Category Archives: Hints and Tips

Why sponsoring an event is a great thing.

When you sponsor an event you are expected to offer funding or products and services to support the event. Usually it makes sense to offer something that your company sells or a service you can provide.

When the Rescue Run approached Brandstand to sponsor their event we were delighted to help. The Rescue Run is an adventure race through Woodhill forest, Auckland. Teams of six people carry a stretcher through a 15km course that simulates different disaster zones including an earthquake, flood and mudslide. Each team raises money for a local emergency service such as Fire, Ambulance, USAR or Coastguard, and the money raised goes back to that particular charity and helps to save lives.

As Brandstand’s core business is all about signage and display systems, we knew we could help Mark and his team by providing all the corflute signs, inflatable displays, flags and helmets required for the event. We were also keen to take part and so, with much trepidation, Brandstand entered a team! By entering a team it not only shows commitment to your sponsor it also shows your support and enables you to become involved in the whole event.

Rescue Run - Brandstand

Here are 5 reasons it makes sense to get involved:

Brand Visibility

Sponsorship puts your brand in front of a large audience who may not have heard of your business. The bigger the event, the more press and social media you may get before, during and after the event. Make the most of this visibility and make sure your company shares posts regularly to get maximum exposure. On event day make sure that you get photographs of the event and images of yourself taking part as these are great to share on your social media page and website.

Rescue Run - Brandstand Flag

Consumer Perception

We all know that customers form positive opinions when a business is tied to a high profile event. Customers will automatically assume that your business is reliable and reputable just because you have sponsored such an event. A 2016 survey from the Event Marketing Institution found that 74% of consumers were more likely to buy products after exposure to a branded event. So make sure when you sponsor an event that you get maximum exposure on the day and have your logo visible for others to see.

Community Goodwill

Strengthening your business image is one of the most valuable benefits an event can give you. Customers love brands that care and that put themselves out there into the local community. It’s one thing to sponsor an event and another to actually take part. By sponsoring and participating in an event, you not only show goodwill in monetary terms but also in community involvement, thus helping boost customer loyalty.

Business Relationships

Making the most of other businesses involved in the event is a great way to form new relationships in a non-competitive environment. Make sure you attend any networking opportunities and talk to people at set-up and on the day as these connections could stand you in good stead for future work.

Content Strategy

Event sponsorship provides some exciting and fresh content for your website or social media pages. If you don’t shout about it then no-one will know, so it’s important to maximise exposure while you can. Before an event there will always be a build-up so why not run a countdown campaign and let your followers see what you are donating and how you are involved. Making a video of your efforts or posting photos not only sells your products but also shows your commitment to the job.

Post event is another prime time to showcase your company and get as much exposure as possible. Use imagery of the event and, if possible, get some video to share. If you have been raising money, make sure that you let everyone know how much you raised and where the money will be spent.

Sponsorship is something that every company should consider. Taking part shows further commitment. The Brandstand Brigade was a team of six individuals,all at different stages of their lives, but as a team we pulled together and had an amazing event. Here are some shots from the day. In total our team raised $3400.00 and this will be going to the Fire and Emergency Services.

Rescue Run - Brandstand Team        Rescue Run - Brandstand Team

Rescue Run - Brandstand Team        Rescue Run - Brandstand Team

The event as a whole was a massive feat, and the organisation and quality of the course was all down to Mark and his team who worked tirelessly day and night to get the course ready. In total the event raised $336,000 and this will all go to helping save other people’s lives.

The Rescue Run really was a fabulous event and one that Brandstand would love to be involved with again next year!

6-Step Checklist to Launch your Product like a Pro

Whether you’re launching a product or a service, the idea of a product launch can often be an intimidating and daunting task. There was a time when a company could easily hire a PR agency to craft a press release or set up a press tour – then presto, you could sit back with a martini and watch the hype roll in. Launching a new product was a fairly straightforward thing to do back then. But those days are gone and today’s pace of product news and launches has become an all-out warfare of brands fighting for attention! Yes, getting “published” is now A LOT easier but cutting through the frenzy of information – especially online – has become much more challenging than it used to be.

There’s a crazy paradox happening here: with a whole lot of options available when launching a product (think direct mail, social channels, online advertising), it’s become easier to reach your audience but it’s also become harder to make them pay attention!

