Time For A Toe In The Water?

Your existing booth has been gathering cobwebs for over a year now* and you’re wondering whether to begin testing the live event circuit. So where do you start to restart? Let’s take a look at the advice from expert exhibition stand builders! 

It’s a big decision. There are still many unknowns and uncertainties about live events but at some point businesses will have to get back on the horse – even if the horse may have changed from Mustang to Haflinger – both of which, as equestrians will tell you, have their strengths. If you’re getting ready to make a move, here are some useful pointers to help your preparations.

Pick the right shows and events.

This is something you always did but prioritizing is doubly important when options are limited. What is the best event to promote your product or service, to attract your target customers, and to generate high quality sales leads? Does the event offer convenient travel links for attendees and staff? Should you consider setting up your own, smaller-scale event in a hired venue, such as a hotel suite or hall? And if there are still too many unknowns, think about surveying your existing clients to help define what they would like to see and where they’d be happy to travel.

Slim your booth space and size.

Now is a good moment to take a hard look at your existing booth and exhibit assets (cobwebbed or not) and see if they still meet your needs – particularly if you are considering attending or creating events that are smaller. And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean building a brand-new booth, although any exhibition stand builders would be delighted to help you do so. You’ll be amazed what can be done to “edit down” your current booth to give a simpler layout and require fewer staff. You can also include essential features for controlling access, sanitizing and PPE, and social distancing.

Use the opportunity to stage a refresh.

If, like many businesses, you’ve had to withstand around a year of reduced promotional activity, your brand could be overdue for a refresh. Like the above-mentioned equines, even strong brands lose their edge if they don’t get regular exercise, and so a return to the marketplace, however tentative at first, may be the perfect time to add some sparkle. Again, this doesn’t have to be a ground-up rebuild. Think what you could do with a simple color change to the backwall, new flooring, repositioned lighting and furniture, maybe a new banner. Call it aisle appeal.

Update your branding and messaging

This is more ambitious than a simple refresh but also takes advantage of your brand’s return to live events. Many markets across the world have changed dramatically, and it can be a plus for businesses and brands to show they’ve responded proactively and creatively to that change – especially if their actions relate to the benefits your product can offer customers. Consequently, your messaging may need adjusting or reinforcing with new copy, graphics, product images, and AV content. This will give your audience renewed confidence in your brand.  

Lastly, remember that restarts are always experimental and recent history proves that the unexpected is a powerful foe. But dip a toe first before you wade in and you’ll soon get the feedback you need to direct your efforts in the most productive way.     

*Unless we’ve been storing it for you. In which case it will have been kept in perfect condition!

Contact Jay for more information and how we can help you on the road to recovery.

Jay has a wealth of exhibition and 3D design experience. After graduating in industrial design and growing his own design consultancy, he moved into the exhibit industry where his creative insight and account management skills enabled him to provide solutions for major brands in automotive, food and beverage, pharma, sporting goods, financial and many other sectors. He currently directs our Commercial and Retail Environments business, and a key part in the growing team of exhibition stand builders.