November 2015 - Hytner

5 Reasons Why You Should Exhibit

5-REASONS-WHY-YOU-SHOULD-EXHIBIT

In today’s digital world when it comes to ROI no other form of sales and marketing compares to the face-to-face element of an exhibition show.

Up until  now, we’ve given you countless hints and tips on how to plan and manage your exhibition. But, what we haven’t done, is given you the reasons why you should exhibit at one in the first place. Which is why, this week we thought it a good idea to give you 5 simple reasons why you should exhibit in the first place

From visibility to credibility, attending an exhibition/trade show can help you establish your presence within your industry. It’s the perfect opportunity to network with other businesses, but most importantly, you can use it to reach out to new and existing clientèle and build a more established brand.

As a result of the digital revolution, people are now bombarded with messages of all types. Now more than ever – it takes a special kind of message to stand out from the crowd, and attending an exhibition adds a personal touch to your marketing that just can’t be achieved online!

1. Sales

The main reason companies love-attending exhibitions, is because of the major economic benefits it can produce. Depending on your product or service, an exhibition/trade show can be a highly effective tool to obtain immediate conversions from keen impulse buyers, especially if you have enticing promotional offers.

2. Strengthen Your Brand

Branding is fundamental to your company’s survival. This is particularly true for small startup companies. Being in a room full of established businesses helps to create a powerful psychological image that will help visitors see you as a more established brand.

Also, we can all agree how wonderfully convenient and efficient electronic communication is, but face-to-face is always more powerful. Why? Because it’s personal. In a world filled with technology, you’re more likely to receive a response from a handshake and a brief business conversation than a cold and generic promotional email.

3. Keep up With Your Industry

New products, services, technologies and competitors! All under one roof. It’s important to keep up with your competitors and the industry in general to see what is new out there.Though you don’t have to exhibit to learn about what’s new in your industry, why waste the valuable opportunity to see how your competitors are really looking ?

4. Presence

Your absence could give the impression that your company is disengaged from the industry. You’ll be giving competitors the upper hand by losing the opportunity to affect perceptions. So show up, and let everyone know you’re still in the game.

5. Grow Your Marketing Database

Data is of unquestionable value to a business. Exhibition/trade shows are the perfect opportunity to network and scope out potential clients. You can expect to gain 40-50 qualified leads in a matter of hours – a rate not possible through any telecommunication method.

The data collected from both qualified and unqualified leads, gives your team the necessary resources for future marketing material.

Are you ready to start exploring the benefits that exhibiting can bring to your business?

A lot of businesses are put off by exhibitions because of the cost involved. Between stand builds and space costs to training staff and travel arrangements, it’s a costly process. However, like any other form of marketing, with the right strategy, an exhibition can be very profitable.

If you were unsure before, we hope this has convinced you of the immense benefits exhibitions can bring to your business. Yes, it’s an investment, which has it risks, but with careful planning, targeted marketing and lots of networking, you will inevitably see a long-term return on your investment.

 

The Importance of Body Language when Exhibiting

The Importance of Body Language when Exhibiting

Actions do indeed speak louder than words, so what are your actions saying?

In last week’s article we discussed the importance of having staff with people skills manning your stand at an exhibition. This week, we go a layer deeper to discuss the importance of body language. A non-verbal communication where we express our thoughts, intentions or feelings through physical behaviours like facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement and touch.

The effectiveness of body language speaks through the statistics. Did you know that according to the Behavioural Science Consultancy, 55% of the messages that we convey to other people are through non-verbal communication – body language – whilst only 7% are through words. This makes it an indispensable skill to perfect and relate to your potential customers.

Regardless of what you say, people will make assumptions based on how you conduct yourself and, while you can’t stop them from speculating – there are things you can do to make those assumptions work in your favour.

To simplify it for you, we’ve created a list of positive and negative body gestures to consider and avoid so you know the principal dos and don’ts of body language;

Positive body gestures

  • Walk/stand upright – an open posture opposed to a slouched one, demonstrates confidence and makes you more approachable.
  • Shake hands confidently – a weak grip doesn’t inspire confidence, equally so trying to crush them like a WWE wrestler is only going to distance them from you. Be firm, but friendly.
  • Nodding – it shows the other person that you’re listening and are interested in what they’re saying. Only nod when you really agree with the person so you don’t run the risk of over-nodding.
  • Steady and consistent eye contact – eye contact is a sign that you’re paying attention and fully focused on that person. It’s respectful and engaging on a personal level.

