September 2, 2016 | Melanie Wills
You know you’ve attended a great exhibition when you leave the event hall carrying bags brimming with giveaways, taken inspirational ideas for your business, met with new contacts and feel energized and engaged with your industry. Yet the following day whilst back at your desk, of all the many stands that were present, only a few will be recalled with clarity.
Most events are about generating sales and every exhibitor will want to be one of the special few whose message has been heard loud and clear and who will continue to be remembered long after the exhibition has finished. These are the companies who have meaningfully engaged with their target audience and imparted a positive and therefore memorable experience.
An attendees eyes will sweep the event hall and will take in who you are, what you do and decide whether they want to talk to you in the space of a few seconds. In order to begin creating a memorable experience your stand must be visually appealing to entice visitors onto it in the first instance. A stunning design can leave a lasting impression but must also combine your brand values, preferably with a theme and communicate your reason for exhibiting – all within the space available.
Friendly and attentive event staff are also crucial to drawing visitors onto your stand. A well dressed, well briefed member of your team that smiles and realises the importance of being an ambassador for your brand is vital in helping to build rapport.
As well as informative discussions with your event team, bringing engaging content onto your stand can help create some intrigue and magic. Engagement comes in many forms and can be as creative as you like. It’s not just about putting your showreel or best content on a big screen; it’s about involving visitors using games, surveys, research or polls, or perhaps showing your products and services in new and interesting ways.
Having an engagement plan will keep visitors on your stand for longer, should capture data and help bring in more qualified leads for follow up after the event. More importantly, if you ensure your visitors have fun when they interact with you then they are more likely to remember.
It is crucial to create an exhibition pre-show and post-show campaign to get the most out of your exhibition. Start connecting with your audience prior to the event. Creating a buzz beforehand with social media and the organisers’ campaign allows discussion to begin and gets the attendees thinking about you before the doors have even opened. Capturing material such as photos and video coverage during the show can be used to extend the life of the event afterwards and not only serve to keep you in the mind of those who were in attendance but can also ensure your efforts have a much further reach by going viral via the power of the internet.
See how we delivered a memorable experience at Marketing Week Live 2016 and grew engagement by 208% or play our Sweet Memories game from the show for your chance to win!