At Brandstand we’ve worked with hundreds of companies and have learned from experience. A product launch entails a lot of checklists, and failure to succeed could kill a company. When it’s time to open the curtains and unveil your product to the world, it’s important to think through the different levels and processes needed to come out strong.

Below are six best practices and tips to help simplify a product launch and keep you on the right track.

  1. Understand your Goals

Your goals may include gaining new customers or hitting a sales quota – whatever it is, be sure to have a primary objective followed by a secondary beneficial outcome. You can start mapping out your goals by answering your Why’s: “Why are we launching this product?” “Why would my target audience want to buy my product?” You can even take this further by following the Five Whys approach, which has its origins in the Toyota Production system. This technique lays out a disciplined approach to effectively testing and evaluating products, features, and ideas – key to maintaining agility in start-up product launches.

  1. Know your Audience

This is a critical stage as this is who your marketing message, channels and promotions will be targeting. You need to figure out the demographics, interests, and behaviour of your target audience. Without this information, you’re likely hitting your target market blindfolded – which is the total opposite of what you want to do!

Defining your target audience allows you to hit the bull’s eye and authentically connect with your customers plus target them right where they are located! Once you have this in place, you can then plan your marketing accordingly.

  1. Get Customer Feedback Before and During Product Launch

Nothing compares to real feedback from real customers.

Once your product is ready, send your product to customers or influencers – invite them to test it out for feedback and product review. What do they think? What do they like? What do they not like? This is the first step to turning customers into product evangelists. While not every piece of feedback can be immediately acted upon, this can help identify the next steps for your product evaluation and evolution.

There are lots of benefits to this step which include (a) getting critical feedback before your product is launched to a larger audience (b) collecting influential product reviews that you can use later on for your marketing.

Holden, an automobile company, even went as far as paying social influencers to showcase the Cascada model on their Instagram pages, websites and social media channels – all as part of their launch strategy. As a result, Holden’s Cascada had the highest brand awareness result of any global auto campaign on Instagram in 2016.

Here’s an image used by Holden for their sponsored Instagram campaign. This features Holden’s brand ambassador model Alex Pendlebury and the Cascada.

Holden Launch

  1. Generate Buzz through Social Media

You’re excited about your new product. But are your customers excited?

From a countdown clock to sneak peaks and leaked photos, you can strategically release information about your product in the weeks or days leading up to the launch through social media.

Big brands now plan meticulously for every launch with teaser messaging and partial reveals of products posted on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram or Pinterest.

This has been true for car manufacturer Nissan. In the release of their new car model, Leaf, Nissan used teaser campaigns “Amazing things are worth waiting for” on their social channels to prepare the market.

Nissan Social Media

In this sample post from Nissan, the car brand shared a sneak peek of their new car model’s headlight on Twitter – it doesn’t look much when you look at it, but it’s enough to get the audience talking!

Speaking of teasers, another sports car maker, Aston Martin, also used the same strategy when it dropped teaser images online of its new model, Vantage.

Aston Martin Teaser Campaign

The image they published shows the Vantage under the drapes – which doesn’t reveal much except for the striking LED tail-light that fans have been eager to see!

Another notable marketing strategy from Aston Martin is the use of “leaked photos”. Spy shots of the Vantage model were circulating the news online even before the car brand dropped its official teaser images. As expected, the strategies implemented drew speculation and excitement from the audience.

  1. Make an event

An event can be in the form of a live social chat, Hangout on Air, live Instagram stories or an actual one which involves speakers and guests. Boost the event and invite influencers for a live demo of the product.

When Tesla launched its Model X in 2015, the brand sent out invitations of the launch and teased everyone with an image of the car having “falcon wing doors” – now that’s something!

Tesla Product Launch

When holding a live event, make sure to have an in-person element to effectively engage the audience. You’re bringing to the world the next big thing so be sure to give an audience a reason to go! Go big through creating a one-of-a-kind event experience with stunning displays or designs. Just be sure to have every detail of the event on brand.

Land Rover Launch

In this example, Land Rover set a spectacular show of creativity during its product launch in 2016. The launch made waves not only because of the big reveal itself but because the event features the world’s largest Lego structure! Pictured above is a giant LEGO replica of the iconic Tower Bridge. This resulted in an epic, show-stopping event that literally made history! Talk about ingenuity!

If you’re looking to set an amazing scene for your next event, we at Brand Productions can help bring your ideas to life! See some of our display and exhibition solutions here. Or talk to us today and let’s get the engine revving!

