First impressions really do count when designing your exhibition stand to attract traffic. In a large exhibition hall with many competing brands, what is going to make your booth stand out? You could lose potential customers and traffic if your stand is poorly designed and not inviting.

It’s a large investment to exhibit, so we have created a guide to help you design and promote your stand no matter how small your stand is or your budget, these are important tips to help you maximise value.

Set Your Goals

What is your purpose of exhibiting at EQUITANA? Are you launching a new product? Is it brand awareness? Are you a new business? Do you want to make money? Do you want to increase your client list? Generate Leads? You need to clearly define your goal, and then design your stand to meet this goal.

Target Audience

Many different types people will walk through the doors of EQUITANA. Your stand will not be able to meet the needs of everyone, so it’s important you design your stand to meet the needs of the target audience you are aiming for. There is no use creating an amazing stand that doesn’t attract the right people.

YOU HAVE 3 SECONDS. This is typically how long it takes someone to approach and walk past your stand. In this time, they need to understand who you are and what you are selling, and then decide if they are interested in your product or service.

See how much tall flags make stands pop and are easily recognisable? Notice the 2016 Hygain Stand, allows for people to enter from all directions, and has a nice arena for visitors to sit down and discuss the feed products. Having an area for people to sit can be a great idea, as we all know how sore our feet get walking around all day. Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

A simple concept that is visually stunning! When you go big, images will pop. The open sides allows for visitors to flow through on either side of a central counter. Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

Maximise your Space

You will never have enough space, so you need to maximise every inch of it. Once you have established your goals and target audience you need to work out what you need to have in your stand as a bare minimum. This includes products to sell, signage, brochures, samples etc. Once you have this list, you need to plan how to use this space to display your product the most effectively. Think about where you will place your displays, you want to be able to draw people into your stand to explore it, so make sure there are no physical barriers to keep people from entering.

Draw out a visual of your stand and where you will place your displays, signage etc. Make sure you have enough room for people to walk in and around your stand. You want to be able to reel them in and engage with them.

Once you have designed your stand then you can contact Show Pony Graphics for any of your signage / promotional needs. Show Pony Graphics is happy to chat about your exhibition stand obligation free, so contact us to see how we can help you within your budget.

Tips

  • Selling Products If you are selling a product, you do not need to cram as much of it as you can in the stand, you won’t have room. Create an impressive display for the product, hide some of it under a table, and have the rest in your car, so you can send someone back regularly to re-stock.
  • Do you need a table? Tables can take up a lot of room, if you must have one, make sure you purchase a customised cover which you can design to include your logo, branding or a message. It’s valuable space you are wasting if you don’t. The table cover can also allow for plenty of storage underneath. Think about using tall displays such as square plinths. These are cheap and professional looking, available at all good shop retail stores.
  • Go Up. You might be restricted to floor space, so go up! Have your logo / brand sign placed up high in the middle of your stand, which gives you the wall space to display your products.
  • Flags. Simple double-sided flags are a super way to draw attention to both sides of your stand without taking up valuable space. Click here for more information.

Lighting

Lighting is a super way to draw attention to specific parts of your stand. In general, make sure the whole stand is well lit. Next use spotlights or LED Strips to highlight and accentuate parts of your stand such as product displays to draw people to them. A good quality stand builder will help you with the right lighting. Sometimes it’s the little details that will really make your stand pop such as LED’s under displays, under bench lighting, etc.

Colour

If your branding colours are black / pink, then use these colours to brand and build your whole stand. Nothing will pop more than a beautifully designed stand completely in your branding colours, and your logo.

Materials

Think about how you can change the standard appearance of the bare stand. Simple details such as using raised or different flooring can really make a big difference. Stay away from just sticking up posters on the existing walls. Get creative with large fabric walls or posters that are an affordable way to bring a stand to life. Click here for more information.

Graphics

Use graphics / pictures to draw people in. We are visual beings, so we want to see images, not reams of text. Make a serious impression by using life sized images, that will create a powerful impression. Show Pony Graphics can create full wall fabric displays, which are an affordable option to cover exhibition walls. Click here for more information.

