Rethinking engagement at exhibition stands

Rethinking engagement at exhibition stands

The exhibition space can be daunting and exhausting for exhibitors and attendees alike. While standing out from the rest often feels like an impossible task for exhibitors, attendees typically find that stands fail to sustain their interest for very long. In this overstimulating environment, how do you ensure that your stand not only grabs and maintains the attention of delegates, but that this engagement leads to real connections and profitable returns?

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When it comes to audience engagement, there are a few important things to consider, says Grant Waites, Worx Group’s Director of Active. “Make sure the people manning your stand know your product or service inside out,” he advises. “Delegates are experiencing an overload of information and are usually pressed for time – they need to be met by someone informed and experienced.”

Your product or service should also be presented in an engaging manner. This involves knowing not only your product, but your market too. Grant’s experience at two recent exhibitions offers valuable insight in this regard.

Privacy and convenience for IDEMIA

At the SAITEX 2019 exhibition, Worx Group created a working room that formed part of IDEMIA’s exhibition stand. IDEMIA is a leader in augmented identities, complex security technology that potential clients would likely wish to discuss confidentially.

“Bearing IDEMIA’s product and target market in mind, we built a clear Perspex room that was covered in an opaque, IDEMIA-branded vinyl,” Grant explains. “This not only provided us with a bigger brand presence, but offered a quiet private meeting space that was fully equipped with boardroom furniture, a TV for presentations and a coffee station.” The room was hugely successful, with the convenience of having a private room immediately available, improving engagement at the stand in real, tangible ways.

Sitting down at SAITEX

Take a short walk around an expo and the stands very quickly start to feel the same: free coffee, business card draws, smoothie bars and sweet giveaways are all a dime a dozen. Which is why, at SAITEX, one of Africa’s largest trade shows, Worx Group set up a shoeshine stand for Standard Bank. “We used this as a short-term audience capture method. While delegates had their shoes shined, account executives had time to speak to them,” says Grant. “It also allowed our stand to differentiate itself from the others.”

Although this approach lent itself more to men than to women, research revealed that 70% of the event’s attendees were men. The shoe, in other words, fit. This also shows the importance of research and planning if you’re to have any return on investment.

Grant’s parting words of wisdom? “Create opening, inviting environments that welcome your guests. Don’t make them feel pressured and have information on hand that they can take away with them. And above all, ensure that there’s a synchronicity between what you’re promoting and the way you’re promoting it. Be strategic.” For help developing and implementing these engagement strategies, contact Grant and the rest of the team at Worx Group, where no two approaches are ever the same.

get the 2018 trends ebook here

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