  1. Keep the Momentum Going

A product launch campaign doesn’t equate to getting things done in a day. In fact, a successful launch should generate interest and buzz throughout the year with major directional changes based on user feedback. Once your product hits the market, a lot of things are expected to happen – things can even go wrong – in which case a product launch becomes a progress instead of a one-time achievement. New marketing messaging, seasonal and key selling periods provide ample opportunities for a brand to keep people talking about the product.  

Evaluate results, keep creating content, work with influencers and press, and continuously engage with customers – these are the ingredients to keep your product hot and fresh even long after it has launched!

Keep Testing

The Bottom Line: effective planning and management is key to product launch success. It’s never easy but when done right, it’s a pretty exciting and fun experience!

What steps have you taken to launch your products? Learn more about Brandstand and Brand Productions and how we can help with any display and exhibition solutions for your product launch. Contact us here. We’d be happy to answers questions and talk you through different products, ideas and case studies.



5 Sampling/Brand Engagement Trends

So what does the future look like for Brands wanting to engage with their customers?

As one of New Zealand’s foremost providers of brand experience and sampling campaigns, we thought we would take a look.

Brand Engagement is king

The reality is that ‘engagement’ is clearly a focus for brands in 2016. Every brand needs to focus on creating a better customer experience at each touchpoint, throughout their customer journey. Experience Planning is becoming part of the brand strategy process and Brandstand can help in creating branded displays that improve the ease of the buying decision at point of sale. Our sampling stands help to deliver a consistent brand experience, with additional elements that boost engagement beyond a simple product tasting. But let’s not lose sight of the commercial imperative in all this – activity has to lead to sales and that’s why we always frame our responses around influencing the path to purchase.

Smapling Table

Engagement Over Awareness

Individuals are currently bombarded with marketing messages. According to certain sources, people come into contact with anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000+ brand messages a day. The value of simply getting in front of a prospect has been diluted. With the pervasiveness of digital touchpoints, engagement now comes with higher worth to a brand than more macro metrics such as awareness and ultimately brand consideration.

Brands in 2016 should be thinking brand immersion more than brand reach, and for good reason. It’s brand immersion that will drive memory, and so brand consideration at point of sale.

Our unique sampling campaigns and bespoke builds ensure that sampling and brand experience campaigns deliver a higher level of engagement. At Brandstand, we think beyond purely display and look to deliver interactivity within our campaigns. We deliver multi-platform measurable campaigns that use video, interactive displays and multi-sensory elements to build higher levels of engagement and meet campaign objectives.

Huawei Stand

Multi Sensory Brand Engagement

More and more brands are exploring the senses to create unique worlds for consumers. Four Seasons, for example, uses an air system to diffuse custom scents throughout its properties. Virgin relies on personalised screens, on-demand food and beverage ordering systems, and iconic purple lights to ensure its flying experience is like no other airline.

Our plinths and tables can be lit to glow or pulse in any colour required, ensuring a unique yet consistent brand engagement. We’ve used scent to guide and influence customers at point of sale, and sound to engage and drive interest.

Our interactive screens can be positioned and programmed to provide a unique user experience, driven by each user and their needs and desires.

The importance of video

Video continues to play an evolving role in customer service, with more and more brands noting the importance of offering face-to-face interactions for a richer, more personalized experience. Videos may be used for greater self-service by offering customers tutorials on company websites, testimonials about brands to educate and inspire customers, and, of course, video chat for optimum customer service. Indeed, Gartner has predicted that more than 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018. Video technology is further evolving to use customer data as a means of delivering personalised videos for stronger customer service and marketing targeted at each specific customer’s needs.

Take a look in Mitre 10 at ter How To videos – suddenly the world of DIY becomes more accessible as we’re guided to our higher purpose in the aisle!

We constantly look at ways to integrate screens and videos into our displays to entice customers to stop at our exhibition stands, or to better control their journey around our stand. We supply a range of display walls that can all take video or interactive screens, whilst also being lightweight and simple to set up.

Yale Exhibition Stand

More and more clients are investing in their digital assets and then ensuring these are displayed across multiple touchpoints – websites are becoming increasingly creative and engaging whilst apps deliver a better level of service and information. Video forms part of these assets and ensuring they’re used and viewed in multiple places becomes increasingly important.


We’ve all heard about the importance of data, and never has this been more true than in marketing. Measurable returns are the key to understanding customer drivers. By measuring results, future campaigns can be designed and executed and success more easily gauged.

