Monthly Archives: May 2014

The BIG question – to rent or buy your exhibition gear?

Brandstand_Buy NowClients often ask us if they should  buy or rent their exhibition gear – for many it can be a big investment and a tricky conversation to have with the company accountant! Exhibition stands can be one of the largest chunks of marketing spend, but unlike mass market advertising your audience is far more likely to make a purchase (88% of all visitors to any event are personally involved in buying the products or services on offer). Arguably then, your exhibition stand can provide the best ROI of any form of marketing.

Your ‘rent or buy’ decision really comes down to how often you think you’re going to use the gear once you have it. Renting is a great option if you’re only going to use the gear once and you’re dipping your toe very gently into the world of exhibitions. Generally, we find that renting is about a 1/3 of the buy price, so if you’re going to use the gear more than 3 times, its going to be the expensive option! If you’re serious about exhibiting and think you will be attending more than one show a year for 2-3 years, plus have other uses for certain items, then the value you’ll get from purchasing far outweighs the price.

Brandstand_Massey SuperWall fabric exhibition kitThe exhibition stand solutions we create for our clients tend to consist of a number of modular, component parts. Each component can be used separately or as part of the overall solution. This means it can be used in many different scenarios. Right now you might be only thinking about that big exhibition, but what about when you want to brand a small room for a sales conference, or have been invited to sponsor an event and want to make sure you have some good company branding?  Then you’ll be glad you bought that kit and have it on stand-by in storage.

Your stand solution could comprise of a wall, a branded table and some pull-up banners. Together they create an entire stand, but separately they can create a sampling table in-store, a pull up banner in your reception area and another for that sales conference. Suddenly your initial investment delivers real value when compared with several rental costs.

In the old days, exhibition gear took up a lot of space and was hard to store. Companies didn’t want the hassle, so they rented! These days the gear is completely different. It all folds down to almost nothing. Displays tend to be fabric and the sub-structures comprised of lightweight aluminium. They’re washable too so it’s easy to keep them looking brand new.

By purchasing a complete solution you can be sure you’re getting what you want, and what you need. Surely this is better than simply getting what is available at the time of your need? When you’re budgeting for an exhibition, consider the Rule of Thirds – a third on space, a third on build and a third on marketing, planning, hotels, staff costs etc.

In our experience rental gear can often look a bit tired – it’s sent out week after week, getting bashed about, dirty and scratched. Is this how you want your brand to be seen? If cost is an issue, then talk to your display company about what you want and the budget you have – it’s a waste of everyone’s time if they try to sell you a Maserati when you’re only in the market for a Mini.

Let’s think about that company accountant again for a minute! Consider splitting out the various elements of your stand across various budgets – perhaps all the hardware can be purchased as a CAPEX expense, whilst the graphics sit under a marketing budget. And perhaps the stand staffing costs and lead follow up could be financed from sales, for instance.

By purchasing your stand we can help you stand out from the crowd – we can create a complete solution that includes bespoke elements that sit perfectly with other off-the-shelf items. You’ll know that your stand is a one-off – is unique, just like your brand and offers your audience a more unique experience.

Lighting up your world | event lighting tips

 

There are some that say proper lighting can increase awareness of your stand by 30-50%. Remember that  that the shell-scheme lighting that comes with your stand package is usually pretty basic and intended as a starting point; it’s unlikely to differentiate your stand from the others. Many exhibitors overlook the importance of lighting, but imagine going to a theatre only lit by fluorescent lights, or to a rock concert with only a couple of down lights. Lighting makes a huge difference.

Well thought out lighting can be a very effective way to help increase traffic to your stand and ensure your message is clearly expressed. Use it to highlight key messages and displays, but also use it to add atmosphere. In a crowded, competitive exhibition hall you’d be surprised how much impact you can create with good lighting.

Top Tip

Don’t judge your lighting by looking at your stand from 10m away. It’s better to get in there, walk around your stand and actually experience it.

Tricks of the Trade

Using angled light boxes at the entrance to your stand can attract people in to your stand. Using coloured lights can often create a certain aura or tone that separates you from the other exhibitors, whilst also re-enforcing some of your brand messages.  Consider a chilled, ice product that uses lights with a blue hue to convey their story.

Your decisions around lighting should be made with your audience in mind. A young crowd will expect a more daring approach compared to an older, more traditional audience. But beware sensory overload – you don’t want to drive people away after you have worked hard to draw them in!

Types of Lighting

We found some really useful tips from Kaitlin Colston, on her hello endless.com blog,  which we’d like to share with you.

Spotlights

Spotlights are brilliant for providing a focus on key messages and drawing attention to products. Use them to create a ‘hero’ element within your stand whilst also creating light and shadow thereby giving visitors a more

dynamic and dramatic visual experience.

Soft Lamps

Use soft lamps  and more ambient light sources when you want to create a warm inviting atmosphere, that encourages your visitors to relax and talk.

Up-lights

Use up-lights to create atmosphere and provide some perimeter lighting to create depth and interest. If you have a colour theme, then consider using the up-lights to emphasise and compliment your theme. Up-lights are an effective way to create that ‘WOW’ factor.

Gobo’s

A gobo is a beam of light with a metal stencil over it that creates a pattern. They can project any pattern or design or company logo. Project gobo’s onto walls, ceilings and floors to add visual interest and create a dynamic atmosphere.

 

 

Light shows

Grab attention with a light show where a number of lights constantly move or flash in a repeating sequence. This can be a dramatic way to herald an awards ceremony or speeches – a dramatic way to quieten a crowd and build excitement.

 

Electrics and Current Draw

Working out your electrical needs can be really hard. You’re expected to know what you want when you book your stand, but things change and you may need to make changes when you enter the exhibition hall. Suddenly everyone’s talking amps and volts and none of it seems to make any sense! At Brandstand, we understand lighting and we understand electrics. Let us help you define a lighting scheme and then work out how much power you need on your stand. Our service-led approach means we can complete the paperwork for you and work with the exhibition organisers to ensure your stand is perfect.

We have a full range of LED lighting so we can reduce your amps consumption and keep the on-site electricians happy. We also stock a wide range of other lighting options to make sure we create the effect you want.