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2012 Expo

Creating a winning expo stand

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The journey of showcasing at a professionally organized expo demands advance planning, the courage and zealous commitment in engaging with prospective and decision-makers touring the event writes Sam OBARE.

Today, more than ever expos have become the most popular option for companies to use as a platform to showcase and advertise themselves as it allows them to come in contact with a high volume of their target customers in a short period of time.

It has become the trend for exhibitors to have large budgets for expos but only very few stands will have it ‘right’ in terms of having created an ‘award winning stand.’

Among the first crucial factors to remember while participating in an expo, isn’t the budget but your relevance to the event. Ask yourself, how relevant is your company to the expo taking place and expected foot traffic? Who will the expo attract?

Is it an expo relevant to your business and industry? Are people likely to attend? Who are the potential or existing customers?

The objective and end result of any expo should always be a success in relation to generating sales, and widening your customer base.

Do not just participate in an expo because you have heard that a lot of people attend. For one,  they may not be they people your company is interested in targeting.

Secondly, planning and design. Two very important factors in creating a ‘wow’ stand. Ensure that you have at least a month to six weeks to plan how your stand will look. Go the extra mile with thinking about your presentation and all the finer details.

Your stand will say 90% of what you need to about your company and products, so ensure the entire experience for anyone visiting your stand has been well thought out. Gone are the days when expos were about going to a stand with representatives seated on a table giving out brochures.

Use the space allocated to you to wisely. Display your products in a neat and orderly manner keeping in line with the theme of the expo, and ensure that you are showcasing products which are applicable to the people attending the expo. Use expos as an opportunity to showcase your latest or best selling products, and do not overcrowd it with unnecessary items.

Lighting should highlight special products or the selling points of particular products and essentially to create a warm, inviting feel to your stand. Always ensure that the staff stationed at your stand is well informed, friendly and proactive. It is important to note that your staff is the face of your company at an expo, and play a very critical role in attracting or putting off customers at your stand.

A mistake that many companies also make is to fill their stand with drapery. Do not use drapery to highlight your corporate colours or try and attract attention. It actually makes your stand look cheap rather than attractive and is a waste of space. Have your stand professionally branded and showcase your logo attractively.

Finally, always ensure that all visitors leave your stand with a positive feel about your company and with the intention to visit your company showroom to make a purchase. For this, they have had to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of coming in contact with your staff and products, and had their questions successfully answered. All visitors to your stand should also leave their business card and contact details in a visitors book so you can make follow up calls and emails to remind them about their visit to your stand.

Tips from Ideal Ceramics, rated the best stand award winners at the Ideal Interiors Expo 2012 Tips from Ideal Ceramics, rated the best stand award winners at the Ideal Interiors Expo 2012