Tag Archives: marketing collateral

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.

Staffing an experiential campaign

Experiential marketing is really quite amazing. It is equal parts philosophy, artistry and psychology. Simply put, experiential marketing is a more holistic approach to the customer/brand relationship. Experiential campaigns are designed to appeal to both our rational and emotional side. They go way beyond traditional feature-benefit methodology, and open up new points of connection with customers – their senses, hearts, and if you do it just right, their souls.

Experiential Marketing
By: Erik Hauser

Successful experiential campaigns often rely on the staff that activate them, on the staff that actually talk to customers, the staff that engage with customers. But engage is such a neutral word – it fails to communicate the emotion required. If it was merely an engagement, then it would be sampling, perhaps even market research. Experiential is more than just sampling, and takes more than just demo staff.

Export Gold Experiential CampaignExperiential staff are often the key to unlock customers’ rational side, and when they’re good they can also be the key to unlocking customers’ emotional side.

 At Brandstand, we’ve been working with agencies and clients on experiential campaigns for the last 9 years. We’ve seen our fair share of good ones and not-so-good ones! We spend a lot of time getting the visuals and production right, so it really frustrates us when poor activation staff water down our efforts.

So what should you be looking for when selecting staff for your campaign? Is it good looks? Is it reliability? Is it affordability?

The key skill for staff is ENTHUSIASM. Of course people can fake this, but they better be good at it, or they’ll be spotted as fake a mile off!

The next important skill is EMPATHY. Choose staff that your customers will be able to empathise with and can connect with. This drives credibility and enhances the overall experience, potentially unlocking an emotional link.

If you’re excited about your campaign, you must make sure that this is shared by all the field staff that work with you.

Appletiser-1RELIABILITY should be a given, it’s why you work with your Agency isn’t it? Good looks should be secondary in all considerations; of course if you are a makeup brand then good skin should be a pre-requisite.

In our experience good looking BAs don’t make a great experiential campaign. If amazing model looks are important to you, then perhaps use a modelling agency to hire your staff. Most experiential agencies recruit their staff based on their ability to deliver enthusiasm and emotion. When linked to a great concept the results can be dynamite!

Training and product advocacy are keys to ensure the delivery appears to be from a trusted source. Customers should think ‘I am talking to a person that is passionate about this product or service and wants to tell me about it – they especially want me to experience it and know all about it.’

In order to ensure this message is delivered passionately, find people that LOVE the brand, and ensure they can impart some interesting key facts. This is mandatory and is achieved through robust staff training.

If you’re pulling together an experiential campaign, talk to us about how we can ensure it cuts through the clutter and delivers measurable ROI.

Email jacques@brandstand.co.nz or call him on 0800 10 99 88.

Time to get sorted


After a great Christmas, it can always be hard to return to work. The early part of the year is a good time to cover off a few of those admin tasks that we didn’t get around to last year. One great job for early in the year is to look through all that marketing collateral you have stored away. You’ve been busy buying pull up banners and teardrop flags from us, but where are they now? Are all the bits still in the bag? Is anything looking a bit tired after a year of use? Its a good idea to begin an audit of all your materials and look at what state each item is in.

Of course this can be done manually using a clip board and pen. It can even be done using an Excel spreadsheet (and we love a good spreadsheet here at Brandstand, believe me!). All of this though makes the job harder than it needs to be.

The team here at Brandstand have been reviewing a few of the Inventory Apps available for download to tablet or phone. Honestly, they’re all pretty amazing. By using an App, you can categorise items, add quantities, photograph them instantly and also add notes about what condition each item is in. This way you can create a full inventory document for others to utilise when they need to pull out some items for an event.

Some of the Apps available are pretty complex allowing for barcode scanning of each item etc, but we like to keep things simple and not waste money unnecessarily.

So, why not check out Stock Control. Its a free download to simply trial it, but then you’ll need to purchase the full version to input more than 15 items. It’s amazingly simply to use and allows you to instantly input each item, add lo

cation details, categorise it with various options and then link the item to a photo you take on the spot. Its a powerful feature packed app.

Another App we like is My Inventory Manager Pro. It has a nice dashboard and is really easy to use. Again, there’s a free “lite” version but you’ll probably need to upgrade from this pretty quickly. This one is also available on Google’s App Store.

So, get organised this year with an up to date inventory of all the event collateral you have, and get in touch if you need to replenish stocks – we’re here to help.