Negative body gestures

  • Biting nails – not only does this come across as a bad habit, but it demonstrates that you are not focused on the other person. Hardly professional as well, right?
  • Getting distracted – looking around the visitor when you’re talking to them and just not giving the person your full attention can be irritating and you risk losing their interest.
  • Using body language that can be easily misunderstood e.g. winking may seem friendly, perhaps even cheeky…you may even think it adds personality, however it can be considered as as very unprofessional and really should really be avoided..
  • Bad Posture – Slouching, swaying or resting on one hip makes you look bored and disinterested.
  • Physical Barriers – Crossing your arms or any other physical barriers will limit your ability to connect and deter visitors from engaging in conversation with you.

To sum up

Body language comes to us spontaneously and naturally. All you need to know is how to interpret and develop them so you can use them to your advantage at your exhibition.
It’s a skill that should be finessed and perfected because its impact is far greater than any sales pitch in the world.

Be conscious of your body language and facial expressions. It can make all the difference when converting those crucial leads into loyal customers.

 

People Skills – A Guide for Your Exhibition Staff

People Skills - A Guide for Your Exhibition Staff

An Exhibition Staff With Good People Skills Will Be Your Biggest Asset

In today’s virtual age, where many rely so heavily on internet-based sales and marketing strategies, many forget that the powerful method of winning over a customer is face-to-face selling. Why? Simply put, because people trust people.

Your visitors will judge your entire company based on their experience with your staff. So, do your exhibition staff know how to make a good first impression? Quickly build a rapport? Or start, control and end a conversation? Those are all key components to consider when handpicking the people who will either be your the biggest asset or liability when it comes to your exhibition show.

With the contact between visitor and staff being critical, for customer acquisition and retention, do not let a poor team be the reason your exhibition fails. In order to have a successful exhibition, here are some factors to consider when managing your stand staff.

Choose the Right People

Having a great looking exhibition stand is simply not enough – you also need the right team manning the stand. Your staffs’ attitude, appearance and body language as well as their knowledge of your products/services is so critical for the future relationship with prospects and clients.

Take time when selecting your exhibition team. This process should not be rushed. Consider the following criteria when selecting your team;

  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Previous experience and performance on the stand
  • Product/industry knowledge

Listen More than Talk

Business surveys suggest salespeople talk more than they listen. The staff you select for your stand have to be good listeners. They must be able to think of their feet, extract information and offer your visitors tailored responses.

Here are six bad habits to avoid;

  • Doing all the talking
  • Interrupting when someone else is talking (our personal pet hate)
  • Not making eye contact
  • Fiddling with things in your hands
  • Being too serious

Dress for the occasion

After investing in the best looking stand, it’s important you and your staff maintain the same standard of presentation. How you dress for an exhibition can be determined by several factors, such as type of industry you’re in, company values and overall practicalities of the day.

You can achieve a standardised level of personal presentation by establishing a ‘dress code’. It’s the best way to ensure your team is in unison. Whether it’s a matching colour, style or company t-shirt, a unified look makes your team stand out and identifiable by customers.

Keep your Exhibition Staff Motivated

Keeping your team motivated throughout the whole exhibition can be a challenge. Particularly when traffic is slow during the final hours of the show. Which is why first and foremost, be certain that everyone wants to be there, this will make motivating them 10x easier.

In order to truly energise the troop, create a fun, positive and reinforcing environment. Provide them with regular breaks so they’re able to rest their feet, get some food or drink to re-energise.

Assigning your team personal targets or having friendly competitions such as e.g. who can get the most leads in a hour, keeps the exhibition fun and exciting.

Finally, recognition, and positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator. If they’re doing a good job be sure to acknowledge their hard work and if not, then offer them constructive criticism so they can improve.

Dealing with the enemy

Exhibitions can be a battle field, ground for espionage with competition at every corner. Your exhibition staff need to be on their toes and aware of their surroundings.

If they’re observant enough they’ll find that competitors often give themselves away quickly – they know far more than your average visitor, or they’ll ask probing and specific questions, trying to extract information. This is where ‘listen more than talk’ can be extremely handy.

