Why do you ask?

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Posted by , 3rd September 2019

Don't take it the wrong way when your stand supplier asks about your event goals

Event expertise and skills helped build these stands and support exhibitors at Toy Fair at Olympia, London

In a recent meeting, somebody wondered aloud if it was not my client’s business to be interested in the sales objectives of their clients.

You see this particular client of mine designs and builds exhibition stands. 

Very nice stands they are too with clean lines and sharp graphics. 

“Isn’t it just their job to be good at designing and building stands?” asked the other person in this conversation. 

“Is it not a bit impertinent to be butting into the client’s end of the business?

Surely, your focus must be on delivering the stand?”

Yes, perhaps it should be. 

But then again, knowing what the client’s objectives are, should help to produce a better performing design and stand, and ultimately, a much happier client. 

Getting on the right bike

Go into a cycle shop to buy a new bike and the staff will ask what you want to use the bike for?

A road bike with drop handlebars and thin tyres won’t be much use to you if you plan to go riding off-road on mountain bike trails. 

Many bike shop owners and their staff are keen cyclists, and they will advise from experience when it comes to choosing the right kind of bike and equipment. 

By focusing only on what we do or want, whether that be stand building, event organising or something else altogether, we may miss how we can best adapt what we know to the benefit of our clients. 

If you are an exhibitor, working with a stand builder, it really is a good idea to share your objectives for the show. 

That means going beyond the size of your stand space and your budget. 

Why? Because the stand is a vehicle to help you attract visitors, but not all visitors at an event. 

You want your stand to be seen by the people that can make the most significant positive difference to your business, whether that’s for lead generation or building your brand. 

So your stand has to work in that context.

Of course, it has to be a given that you will have a stand built well, that works with the technology you want to use, houses your exhibits, your team and so on. 

However, by sharing your marketing objectives with your stand builder, you will get additional input that might provide an extra edge to your success.

For instance, if your recent stands have looked great but haven’t drawn people onto them as you think they should, perhaps your designer/builder can provide a solution for that. 

Alternatively, they might suggest a partner that can improve or cure that problem like my business, for instance.

The exhibition equivalent to the right bike story 

When you organise exhibitions, you come across exhibitors with problems in your halls. 

Many of these might have been avoided with some external input. 

Here are a few that spring to mind from shows I was lucky enough to work on.  

1. The stand that was too small for the machinery exhibits delivered to the hall. The exhibitor thought it would be OK for some exhibits to be jutting into the gangway. No. 

2. Numerous stands not just too small for all the exhibits but with no room for the stand team, let alone the visitors.  

3. The exhibitor on a corner plot who didn’t like a shell scheme pole on the corner of his stand. 

When he tried to remove the pole, he pulled down ten or twelve other stands in his shell scheme block. Talk about frosty neighbours after that attempted design change.

4. The double-deck stand of a government department we had to cover-up because the materials used had come directly from a building site covered in rust and dirt.

All the exhibitors around this eyesore stand wanted it removed and gone. 

We didn’t have time for that, so we covered it up as best we could 

Pre-show, modelled with straws and balsa wood, the stand had looked really good according to its designer. 

5. The stand that was being built the wrong way around (as in back to front) by a very inexperienced stand team. Luckily, we spotted the mistake before they boxed themselves in completely.

So, if your stand builder or staff agency ask you “what are your marketing goals for this event?” 

Don’t say “why do you ask?” Tell them. 

They just might be able to help you in their own small but experienced way to get precisely the result you want.   

PS. If you want to connect with my excellent stand building client, do let me know. 

Posted in B2B Marketing  /  Trade show engagement  /  Trade show marketing  /  Trade show stand design  /  Visibility & Impact

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