At Brandstand, all our briefs include detailed info on how success will be measured and the objectives of the campaign in which we’re involved. For an exhibition, lead measures vs awareness vs product trial will all affect our stand design in differing ways. We’re fanatical in searching out ways to measure the success of what we’re doing and in creating ways that make it easy to measure. We insist on implementing SMART measures into all we do because great creative and design means nothing without meaningful metrics.

Creativity in Exhibition and Conference Stand Design

Creative for exhibitions and conferences must have at it’s heart an understanding of the outcomes required of it.

Fonterra Brandstand NZ

The design of a stand should generate multiple touch points and engagement with the visitors. Driving participation in the stand content of varying degrees of duration and depth on involvement. Without this the stand remains unmemorable and the brand experience forgotten falling short of the exhibitor’s objectives and goals.

We use several options to deliver stand engagement, which broadly come under the objectives of Encourage, Enable and Guide.

Hands-On Learning

Provide digital tools to encourage further brand immersion – an iPad for instance linked to further product knowledge or digital | web assets.

Product Handling

Often stand visitors need to touch and feel the products on display, which can require the development of tactile component or experience.

Finding innovative ways of displaying clients feature products on a stand requires some clever lateral thinking as well as saying dialed in to the “qualitative” expedience around the product.

Visitors need to feel action and hear the clunk of their door locks and get a sense of how secure they are.

Brandstand NZ - DeLaval Exhibition Stand

DeLaval Exhibition stand

Brand Experience

With a selection of stands all fighting for presence, clients often ask us to ensure they stand out from the crowd. We create unique brand experiences and introduce game-play and activities into our stands to ensure a memorable interaction between stand, brand and visitor.

Commercial Discussion

For some clients, an exhibition stand is where deals are brokered. Participation is face to face and requires a longer engagement time, discussing sensitive topics. For these, more private and seated space is important – an oasis away from the crowds and noise of most event halls.

Designing for an exhibition, conference or event is not like designing for a poster or an ad campaign. It requires a special set of skills that combine 3D design, large format artwork production, good knowledge of printing processes and a solid understanding of stand materials.

Designing in 3D

At Brandstand, we’ve been creating exhibition stands for not only some of New Zealand’s biggest brands, but global brands too. Coke turned to the Brandstand team when they needed a solution for a mall activation. Heineken came to us when they needed to stand out at the Rugby World Cup. Agencies and brands alike realise that design for exhibitions is a specialised area and one that requires a specific type of designer with very specific skills and experience.

Often an exhibition designer will be a mix of graphic designer and interior designer, understanding the nuances of flooring whilst at the same time suggesting the placing and type of lighting that should be used on a stand.

Cadbury Demo Table - Brandstand NZ

Scamps drawn up for Cadbury Marvellous Creations


Designing experiential and exhibition stands has to be a mix of pure creativity mixed with a good dash of practicality. Often the briefs we receive have very clear deliverables. It would be easy to design the most incredible solutions but if the brief asks that the solution fits into the back of a car, then we must build this requirement into our design and tailor our solutions accordingly. It’s this ‘real world’ practicality that has won us many fans over the years, and explains why clients like Fonterra keep coming back to us.

Portable Displays Brandstand NZ


Often our designers need to consider the flow of people around a stand, and take into account key messaging and where it should appear within an exhibition stand to drive maximum effect. When we design an exhibition stand we must consider where it will appear and how it will be used.

In order for design to be effective, we need to know the objectives that it’s trying meet. For instance, are we trying to push volume through the stand or do we need to spend quality time with a few key individuals? This will affect where and how we include meeting areas.

On a corner site vs a centre site, people will flow around the stand very differently. As designers, are we happy to accept free movement and flow, or do we need to design a user journey into the stand layout, forcing behaviour through design and build?

Brandstand has over 20 years of experience in creating and producing exhibition and event stands that deliver to agreed objectives, on time and on budget.


Exhibition Flow - Brandstand NZ


Any project starts with talking (and often a coffee too!). We ask plenty of questions and our clients explain their needs. Sometimes we might upset the status-quo a little, play devil’s advocate even, so that by the end we’re all happy with the brief and all on the same page with the task ahead.


Our Creative team works either direct with the client, or in some instances direct with the client’s marketing agency, to create initial designs and mock-ups. Once we’re agreed on an approach then we complete the production of scaled 3D CAD drawings that properly provide view of the final stand. These provide the very best insight into how the final stand will appear, and include details of materials and specs to be used.

