Screens are the future and the future is now. Having a mix of static graphics and moving content is becoming more relevant for today’s exhibitors.
There are stands which are almost completely made up with digital content, they are mega, both in look and expense. For some exhibitors it’s a must, but at what stage do you seriously start thinking about taking bigger screens or more screens?
A lot is to do with the content. If you’ve got a product that needs to be seen to be understood then having screens is a must if you can’t bring that product to the show.
There are some really impressive integrated led tiles that fit seamlessly into the stand build system now. Aluvision and beMatrix have such tiles.
I think the big change is when the technology becomes more affordable. There are rollable led’s now on the market. You could just cover large walls with these and power up your maxi sized display.
Everyone will have seen Simon Cowells set building for X Factor. Just mind blowing. Every act was ina different world but on the same stage. Walls and flooring all digital. The effects they could create were simply stunning.
So imagine doing the same on your stand.
The motion graphics people are going to become a fast growing sector in business exhibitions, mark my words.
There are many ways to dress a 3m x 3m shell scheme, here we take you through the top 5 ways to do just that.
1 – Popups. The good old popup has been around for years. Put a 3×3 straight into the backwall and you’ll just fit it in with 150mm to spare either side. These kits are quite heavy at 25kg but they come in a large wheeled case which can be used as a branded table.
2 – Fabric displays are much lighter than popups and have become really popular. One large printed fabric sock is pulled over a push fit aluminium frame. No magnetics, no graphic joins. There is a system called Modulate and they have various sizes which do magnetise together and can create a bigger display filling the full stand.
3 – Shell cladding has been done in various forms for years. Historically you could get rigid or semi-rigid panels that velcroed onto plastic fixings that connects to the shell posts. These panels are quite good but not as good a full fabric walls. Now you can build your own portable frame that fixes to any shell scheme and attach the graphics and cover each shell wall with graphics. Then use them again at the next show. Lovely!
4 – Isoframe Wave is an extendable portable display which has a consistent width of graphic at 800mm wide. The great thing about this kit is the ability to add or take away panels to fit different sized spaces. Lots of accessories which add to its flexibility.
5 – T3 stand building in shells gives you the next step up making your stand look more professional. It really works when adding in screens and because all the bits can be re-used in different spaces it does make economic sense when you’re wanting to invest in a system and do the stand building yourself.
All of these options work, which is best for you is down to certain factors. Who’s building it? How are you transporting it? What your budget is? What other spaces do you book?
If you’re just not sure and need some advice give us a shout, we’re here to help. We’ve got many years of helping companies exhibit and are happy to pass on our knowledge to help you to have better success at events.
I built my first exhibition stand over 20 years ago. It was a system called Deltamatrix. Fixed frame system that went together extremely quickly and we made some pretty cool acrylic graphics which fit neatly into the system.
Well over time that company split up and became 2. Aluvision and beMatrix. I don’t know the story behind it but they both had a very similar system which was way quicker to put up than the other modular systems like Octanorm shell.
More recently they both developed a channel which accepts fabric. These graphics meant there were no joins over panels.
I always wondered why more main contractor’s didn’t invest into this new kit. Maybe too expense? As the opportunities the system with the holes gave was great.
Fast forward to the market now and I foresee there is going to be a shift.
One of the biggest main contractor’s in the UK market has made a post covid exit. They had spent millions on a large stock of bematrix a couple of years ago.
That stock has been bought up by three smaller contractor’s. They will now pitch the system to the organisers who are likely to see the benefits.
This is how I see it. Up selling keeping the customers spending more with them.
There is already some companies offering this service. Great if you can get it but needs big capex investment to start with.
You see there is a myriad of much smaller exhibition and display companies that service the industry. They sell popups, graphics to cover the shells and small stands to fill the shell spaces.
With the shell being made of the system with the holes the main contractor and organiser can very easily and conveniently upgrade their shell with seamless fabric graphics. They look great and the floor space would be maximised. They can integrate av, again looks better than sticking a TV on a k stand.
