Tag Archives: exhibition stand

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.

Life’s a Game – Let’s Play!

Game play, often referred to by marketers as gamification,  has become part of our everyday lives. Brands  are embracing the use of online games to drive further brand engagement. Traditional Media spaces like bus stops and billboards are going digital and inviting you to play and interact with them.

Here’s a neat way to turn the mundane into a game!

The more brands can get consumers and shoppers to engage with them, the more likely they are to link that brand with positive memories, talk about the brand to others and finally perhaps purchase that brand.

The same is true in the conference, exhibition and event space. Everyone wants you to engage with them – its not longer enough to simply wander through an exhibition hall and read various static panels. Your stand needs to draw in the passer-by, and we don’t just mean a gentle pull! Once there, that person needs to have something to do.

So what are your options?

Simple yet impactful TV screens

Simple yet impactful TV screens

#1 The simplest solution is probably a large screen playing interesting content – it’s better than nothing but its not exactly unique!

#2 Consider using a iPad or tablet device on your stand so that people have to press the screen and make choices in order to learn about your brand. These apps are now  simple and inexpensive to create.

#3 Social Sharing has become very popular, so perhaps set up a themed photo kiosk and invite people to have a humorous picture taken and then share it.

#4 A competition that relies on skill, perhaps a Playstation game where people compete to win prizes by getting on the leaderboard. This is a great option because those not playing can watch others compete and those competing can really engage. To take it one stage further,  there are various companies that have created games which can simply be re-skinned with your branding making it more unique to you.

Classic Spin&Win, always fun and engaging!

Classic Spin&Win, always fun and engaging!

#5 A competition that relies on chance, like a spin to win board or even a simple business card draw. This normally creates a little fun and engagement and is less threatening for some than a competitive game!

Effective and simple - the business card draw

Effective and simple – the business card draw

The great thing about most of these options is that they also  provide a simple method to MEASURE attendance/engagement at your stand. You want to be able to prove the ROI you gained from attending an event and these methods provide irrefutable numbers.

 

Even if all you end up doing is giving away a free coffee, at least count the cups in the bin, or turn the bin into a game and ask people to vote on something with their cup!