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|Blog||:||The Future of Exhibitions|
Anyone who works in events can attest that putting on a stand at an exhibition is a full on task. The planning alone can be more than one person to bear without a good activity tracker like Trello, Basecamp or Wanderlist by their side.
However, more than making sure the freebies, the people, the TV stands, the TVs, the extension leads and the PowerPoint presentations are all in the right place at the right time, events and marketing managers are under more and more pressure to make sure that their corner of the event hall stands out from the crowd.
There’s more than a few obvious ways of doing this. One is working with someone like us to create an incredible, eye catching – even mind blowing – exhibition stand.
Thanks to the array of technology at our disposal we can produce anything your designers can dream up to more or less any size.
A great looking stand will draw people to you, as will gimmicks like coffee machines, bars and incredible freebies. But what will make your audience stay beyond a passing interest in your service or product?
All the recent innovations in technology and continual miniaturisation means that it is becoming easier and easier to incorporate features into your exhibition that would have been impossible only a few years ago.
The advent of augmented reality and (more recently) virtual reality means that your audience can engage in a far more ‘real’ way with what you’re selling.
Interactive projections displayed on a curved exhibition stand allow attendees to manipulate products or zoom in for a closer view.
Portable VR technology allows visitors to do something similar but in a far more immersive way. It’s the ultimate gimmick that will be cropping up in growing numbers.
VR will allow businesses to create an experience that goes beyond talking about just a product or service. It will create something more intimate that will make it so much harder to say no to.
Similarly, an augmented reality app can provide your audience with something far more engaging and exciting than a brochure. Although if you’re really clever you can give the users the option of emailing themselves one at the end of the AR experience.
The great thing about AR is you can build the design right into your display stand so they are interacting with the content on the stand or on roller banners.
If you’re feeling really clever, and you have the option, you can dot different graphics around the hall which will open up new features or content.
A few years ago having a Nintendo Wii on your stand was the thing to do. Getting attendees to try their hand at Wii Bowling or Wii Boxing was both hilarious and highly engaging. The player with the top score at the end of the day won the console. As gimmicks go it was a pretty good one.
There are some businesses that still offer game zones as part of their stands and thanks to the indie development packs it is highly feasible to produce a bespoke game. It’s also very expensive.
However, there is, of course, an app for that. Downloadable game only available for the duration of the show via a QR code offer an affordable alternative that still encourages engagement with your stand.
The most successful expo games usually involve a big prize for the top scorer (think car rather than Wii) but if the game is good enough people will be enjoying it long after and that earns your business a tremendous amount of good will.
If you do decide to offer a big prize make sure you work with an experienced provider as things like competition insurance is all but essential.
The good news is that there are companies out there that offer an ‘off the shelf’ game for those with budgets or bespoke solutions without.
Either way, if your game is a good one, your exhibition presence will stretch far beyond your plot as attendees sit tapping away during lunch or whilst grabbing a quick coffee.
As the sales process changes and we move away from the hard sell towards a more holistic ‘helpful’ approach, the exhibition stand can evolve along those lines too.
Giving attendees the means to engage and learn on their own terms is a real break from the often pressured experience attendees can experience when daring to step onto a stand.
Tablets and other interactive screens allows visitors the option of engaging with custom landing pages to gain as much information as they want, email themselves documents or request to be contacted.
It also serves as a wonderful sales aid to your exhibition team when the potential client is ready to engage with them.
The great thing is that these screens can be incorporated into your exhibition stand so as to create a seamless and slick user experience.
Whatever your approach, aligning your activity with an ‘on message’ exhibition stand will give you a unique presence on the exhibition floor. Great design, soothing shapes and ambient light all work to create an experience that goes beyond the hard sell or even the exhibition vibe.
In short, creating an exhibition stand is now about a great experience not just about drawing attention (although that will always play a part) that takes the pressure off but, conversely, makes it easier for potential clients to say yes.
If you're looking for an increible exhibition stand, we can help! Contact us today to speak to a member of our design team or a product expert who can help you further.
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Kate Wilson, RGB Communications Ltd