3D CAD Drawings available by Brandstand

Example of a 3D CAD Drawing


Once the CAD drawings are signed off then the stand moves into production. Brandstand’s designers work closely with our Production and in-house Print teams, all overseen by the project manager. Timescales are agreed, key milestones signed off and then the stand begins to happen. Our designers produce all the required artwork files for print, and then our production team apply them to the stand materials, where required and as per the CAD drawings.

Our designers often need to work with large format artwork, manipulating it for various materials, such as metals and fabrics, and understand how different colours will be represented across various materials. This is important if the final look of the stand is going to be consistent and true to brand guidelines – never is this more important than with large global brands.

So as you can see creativity is a lot more than just thinking outside of the box and at Brandstand we certainly have the skills and experience to produce a display that works for you and your requirements.


It would be crazy to design an exhibition stand without taking into account various measures for success. As part of our stand design process, we build in KPIs and ROI measures so we and our clients know whether the stand has delivered on it’s original brief.

Thinking about Colour

We often take colour for granted, until we see something that is so vivid or beautiful that it stops us in our tracks! In the world of display, it’s an incredibly important tool in getting noticed.

Colour can be used through lighting effects or more simply through the graphics used within an exhibition stand. Use it to create an atmosphere or to present your brand in a certain way.

Let’s consider a few scenarios to start off.

Brandstand NZ - Earthy

Use earthy neutral tones if you want your brand to be associated with eco-friendliness or with organics.

Using these colours can create a more natural theme to a stand, and emphasise the eco qualities of the brand being displayed.

Using colour like this works more subliminally to create an overall impression and feel.

Brandstand NZ - VodafoneIf you’re brand colour is red, like Vodafone, then clever use of lighting can dominate an event or stand. Lighting up a stand in that brand colour makes a powerful statement, and cuts through any other ‘noise’ in the room.

At Brandstand, we can light a display case with a particular brand colour to draw the eye to it and emphasise the connection of the product to the brand. We can also use our Plinths with lighting which are very effective and can change colour at the click of a button.

 D2G - plinth-with-lighting-5 Brandstand NZ - illuminated-tower D2G - surf-shop-plinth D2G - illuminated-plinth4

Brandstand NZ - Orange happinessIf you’re able to pick any colours for your stand, then consider what different colours mean to people. Pantone publishes a useful guide to colours and responses that they illicit. Orange tends to represent fun, happiness, tangy, juicy, friendliness and loud. Where as light green is more trustworthy, refreshing, cool, restful and traditional. Navy is seen as authoritative, credible, classic and conservative.

Brandstand NZ  - Neon catwalkColours also go through trends. You only need to take a look at fashions on the catwalk to see ho colour trends change each season. Whether it’s neon, neutral, pastel or monochrome, colour conveys tone and helps visually illustrate a story by evoking mood and feelings. Right now neon seems to be back in trend, so if you’re appealing to a fashionable crowd consider using this to generate appeal.

Think about your target market when designing your display, as colour appeal can also depend on gender. For instance we know that males like blue but that pastel shades appeal to females. Monochrome black and white has a timeless appeal and simplicity that creates impact.

Our Superwall Display System features dye-sublimated printing onto fabric to ensure the most vivid colours we’ve seen in the market. The lycra fabric is stretched over any shape of frame to provide a seamless and wrinkle free surface. We used the system to create a Heineken branded wall for the Rugby World Cup, capturing perfectly that rich Heineken green.


If you want to talk more about how we can help you then give our friendly sales team a call at Brandstand – 0800 10 99 88

HELP! A beginner’s guide to in-store sampling.

Brandstand - Cadbury In-store SamplingAs the foremost supplier of sampling vendor trays and demonstration tables in New Zealand, we want to help you get the most you can from your in-store sampling campaign. There are a few things to consider, so here’s a helpful round-up.


Both PROGS and Foodstuffs have regulations on what you can and can’t do in their stores. It’s best to do your research early as these stores are important to your business and your brand. Don’t blow the relationship in the early stages by not following the rules.


Objectives Think about what you want this campaign to achieve. Take a look at the options below and pick ONE primary objective then focus on delivering against it. Here are your choices:

  • Sales
  • Awareness
  • Trial

You’ll desperately want to pick more than one, but that can get confusing. By knowing what you want from this campaign, you’ll be able to measure your success and make certain choices much easier.

