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Successful Exhibition Stand Tips
Have you ever wondered what freebies and giveaways will bring more people to your next conference stand? How can you ensure a good engaged visitor number to your exhibition space? In this post, I’m sharing some of the tips we would share on how we have managed to win ‘Best Stand of the Year’ (three times) and ‘Best Large Stand of the Year’ (twice), and at the Infection Prevention Society Conference.
TIP 1: Stand-out
The conferences for our sector tend to be large, and packed full of exhibitors and the subjects can be rather dry in terms of trying to create an ‘exciting’ stand. While we spend an inordinate amount of time in designing our stands for our IPS conferences every year, we try and have one hook that is different – one that appeals to the human side (personable) to the visitors. More importantly: one thing that will make people take a double look at us, and then wander over to say hello.
In 2012, we formally launched ourselves on social media, so at our IPS conference that year, we decided to do a ‘Tweet for Treats’ campaign. We had a live Twitter feed (see pictured below) on large screens at our stand, as well as iPads on standby to help introduce people to Twitter, follow us and share content.
TIP 2: Be an exhibitionist
How you design and welcome visitors to your stand is very important. In our 2017 Exhibition Survey, the respondents clearly remarked that the design of a stand influences their interest to approach the exhibitor. Think about it, in a huge room – you clearly have to stand out to gain someone’s attention enough to draw them in.
Every year we think of something new to draw the crowd in. We have had masseuses on our stand to provide back massages for weary visitors; huge wall sized mobile phone displays to view our blog posts and website; and every year we ensure that the stand is designed to be open, friendly and easy to move through and navigate.
Make sure your stand is ‘eye-catching’, unique and designed to attract your target audience – ensure it’s well lit, organised and that the message you want them to leave the stand with is clear. The stand team play a crucial role in this – always provide a clear brief for staff and encourage them to offer a warm and professional welcome.
TIP 3: Hooray for the giveaway
If you’re responsible for organising a conference, you’ll know that free gifts and competitions are an important way to attract people to your stand. But did you know it was one of the top three reasons why people might visit a particular stand?
They can be a great way of starting a conversation with delegates and something for people to take away to remember you by.
At our 2016 stand, we ran a competition to give away a Giant DANIBear (pictured right) and a pedometer. DANIbear is our social media mascot and is usually a tiny, branded bear with our Hashtag on it – which also had to hand to give people. (This larger bear and giveaway was supporting an initiative that year for people to be more active).
In the ‘Tweet for Treats’ competition mentioned in Tip 1 above, we gave away an iPad – this was part of a bigger campaign to launch ourselves on social media (in 2012), and gain a following at the conference. (You can see Julie Stewart pictured below, who won the iPad!)
Have you had any fantastic “wins” in exhibiting at a conference? I’d love to hear about then. We just love planning and thinking of new ideas to engage our conference audiences each year.
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