For the second year in a row, OrangeDoor designed, developed and delivered Dell EMC’s stand at Bett, the world’s leading trade show for the education sector. And this year, with the help of a head-turning stand design, and a well-planned engagement strategy, Dell EMC won the Best of Bett Tech and Learning Award.
So, what does it take to create and build an award winning stand?
The first step, and probably the most important one, is to write a brief. A strong, comprehensive and clear brief. Whether you’ve exhibited at hundreds of events, of if this is your first time, you need to think about why you’re there, what your goals are and how you want to be perceived at that event. Give as much detail as possible and consider your audience. Is the event for end customers, or for resellers and sales channel partners? Are you looking to secure sales at the event or create a pipeline that you can sell to afterwards? A good events partner will ask you the right questions as well as help you answer them to ensure your on-stand messaging aligns with your brand, your goals and your customers.
So you have a budget to spend and are investing in exhibiting at a trade show. This is a big deal and a big investment and you want to make the most of it… but how? That’s when having an experienced agency side events marketing team comes in handy – one that can help you identify target audiences and how to reach them, refine key objectives and together develop a coherent vision for the stand. A good agency can help you define key success indicators; what needs to be done to help ensure you meet your lead generation targets; help decide how increased brand awareness can be measured; and, finally, provide advice on the most effective way to launch new products at a show. A strategy based around your needs will help you find the right avenues to achieve your objectives.
The creative concept for a stand needs more than just a great design. From initial brainstorms to the final delivery, different teams (events, marketing and creative) need to be fully involved in the stand concept and are all vital to its success. You can work closely with your events partner to develop a stand concept that works from a visual, logistical and a commercial point of view - without compromising on functionality.
Whether it is launching a new product, or simply reinforcing brand presence, a successful stand should have an impact and turn heads; but it should also create the right dynamics that encourage interactions and enable conversations. It should tell a story but also invite your audience to ask for more.
Not everything is possible when it comes to building the stand itself. In order to alleviate risks and pain points early, your production team must have full visibility of the stand concept from the get go and intervene where necessary – especially when it comes to installing technology and valuable pieces of kit.
Health and safety is also crucial. Risk assessments, safety measures ad method statements are all required by the organisers. Your agency side events team will handle this for you, but if you decide to go it alone, make sure your team and supporting staff are trained according to the latest industry standards and conduct the necessary assessments to identify and minimise potential risks.
AT THE SHOW
Exactly like a stage in a theatre, your stand needs enthusiastic people to bring it to life. Exhibitions are often unpredictable environments and you often have to deal with unforeseen challenges, so surround yourself with quick thinkers who have the ability to improvise and overcome issues in a positive way.
Communication at all times is key. Organise a daily huddle before the doors open to introduce team members, agree on everyone’s responsibilities and role on stand. Reiterate objectives and flag anything specific your staff need to be aware of – a press event, an important customer visiting the stand, and so on. Appoint someone in charge for every area of the stand and stress the importance of keeping energy levels up. Trade shows mean long hours but you’re on stage and the show must go on!
LEARN AND IMPROVE
Once the curtain has closed, the stand has been dismantled and the leads have been counted, there is still work to do. This is your chance to reflect on what went well – and what could be improved. Open, honest communication with key stakeholders will allow for refinement of your delivery for future exhibitions, and make every show better than the last.
If you are taking your business to an exhibition or simply looking for more useful tips, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org