The problem with all this is that the customer will have less choice. There is a chance that the big boys will start a monopoly. Small display companies will find it harder to retain their customers. They’ll go to the wall and the big boys will then dominate the market and profiteer out of the lack of competition.
Time will tell if this happens and I really hope it won’t. Redblu is one of the thousands of little guys just trying to make a living offering tailored branding solutions to our customers with a little care and attention.
But they can also really easily offer set stand designs as an upgrade.
Should I upgrade to a space only exhibition stand?
I get asked this question quite a lot. Many exhibitors start out by taking the easy option which is a shell scheme. You get your walls, a carpet, a socket and some lights.
You turn up with your portable display and off you go.
Does that make the impact that you want? Does it grab the attention you need?
You could upgrade to space only. There is more to do but you open up the space and importantly you gain height. Upto 4m. It allows for higher level branding without going to the added expense of a hanging structure.
And you actually pay less psqm for your plot.
It’s only once you’re finished the show and audited the conversions and worked out your ROI that you’ll know for sure.
But remember who your competition is, what do they do and do it better. Exhibitions are about impressions and if you look like the poor relation is the market going to choose you or your competitor?
Bett 2020 was an exhibition I really wanted to have a close look at to see how prevalent modular exhibition stands were becoming. It’s the main industry showcase for Education Technology and there are always some pretty cool stands there. The thing I’ve noticed is that more and more larger companies are working with smaller stand spaces and smaller budgets and then you have the smaller companies that are moving up from shell scheme stands to their first space only stand.
Thing is they all want to get the maximum impact to generate interest when they are at the exhibition.
So what should they do?
Design an attractive stand that is on brand, that gets the message across simply and effectively and doesn’t cost the earth.
How do they do it?
Choose from a standard modular exhibition stand design that they have seen or get a bespoke stand design created. Use a modular stand supplier who will be able to offer better value than the custom built exhibition stands and rent the stand.
The World’s Largest Education Event – Bett in London is the place to be if you have anything to do with Education Technology, If Google is exhibiting with a large stand then you know it’s important.
T3 stands take over Bett
I had heard a rumour that the leading modular building system T3 was going to be heavily used at the exhibition so I thought I’d take a few snaps of the ones I saw on build up days.
T3 is the world’s most versatile modular display system. It is the most unique, compact, reusable and reconfigurable modular exhibition stand. With components that twist and lock together, T3 is also brilliantly simple to construct and requires no tools to build.
Nothing competes with T3 for speed and ease of build.
So it was true, Modular Exhibition Stands were taking over at Bett.
We have a huge T3 rental stock and a service which offers standard and bespoke T3 stand designs and we build them, check it out – VISIT READYBOOTH
So, you’ve chosen the exhibition you would like to attend but what do you do next?
We have put together a list of the top 10 questions you should be asking yourself before your exhibition.
Our key message of this post is PLAN!
1. PICK THE BEST LOCATION – Where in the floor-plan would you like to be? Researching the venue and the prospected floor-plan is a must! You want to try to position your stand or space in a high traffic area. This could be near food, seminar or workshop areas. Visitors will gather in these places and provide the perfect opportunity for you to engage with them.
2. SHELL OR SPACE ONLY? – What is your stand is going to look like? Shell scheme stands are mainly used at exhibitions however, space only is another great option that may just set you apart from the crowd. We do understand that budget does play part here, however, you have one opportunity to meet hundreds of potential customers/competitors even suppliers, you want you and your business to be looking your best. Need some inspiration? Check out our portfolio – https://redblugraphics.co.uk/portfolio
3. ORIENTATION – How many openings will your stand have? If you have a space only stand, you will often be accessible from multiple angles, this should be incorporated into your design. If you are in a shell scheme you may be more sheltered with similar size stands at either side, you will care about visitor’s front view. If you have a corner or end of an aisle shell scheme, you may choose to have two or three sides open. It is imperative you use this space wisely. Don’t clutter, but fill the areas aesthetically, include book shelves, counters, pop up banners or seating areas. Check out our stand configuration page on our website – https://redblugraphics.co.uk/designs.