Optimising Sales


Brandstand NZ - supermarket sampling using sampling/demonstation table and header cardMake sure you have sale product on or near the demonstration table; you’ll want your sampling staff to encourage shoppers to select it then and there as part of their script. We recommend you include a coupon in your planning. We find this works better than an in-store special, because you physically give the shopper a coupon and they feel they need to use it there and then! Make sure you count the number of products on the shelf at the beginning of the in-store shift and the products on the table, and then count them at the end so you can measure just how amazing the shift has been! Make sure everyone does this for every shift and then start a competition to really drive those sales up!

Maximising Awareness


Brandstand NZ - In-store sampling table and header card

Crunchy Nut gets noticed!

Use a good sized table, perhaps with a banner over the top. You want to grab attention and get your brand in people’s faces. Think about how you ‘cut through’the clutter of brands and people in the supermarket. People tend to shop on auto-pilot so you need to work extra hard to get noticed. Think about doing something different or quirky. Perhaps have your sampling staff dress up a little differently or consider some giveaways that get your brand in people’s homes.

Gaining Trial

Brandstand NZ - Vendor TraysWhy not consider not having a demonstration table at all! This is where our Vendor trays come in really handy. Instead of passively waiting for shoppers to approach your table, with a vendor tray or mobile trolley you can actively target the right demographic with your product. If you have to have a table, then consider a secondary ‘hand off’ stand, which is a simple branded plinth where you place your tray of samples. This allows you to keep your main table as working space while your prepared product sits close-by, yet easy for shoppers to get to. This hand-off stand can have shelves included so as to provide an extra space for off-location merchandising.

Sampling Kit Brandstand NZ - easy to carry bag contains all the sampling kitYou want your sampling staff spending all their time actually in-store with your product, not walking backwards and forwards from the car park. So, keep your kit well packed and easy to transport. Most of our tables are designed to fit into a supermarket trolley and be quick to set up and dismantle – no fiddly screws and no tools required!

Site Safe Most supermarkets require sampling staff to have Site Safe passes. After you’ve spent hours booking your shift, don’t fall at the first hurdle by not having accreditation or by leaving your pass at home. Generally it’s an easy online course, so there’s no excuse!

Functionality Think about the size of your table and what you’re doing at the table. If you’re sampling dry goods, then you might not need much space. Go for a smaller table because you’ll have more flexibility over where it can be set up. Remember that if you need electricity, then your location and the timing of your shift will be severely limited. Most stores only have a couple of ‘powered sites’ so book early to avoid disappointment!

If you’re cooking on your stand, then think about how ‘on display’you want this to be. Perhaps the microwave can go under the table if it’s not a key feature of your product. We can tailor our tables to your requirements, adding shelving and heat retardant materials where necessary. We can also conceal cables too so that everything looks neat, well organised and appetising!


Investing in sampling equipment is a big step. Don’t go for permanent graphics which can’t be changed. Instead, invest in hardware once and then change out the graphics panels when you need to. Consider our new fabric graphics panels which are easy to use, super lightweight and can be washed over and over again so your table always looks brand new!

Measuring Success Think about how you measure your campaign – don’t just rely on hearsay. If you want to count how many people you spoke to, then count your coupons at the beginning and end and be sure to give everyone you speak to a coupon! If your campaign is all about sales, then count the products on the shelf before and after. If you want to know what people think about your product, then have two bins for their paper plate, one marked LOVE IT and then the other marked YUK perhaps! If you want to grow your database, then run a Free Prize Draw, inviting people to fill in a card and post it in the box – but make sure the prize is worthwhile because generally people don’t stop for long when they’re on a shopping mission.

Timing Think about your target market and think about when they go shopping. If awareness was your initial objective then make sure you’re in the supermarket at it’s busiest time – perhaps a Friday night or a Saturday morning. If your target market tends to be older and retired then they often avoid the supermarket at these times, preferring a mid week. Do some research and ask the store manager to make sure you’re in the right place, on the right day at the right time. If kids are your target, then go for the after school slot around 3pm onwards. Twenty-somethings will often go shopping on a Thursday or Friday evening after work because they have other, way-cooler stuff to do on the weekend!

Brandstand NZ - TimingIt’s tempting to agree to any in-store slot that is offered to you by the supermarket, but why waste the opportunity – better to wait for the right time and day so you optimise your shift.