Look at how the Saddle Collection full wall draws you in with the large photos and full display. An affordable way to create an attractive visual. The saddles are also displayed for people to touch and interact with them. A different floor really sets the stand out from the others. They have also creatively divided the stand into two sections to promote the two facets of the business whilst still allowing for it to be open plan allowing visitors to flow through. Notice the competition board at the front to allow them to obtain visitor details. Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

The staff are easily recognisable with their jackets. The stand is open plan allowing visitors to go right through and touch the feeds. With the number of people that visit EQUITANA every day, you need to think about how visitors will flow through your stand. Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

Payment

If you are selling products from your store, make sure you have a card facility, so people can pay on the spot. Purchasing at an exhibition is an impulse decision for a lot of people, so you need to seal the deal there and then. Make sure you have enough coins, cash, and a card payment facility.

Stand Personnel

More important than you may think is having the right people at your stand. These people are representing your brand. Your staff need to be extremely knowledgeable about the product / service you are offering as well as your business.  Knowledge of products, prices, specials and your goals for the event is imperative.

They need to be well presented and recognisable as your staff. So, make sure they are wearing shirts with your logo visible, even a name tag can help people easily interact with you. You need to also make sure you have enough staff to handle the amount of traffic you will get. You could lose potential sales if people must wait around to get your staff’s attention. Many will say they will come back later and forget.

Make sure at least one staff member is high up enough in the chain to make large decisions. This exhibition has the potential to see you make large deals with potential distributors, large stud farms etc.

Technology

Use technology to save on space and time. People are attracted to things that move. Consider having a screen running a promotion video and examples of your product in the real world.  Use tablets to record people’s data quickly direct to your mailing lists.

Plan Activities / Special Offers

It’s just not enough to have a stand that displays your product anymore. We have heard often that people go to EQUITANA for a bargain, so make sure you have a special offer of some description, to satisfy their urges! Activities at your stand are a great way to draw people in. These could include:

  • Celebrity meet & greet / signings.
  • Brand Ambassadors meet / greet.
  • Instagram / Social Media Window to encourage Selfies (Click here for more information)
  • Are you selling horse feed? Let people touch and smell it.
  • Selling clothes? Let them try it on. Selling saddles. Let people sit in them.

Make sure your stand encourages people to interact with it.

Promote your attendance

Just booking an exhibition stand isn’t enough anymore, you need to promote it outside the walls of EQUITANA. Use social media, your website and your mailing list to promote special offers and your attendance at EQUITANA. Remember EQUITANA attracts a lot of interstate visitors, so this is a great way for people to see your brand and meet you in person, when they previously wouldn’t have had an opportunity to do so. Make sure your social media followers know you are exhibiting at EQUITANA and use it to promote special offers. Send out an email and post relevant notices on your website.

Many magazine publications also run special EQUITANA features, these are worth looking out for as they add another promotional dimension, including the EQUITANA Program as well, as many will take this home to flick through later.

During the Exhibition

Use social media during EQUITANA to promote your stand. Share videos of the stand and your product. Video ranks very highly on Social Media, so even interview your brand ambassadors at EQUITANA. Post photos with customers and your brand ambassadors. Use social media to generate excitement in your stand and to promote special offers available during the event.

It can be hard as you are busy at your stand, but Social Media during this time can be used very effectively. You could even set up a discount coupon via Social Media, that they can bring to your stand, another way to track sales.

Competitions provide a way to get visitor data to promote to later. Lollies at a stand are always a favourite! Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

Allow people to interact with your product, and always have information brochures nearby! Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

A great way to engage with your visitors is to have your sponsored riders at your stand Photo: EQUITANA Melbourne

Collecting Data

How do you plan to evaluate the success of your stand? Is it via sales on the day? It is important to collect leads and visitor data. The easiest way to do this is via a tablet, and you can get peoples details quickly and easily. If you can also insert notes about the potential lead.

The easiest way to get visitor data is to run a competition or offer freebies such as pens, key rings etc if they provide you with their information. 9 times out of 10 they will give you their details.

You can also evaluate your stands success by using coupon codes on your flyers to track how many aftersales people might make. Give them a week or two to be able to redeem the code via your website.

Exhibiting can be exhausting but it’s important to follow up any sales leads you have within the weeks following the event while they are still fresh in people’s minds.

Enter the EQUITANA Business Awards!

For the first time Show Pony Graphics has joined forces with EQUITANA to bring to you the EQUITANA Business Awards. This new initiative has been developed to support, promote and reward Australian Equestrian Businesses.

If you have launched a new product in the last 12 months or are launching one at EQUITANA, make sure you enter the Innovation Awards. They are FREE to enter for EQUITANA Exhibitors. Make sure you take our tips on board as all exhibitors are AUTOMATICALLY entered into the EQUITANA Exhibition Awards!

For more information on the awards visit: http://www.equitanabusinessawards.com.au/