How to stand out from the crowd and attract the right clients.
Photography: Match Made Photography
We know that investing in a stall can be a really big deal. It can also be an expensive operation and you want to make sure you’re doing all the right things to maximise your return on the day. However, it’s hard to know until after the big day if your stall was effective or not. By then it’s too late to change anything. Hindsight is a wonderful teacher, but won’t help the hundreds or thousands you just lost because your stall didn’t get noticed.
It’s also a very blank canvas. Unlike styling an event or a wedding where you typically have elements of a venue to work alongside to help emphasise your styling. At an expo you have nothing. In fact even worse than nothing, you have a big open centre, with metal trestles and incredibly harsh lighting (like really bad), it isn’t helping with any mood creating.
You’re also likely working on a pretty tight budget. At the end of the day this will be coming out of your own marketing budget, so the less you can spend the better, right? But whilst bringing in the most amount of clients to convert. It’s no different to a Facebook ad online. Instead of your clients scrolling past you though, they are physically walking past. If your stall doesn’t stand out, they will just keep scrolling (or walking).
The last few weeks we have done a lot of work around Expos. Both planning for a stall for Forever A Moment in a few weeks time at a wedding expo to working on behalf of clients to bring their vision to life. With all of this expo work, we’ve been doing a lot of research and thinking around what makes a successful Expo stall. What should you have and how should you make it look.
There is one thing that will automatically set you apart from the other suppliers at the stall and is often something you have no control over. This is the placement of your stall. You are more likely to be seen if you’re in direct view of the entrance than if you’re hidden in the back dark corner of the hall. This is pretty obvious, and often something you won’t have control over. However, at the very least, make sure you send an email to the expo provider to put in your preferences. They often don’t mind where you go, so an email from you may just make it a little easier for them. If you can also get a stand-alone stall, this will also put you ahead of the pack.
They say bigger is not always better, but when it comes to an expo. Often this is the case. If you think about it, you’re trying to stand out in anyway possible. Having a 9x9m stall like we had a few weeks ago, is going to catch more people’s attention than the smaller 3x3 stall. Simply because you can do more with it, you can put more in there and make more of an impact. Instead of 1 lounge, you can do 2. This will always draw more attention
Height is always an important factor to consider when styling your stall. Particularly if you don’t have any trusses around you to confine the stall. This will mean that your stall draws attention as people walk in and survey the room from top to bottom. Anything with height will instantly stand out. With the Refocus stall we used a swing as our height attention capturing feature and it worked. It drew in so much business that people were even asking if they could buy the swing off us. People will see the height from a distance and get curious and want to check out what the thing is sticking out above the other stalls.
Goal for the stall
It’s important to think about what your goal is from the store and how you want to achieve this goal. This will guide the scope of the stall. Are you wanting to encourage more client conversations to get more sign ups? Then you’re probably wanting to go a bit more intimate and cosy relaxed atmosphere. Or are you wanting clients to have a heap of fun so they call you at a later date? Then you may want to consider an interactive expo where guests can engage in the activities to get them intrigued. Maybe you are wanting to showcase your new sleek design of a product. It would make sense then to have a sleek slick minimal stall that focuses on the product.
Along with the goal of the stall, it’s important to consider what your brand is. If your brand is relaxed and casual, you wouldn’t want a modern, minimalistic stall as it just won’t represent who you are.
You also need to make sure you get the balance of branding right in your stall. There is nothing worse than a stall that is all marketing content. It’s just banner after banner, the tables are covered in brochures and the walls covered in posters. Follow the saying less is more. Let the stall speak for itself. The stall we are doing for the Mamre Association in a few weeks will feature 2 banners and some brochures. We are letting the hanging loon installation and colour pops speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, just like when working at a venue, you aren’t in the driver’s seat. Venues will have their own rules regarding what you can hang on walls, if you can have naked flames or not and the best fun of all, restrictions on bump in and bump out.
Exhibitions are no different! If anything, they are more strict. Flames are typically a no go so candles aren’t an option. You will also need to work with suppliers to figure out how this will work.
This isn’t something that will just appear at a stall. You will need to request this beforehand and pay for it. It does seem like such a basic thing but it is always over looked. When you think about power, don’t just think about the setup, and if you need power for lighting or anything. Also think about your own things you will need on the day. If it is a 2 day expo for 10 hours a day, it is likely your laptop where you will gather all of your leads will die.
How we can help?
It can be pretty overwhelming we know. There are so many things to consider Finding the right balance between budget and wow factor, brand and styled can be difficult. That is where we can come in! Whether it be just a consult to help you hone in your vision and suggest how to bring it to life or all the way through to bringing the entire thi