Future trends in exhibitions & events

IAEE LogoIn 2013 the International Association of Exhibitions and Events shared their insights on the future trends that would impact the global exhibition and events industry. It makes for interesting reading, so we thought we’d highlight the best bits here, so you don’t have to read the whole thing!


Younger people are now organising and attending exhibitions,bringing with them an understanding of and requirement for newer technology and social media integration. The modern trade show has become a technologically advanced event, because exhibitors and attendees demand it.

Learning: Ensure a good generational breadth of staff on your stand to appeal to a more diverse audience, and thereby ensure you have different skill sets on hand.

Research, Data & Reporting

Big_data_cartoon_t_gregoriusWe all know that exhibitions deliver some great ROI statistics, but marketers are coming under increasing pressure to prove it, so they’re looking to exhibition organisers to qualify their ROI with attendance data and post exhibition sales metrics. Exhibitors need more information than they ever did previously before deciding to attend an exhibition, including attendee demographics and attendee post research findings from previous’ years. Exhibitors also need to capture data during events to grow the data pool available and provide additional insights and learnings. Learning: Ensure you have clear data capture processes on your stand, whether simple business card collection, promotions or more elaborate online, touchscreen solutions. Collect all the data you can from your own stand, as well as overlaying all the data from the organisers. We have several standalone iPad stand options and we can also build them into any displays, plinths or walls. Check out our other blog post featuring ways to collect data.


Technology could be seen as a threat to exhibitions as more companies invest in online Webinars to talk to their audience. Certainly exhibition organisers must now integrate mobile and cloud computing into their offering, with free WIFI a given but also having IT specialists on hand to keep everything running smoothly. Wireless apps have taken the place of paper in not only capturing information and but also engaging with attendees at the stand.

Learning: Make sure the event organiser has IT specialists around to assist with your set up. And if not, make sure you have an IT specialist as part of your set-up crew!

Social Media Marketing

Social media is already having a profound effect on business in general, and the same is true of the exhibition industry. Exhibition organisers must now leverage all the platforms as part of their exhibition or event planning, embracing ‘live’ twitter feeds to gather sentiment as well as marketing events through LinkedIn and Facebook. Video is growing in importance and we see cameramen and interviewers at work collecting footage for use by exhibitors and for upload to You Tube.

Learning: Use your social media channels and the event organisers’ channels to market your stand and your attendance at the show. Use these channels to provide a reason to come and visit your stand.

Year Round Communities

With the rise in social media, big events and exhibitions are no longer a once-a-year moment but have a voice and a brand presence throughout the year, participating in social media communities, offering their expert commentary and speaking as the voice of the industry they showcase just once a year.

Learning: Ask and research what the event organisers are doing throughout the year to market themselves and establish expertise in the market.

Experiential Trade Show

The ‘experience’ that attendees have at a show is growing in importance. Advances in technology enable exhibitors to provide ever more elaborate experiences, but as a consequence the event’s IT infrastructure becomes ever more critical. The ‘experience’ factor is moving from an art to a science, backed up by research and that all important data.

Learning: Consider what experience you will be giving your stand visitors. Will your stand be memorable and will it attract the right audience?

Non-Attendee Engagement

Non attendees represent big business for many exhibitions, and so they must grab content toGoogle-adwords-logo-1 share with those that couldn’t make it and continue to keep them informed through social media and email marketing. Investing in Google Adwords can uncover new audiences that were previously non-attendees.

Learning: Invest in Google Adwords to attract your audience and keep those that couldn’t make it informed.


There is always a fear that as exhibitors move towards a more technology orientated stand, the need for and importance of face to face marketing will diminish. It’s important that exhibitors invest in the right people to manage their stands if they’re to deliver sales and ROI.

Learning: Don’t just ask for volunteers to man your stand, but choose the right people with the right qualities and then keep an eye on them throughout the event. Take a look at our blog article on staffing your stand here

Internet Connectivity

wifiEvent and exhibition venues will be measured increasingly on their IT infrastructure and ability to consistently service the growing needs of a techno crowd.

Learning: As an exhibitor, ask questions of the event organiser and of the event venue to ensure it can meet your needs.

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 blog,  which we’d like to share with you.


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.


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.


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.



Marketing in Shopping Malls – our Top 10 tips to ensure success

Malls are a really attractive place to market your brand – full of people hanging out and leisurely shopping, looking for interesting things to stop and look at. They’re mostly inside venues, so perfect for the winter and you’re pretty much guaranteed some high foot traffic numbers!