Summary

A successful exhibition requires much more than a great stand: it needs a compelling, knowledgeable and motivated team to uplift your company and gain those leads. It’s up to you to take the initiative and approach visitors; unlike street stands, they’ve intentionally attended to see what you have to offer them. So don’t be afraid to interrupt passersby and start a conversation.

By taking the extra precautions when putting together a team  you are guaranteeing yourself a successful and prosperous show.

Make Your Exhibition Design Stand Out With 5 Easy Steps

Make Your Exhibition Design Stand Out With 5 Easy Steps

A great stand won’t only attract visitors, it will also keep them there!

Did you know? In 2002 the average attention span of a person was 12 seconds. Well according to research, that has now fallen to 8 seconds in 2015, which is less than the average attention span of a goldfish.

If you’re asking yourself, with such a small amount of time to attract and engage, how could I possibly attract visitors to my stand? The answer is your exhibition design! It is a crucial step towards a successful exhibition. Your design should be exciting, inspiring and striking, just like a moth to a flame. Afterall what’s the point if you don’t stand out at a show? Using light and colour to entice prospects towards your stand and away from your competitors is the number one priority as time is ticking from day one of the show until the end.

Unfortunately, exhibiting can also be a costly investment and getting a maximum return on your investment is a very important factor as we all know. Though with the following tips you’ll be able to enhance and maximise your exhibition design so that it doesn’t become a lost opportunity.

1. Have a Unique Stand

The exhibition design should be strong, distinctive and noticeable. Exhibitions are an investment of both your money and time. If you’re going to make that commitment, ensure that your exhibition design will drum up some interest. The use of lights, vivid colours and bold, professionally made graphics are very effective in drawing some attention but most importantly it separates you from your neighbours.

If you’re having a brain fuzz, why not check out some of our Custom Built-Stands for a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

2. Make Versatility a Priority

A simple design, more often than not, is the best design. Focus instead on having an exhibition design that is accessible and inviting. There is nothing more offputting than obstacles or a cluttered and overwhelming stand. Remember, it should be a representation of your brand and you’ll want prospects to leave with a positive impression of your company and products and/or services.

You will never get a second chance to make that first impression again, so make the first one count.

3. Use Effective lighting

Lighting is always overlooked, many don’t know the huge difference that it can make on your stand. Your exhibition design can incorporate different lighting options to emphasise key products or areas of interest on your display. For example, if you launching a new product and want to make it more prominent, a spotlight will put more emphasis on that particular section.

In fact, you could even take it a step further and use different colours to make your display unique or create an effect that is in line with your brand.

4. Have Interactive technology

By including anything interactive in your exhibition design, you will pique the interest of potential customers, therefore guaranteeing increased numbers to your stand. Using screens to showcase products and promote your message is an effective way of drawing attention and enticing visitors over to find out more about your business. Gadgets are fun and interactive, and people will visit your stand to experiment with them, giving you the opportunity to talk to them and give them more information about your company.

Check our Škoda Exhibition to see how we increased their visitor engagement with an interactive photographic display.

5. Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment

Providing some entertainment on your stand as part of your exhibition design will give your display the edge over your neighbours. You could have a live demo or a workshop. People love to see a product or service in action, it will resonate better with your audience, which could improve direct sales from impulse buyers.

Alternatively, you can also provide freebies, like food or drinks, which encourages people to stop and listen while they finish their refreshments giving you the opportunity to talk about your business. A game or competition could also spark up some interest.

Make Your Stand, Stand Out!

That is the motto that you should stand by when thinking about your exhibition design. First impressions are critical, so getting it right the first time is very important.

To generate those important leads you must capture your audience’s attention over your competitors. Dazzle them with your creative visuals and inspire them  with your design.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this post and gained some new insight and inspiration on exhibition shows.

If you’d like to see some visual examples of fantastic exhibition designs, please feel free to browse through Our Work. Alternatively, contact us on 0844 222 1255 or exhibits@hytner.com if you need help with your next project or just want some advice on uplifting your existing ideas.

If you’ve enjoyed this post you’ll definitely want to read our previous post “Why Outdoor LED Screens?” or if you want to start planning your exhibition you have to read our post “ What Does A Typical Exhibition Brief Look Like?