It can really be an issue as a service to have an Exhibition stand that stands out on a budget. Let me explain why...
As the soap makers and print companies set up individual, pleasant smelling or eye-popping stands, you sit there with... well with yourself pretty much. Your table is festooned with paper or brochures maybe? The obvious packs of sweets or perhaps a marketing gimmick within your price range? You might have sign up sheets (always being mindful of GDPR).
I know I'm not alone, others at these events have also commented how it's remarkably difficult to setup a stand for a service. You notice the desperate looks of frustration in the eyes of the service providers at their stands, as people carefully scan away from their faces. I have however seen a few stands in the last while that have stood out for me and I did like what they did.
One stand I saw quite recently was at BizExpo 2019, They used their brand colour of purple to make their stand and even themselves completely purple. It definitely stood out - even made it a talking point. For the life of me I can't remember the brand name, but I can still remember the stand.
Another stand at BizExpo 2019 called and made themselves a Selfie Stand and sat on crates and had a brilliant back drop. People flocked over and did exactly that, you know....selfies.The point is to create something eye-catching and useful that doesn't financially break you. Better still would be something that is ultimately useful to your audience. If it is something to throw away though, then these days make sure it's recyclable!
On my recent stand at South East Digital Picnic 2019, I took my camera's and microphones. I placed them on my stand and explained to people why and how I used them as part of my own promotion and of course for my clients too. It was certainly something people didn't expect to see and it became a "why" moment.
How many times have you arrived at a stand to find the person you want to talk to...behind it. How about pushing the stand right back and standing in front of it? You can still place chairs to one side if needed. Make the displays into a U shape and encourage people to browse.
Giveaways are the ultimate expo tool right? However, that's normally either very expensive or very cheap. Depending on where you are in your business cycle you may or may not be able to afford this right now. Most of my audience would be start ups and very few would have the cashflow initially! So what can you give that would be of value as a service that the audience would want? Simply put, you. Well your knowledge anyway.What ever your field of speciality is, try to think what your most frequently asked questions are and get that information, in hand out or sign up that helps your audience with that particular question. For me it would be How to Optimise Your Facebook Page. So I leave on my stand information on how to do this and if people come over, I make it very clear these are FREE help sheets.
Again, no matter the field of expertise you're in, offer to do a FREE advice clinic. Then ensure you promote it on the way up to the event online and of course again on the day. Try to ensure you only offer 10-15 minute slots so that you can answer a persons question and give time to others that are looking for it. The hope is that they have appreciated the help and want to pay to get a more guaranteed and longer time slot another time.
These are ideas excellent for re-targeting! If you can get people to visit your website to obtain either or both - you can then design ads that can treat these "warm leads" and massage better business opportunities over the coming weeks and months.
Have a look at getting video testimonials, videos of you at work doing what you do. Do a loop with an FAQ as well. Keep it visually pleasing and interesting and preferably a little away from you (maybe at the end of the stand?). This is so they feel comfortable enough to watch without you questioning them immediately.
These are always good if a little cliched. You gain a better chance of getting people to take part if there is an immediate way of winning, like throwing dice or turning over a card. Us humans hate to hold off gratification!
So if you are looking to take up a stand in the future, consider using one of these on your stand, if you're a service. Always make sure you take loads of pictures in all sorts of formats and dimensions! Then you can share as JPEG's, PNG's and on different social media channels. Some images would look better landscape or portrait.
This kind of content can be repurposed into blogs, video and of course on social media. If you can, try and get a photo of people talking to you on your stand. It always looks better when you have images of people at your stand.