The Real Value of Exhibitions

We’ve all experienced exhibitions in a professional space. The question you should be asking yourself about big-ticket activations is whether your company gets real value from them? If you’re thinking of presenting your business in exhibitions, there are a few factors you should consider. Grant Waites, our head of ACTIVE (Worx Group’s unit focused on activations, exhibitions, sponsorships and sports), breaks them down.

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Exhibitions benefit companies in two distinct ways: the opportunity to position your brand or product to a specific target audience, and the merit that comes from genuine human interaction with them. With this in mind, your exhibit must be correctly actioned. Is genuine worth being created for the host and guests?

Few things are as important as a great strategy to get this right. While a key benefit of exhibitions is the knowledge that your audience is present, the flip side is that they are present for your competitors, too. With a strong strategy, you’ll be able to solidify your brand and stand out from the crowd.

While it is tempting to default to technology to capture your audience’s attention, don’t forget that people respond to human interaction above all else. Exhibition stands are effectively live adverts for your business, and meeting your customer or partner on site in a mutually advantageous environment will always be beneficial to all stakeholders.

Investec Stand Mining Indaba, WrxGrp, #OpportunityEverywhere,Worx Group,...

This is often best shown by creating an engaging social space at exhibitions rather than a product-specific stand. For five years running, we’ve constructed a delegate engagement area at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, which creates a space for delegates to gather, arrange meetings, have a relaxed drink and connect with the outside world via Wi-Fi lounges. This area has grown in both infrastructure and strategic intent, becoming an iconic space in the Mining Indaba sphere, and one which all delegates can identify or even use as a point of reference for navigation.

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Ultimately this is an example of a successful strategy which was well activated. It has taken what could have been an average exhibition stand to a producer of real value for our client’s brand.