4. MESSAGING – What message do you want to communicate with your potential new customers? Your message on your stand is the first thing they will see. Keep it simple! What are you looking for out of the show? Tailor your message to benefit your goals. Think beforehand how many clients are you hoping to convert from the show? Use this to measure your success, this is how to tell if your message has been received.
5. GRAPHICS – What are your graphics going to look like? We are 100% behind reusing graphics you may have had before, however do yourself and your business a favour and get them out before the show and make sure they are doing your business justice and conveying the correct message you want to get across. If they are stained or curled, clean them up or buy new ones. First impressions are everything! If you have a shell scheme and put graphics directly on to the walls, you will see the shell scheme posts in between your graphics. If this is not the look you are looking for think about pop up roller banners (make sure they fit your stand perfectly) or apply graphic seamless panels. Get in touch with exhibition stand companies (like us, hi) and get quotes and designs. We would love to help you – Contact Us
6. STAND BUILDER – Who is setting up your stand? If you are using a shell scheme your stand will be built for your arrival, you will then have to dress your stand, you should already have decided on what you want it to look like. Our advice would be to set it up at home/work 2 weeks before to double check you are happy with your design and have everything you need, including electricals. If you are thinking of having space only and need stand builders, research the companies before you pick one. Make sure they come recommended. Be a part of the design process. With this service, you are aiming to arrive on the day and everything is exactly how you wanted it and all you need to add is your promotional content.
7. VISITOR ATTRACTION – What is your attraction system? You now have your stand booked, know your design, but what could make it better? An attraction system – an element of fun that is going to keep your visitors engaged and provide you with their contact details. Food is always the most popular choice; however we would suggest you think outside of the box and relevant to your business. Everyone loves a freebie however you are looking to attract your targeted market to your stand! What is going to attract them? Make sure they will remember you!
8. DATA – How are you going to collect customer data? Think of engaging content for clipboard questionnaires, use technology, some exhibitions even supply apps for CRM that work without Wi-Fi. Remember to always have check boxes to ensure you will only be sending content they have consented to receiving, helping to keep you and your business right. This question is probably one of the most important you should be asking yourself. You will be generating leads at the event and you will need to follow up on them. Add questions into questionnaires that will help filter the potential customers who are genuinely interested.
9. FOLLOW UPS – What is your follow up plan? Set aside time now for after the show to contact the people you believe to be potential prospects. You have paid money to go to this show and you need to ensure you meet the goals you set back in step 4. It could be you are looking for exposure or the most obvious, more business. Hand out your business cards, leaflets and encourage people to connect with you on your social channels. Plan to have your captured data in your CRM system and contacted within a week of the show – don’t let your leads go cold.
10. STAFFING – How many people are going to be on your stand? This is also one of the most vital points of this blog! 2 people will not cut it! Exhibition hours are long. You want to make sure when visitors come over to talk or when you encourage them to come over and talk that everyone on the stand is firing on all cylinders. Fatigue cannot play a part in exhibition days. You will need lunch and break change overs and as many people engaging as possible. Energy needs to be high from start to finish. Think of how you are going to engage, prepare questions that will get people to interact and remember you. Know your conversion numbers. It could take 50 interactions to generate 1 customer. These 50 interactions may take one hour. You have an 8-hour window and need to speak with a many people as possible. With 3 to 5 members on the stand (depending on stand size), you have a larger reach. Create a crowd, this will make more people want to stop and talk to you.
We hope this has been a helpful blog and will inspire you to think of your answer to all of these questions. There is a lot of planning that needs to go into exhibiting, please don’t underestimate how useful an exhibition can be. You are dealing with people, face to face, the right people for your business will engage if you speak to them directly and provide a solution to their problem.
One last note! Enjoy the day, where else do you get to encounter with so many people and make lasting connections?