able to dedicate more time to a single customer.  For it’s a fact, that purchases made by companies are well-thought-out, are the result of calculation and analysis and are based to the high degree on a rational decision.  That’s why in this case it’s worth preparing a comfortable place for business talks, providing a reasonable atmosphere of intimacy: your customers may have a lot of questions to ask or even initiate the introductory business negotiations.  Whereas a stand targeted at retail customers should first of all draw attention. It may have a bit less depth but feature a wide counter offering simultaneous access to as many people as possible.

Layout planning

Your exhibition stand must be spacious enough to ensure proper functionality.  Right at the entry there should be a reception desk. A counter may fulfil this role very well. It’s imperative that there be your business cards at the reception desk.  A receptionist is a very important person, who will co-ordinate the work of the whole team at the fairs.

However, the most important thing at the stand is the product or service, you promote.  Remember not to fill up your stand with all kinds of products, because firstly:  no one will remember them all anyway, and secondly:  there will be too little space left for the visitors. Visitors should be able not only to view the products on display (static display does not encourage interest) but also touch them, view them up close and see how they work.

Plan a comfortable place for talks with your guests, as well.  If you plan to organise a presentation at your stand, make room for a projection screen and the multimedia equipment.  Similarly, make some extra space, if you plan to organise competitions or demonstrations. Also, find the place for publicity materials. Depending on the size of the stand you may of course put them directly on the counter at the entry point or place special leaflet racks there.

Think about organising a small back room, where you can hide all the mess:  spare leaflets and catalogues, bags, jackets, food articles; and where you will be able to make coffee for your guests, especially when you have small stand space at your disposal.  Capacity of the back room can be increased by fixing some shelves on the walls.

Materials, lighting

In Poland, exhibition stands are constructed using different systems, e.g.  Octanorm, Maxima, Meroform and others. Depending on your funds, you can also think about other materials, which would better reflect the character of your company and its products. For instance, a stand can be constructed from: wood, Plexiglas, glass, metal. To finish it off you can use various kinds of fabric, paper, etc.  If your company sells computer systems, the stand should rather be built of aluminium than wood panels.  But if it’s “nature friendly” cosmetic products you sell, then you’d better used wood or stone in the design. Think about the colour scheme you will use for the stand.  Naturally it must relate to your company colours.

The lighting plays a very significant role at a stand. More powerful light serves to emphasise things, so point it at your displayed products.  Whereas, in the place devoted for talks with visitors, install warm, cosy lights.  Pointing a powerful, cold light at the interlocutor’s eyes will make them feel like interrogated.

Stand furnishings

The most important element at the stand is the product.  You cannot do without some publicity materials, as well: leaflets, brochures, catalogues.  If you plan a presentation, install the multimedia equipment.  A laptop computer is better suited for this purpose than a projector.  A laptop computer features multi-faceted functionality and occupies very small space.  It will successfully replace a traditional computer, as well.

Think earlier, what kind of technical solutions will be needed during the fairs for the customer attendance.  A fax machine and a fixed line telephone both require connection to a telephone line.  Full-time internet access needs an internet connection.  If you would like to have running water on the stand, arrange it with the fair organiser.

When planning business talks lasting longer than 10 minutes, do not forget about small catering.  The following articles should be present on a table: cookies, salty sticks, chocolates, sparkling and non-sparkling mineral water, juice.  Moreover, designate a place, where a hostess will be able to make a coffee or a tea for your guests.

Don’t forget to take it

Going to the fairs, remember about taking a few necessary things with you. Especially those, the lack of which would render your participation in the fairs impossible.  Pack in the agreement with the fair organizer, products you want to present (or the whole construction of the stand), the fair calendar and publicity materials for the whole duration of the show.  Do not forget computer equipment and mobile phones.  Every member of the team should have business cards.

The stand cannot run short of snacks and drinks for both you and the visitors.  Snacks and drinks however can be purchased locally, unless you plan for some original food articles related somehow to your product.   Take a first-aid kit with you, as well.

It won’t be possible to function during the fairs without some basic office accessories: notebooks, paper, calendars, pens, pencils, rulers, paper clips or a stapler, self-adhesive tape, scissors, glue, puncher, corrector, file binders, jackets.

Of course, you won’t do without earlier hotel reservation, especially when the exhibition you are participating in is very popular.  A city map will probably be useful as well. It will make your life much easier in the evenings, after the fair hours.