Many of the shopping centres are able to provide profiles of their shoppers so you can get a greater understanding of their foot traffic  to better target your audience. And obviously if you’re going for a younger market then you can target them during the school holidays!

At Brandstand, we’ve been helping brands to get the most out of their mall displays and stands for over 16 years. So, we thought it was high time we shared with you our top 10 tips.

Tip #1

importance of goals in mall activations

Know your goal, and what you want to get out of this activation. Is it brand awareness? Sales? Product Trial?  Be brave too – just pick one and then we can be sure to deliver on it. The whole design of your mall stand should differ based on what you select because each option requires a different motivation, and a different focus.

Tip #2follow the rules in mall activations

Beware the rules – malls have a lot of rules and regulations many of which are OSH related and others which relate to being fair to all the retailers that lease space in the mall. Your brand and this activation will be the most important thing to us, but understand that it might not be to the mall and to the other retailers. Luckily, we’ve built up some really strong relationships with all the mall owners across NZ.

We know you want your stand to be the biggest, the tallest and the best, and it will be, trust us, but within the guidelines – those height restrictions are to keep things safe, and also because customers should be able to see other retailers’ shop signage as they look around the mall!

Tip #3

You need to engage with your audience and be a little different, a little creative; our customers tell us that’s why they come to us – for our creativity and can-do attitude! Your brand is suddenly competing for attention amongst hundreds of shops, their amazing shop windows and that next pair of shoes! The kids are bored, the husband hates shopping, so what’s going to make them stop at your stand? Is it because they can win something? Is it because your stand is intriguing? Is it offering them something different or new? Shoppers today don’t give their time easily and there must be something in it for them; to be honest it’s unlikely that a small taster of your product is enough. If you’re spending a decent amount of money on a sampling activation, be generous with your product!

Tip #4

Work with people who understand the regulations around OSH and are accredited to work in a mall. During your stand’s installation and re moral be sure that those doing the work understand the law, and trust that they will be courteous to shoppers. As soon as your brand can be seen, then those around it acting in an official capacity are naturally associated with your brand.

Tip #5

Design is really important when it comes to malls – work with people that understand 3d design because it’s very different to 2d design. Designers must consider the location of the stand, demonstrate an understanding of the mall itself, consider shopper flow patterns and then create good flow around your stand. Simply by changing the flow, different messages can be given greater importance and relevance.

Tip #6

The people you have working on your stand are really important. Think about your brand’s target market and then ensure that the people you have working the stand are credible and believable. Will a 40 year old housewife believe what a 20 year old guy has to say about the latest new washing powder? Sometimes, you may want to use your own in-house staff, but are you sure they’ll be motivated on a Saturday to turn up and then work hard all day long? For more on staffing, take a look here.

Tip #7

Stand materials have changed a hell of a lot over the last 5 years. Fabric displays are now the way to go. The printing process has improved so you now get amazing colour saturation and vibrancy. We all know there’s nothing worse than a grubby looking stand , but with these fabric displays simply chuck it all in the wash and it will look brand new the next time you go to use it.  If you’re planning more than one activation across NZ, then also consider the importance of portability and ease of set up in your stand production. For more info on fabrics, take a look here.

Tip #8

I’m sure we’ve all had nightmares with logistics companies, so why have the stress? Leave it to your display company to sort – they often have great relationships with a logistics partner who will rarely let them down. And when things go wrong, and sometimes they do, then they can pull strings to get a fix sorted! We love working with Bullet Freight, and have done for many years because they seem to understand our business.

Tip #9

Work with trusted partners; there’s enough stress in your life so outsource projects like these to manage end-to-end. Often it’s easier and simpler to have one company sort the complete solution, so pick a company with proven expertise, proven experience and ask to see their previous work and client list. Take a look at ours, right here in our online showroom.

At Brandstand, we always provide our clients with a single project manager that stays with you throughout the project, overseeing the brief, design, artwork, production, logistics, and financials. Of course there’s a multitude of people that help deliver your project, but they’re in the background – its just less confusing that way!

Tip #10


Capture the moment – have a good photographer come down to your activation and save those smiles onto camera. Video footage and stills make great content for your social media, for your PR department, for your sales teams and of course for your boss! At Brandstand we can provide this too – it’s all part of the service, and one less thing for you to think about!