Category Archives: Events

How to ruin your exhibition

We’ve been creating exhibition stands for clients for over 15 years and in that time we’ve seen some sights! Here’s five things we suggest you never do at your next exhibition.

Rush
Never leave the organisation of your stand till the last minute. It takes time to design, print and set up a good stand. It’s a decent investment, so invest in the planning to get it right. Create something you’re proud of and that represents your business appropriately.

Exhibition stand not finished

Always leave enough time to get your stand show ready.

Design it yourself
Unless you’re a graphic designer, know your strengths and leave design to the professionals. It will never look as good in reality as it did in your mind’s eye, if you ‘have a go’ yourself. Believe us!

Invest in a TV screen but have no content
It’s awesome to have a screen on your stand, but it’s only effective if its:
 a) Working
 b) You have content to show on it. Leave it to the professionals to set up and get running, and make sure what you’re displaying is good quality and representative of your company.

Sign up unmotivated staff
Many exhibitions and events are on the weekend. Don’t assume your staff want to be there working your stand for 8 hours a day. Sometimes it’s better to pay an agency to supply motivated, educated individuals that are committed to getting a good result for you.

Exhibition staff

Ensure your staff are engaging like this Shell Rep.

5. Assume everyone shares your ideal
Be sure to clearly communicate a set of behaviour protocols as to how you expect staff on your stand to behave. Don’t assume everyone shares the same objectives as you and the same sense of what is OK. Tell people what to wear. Tell them to turn off their phone. Tell them not to eat on the stand and tell them to comb their hair and wear deodorant, even if you feel you shouldn’t have to!

 

Fabric Displays – Can you tell the difference?

fabric_1Fabric display systems not only set the benchmark in flexibility and portability but give an exceptional finished appearance that is second to none.

Fabric displays have been used at the majority of trade shows in the US and Europe for many years. It’s fair to say that in the Southern Hemisphere we’ve been a little slow to take up this wonderful technology, but we have certainly caught up now and the industry has seen an explosion of ideas and design concepts.

At Displays 2 Go we believe the concept represents a genuine revolution in portable display and we would like to share with you the key benefits.

Portability

Who needs an exhibition stand that is heavy and cumbersome to move, takes hours to put up with boards and panels and comes with a book of instructions? No thanks! As an example of the new wave of portable displays, our SuperWall is built with simple, light weight aluminium tubing that’s incredibly strong. It’s also a snap lock system that folds up into a bag and is easily transportable. The fabric graphic slides over like a pillow case and presents superbly.  You can throw it in the back of your car or take it on the plane as carry-on luggage. Watch this video to see how easy it is to construct.

Seamless

Mainland Cheese RoadshowBeing fabric means the graphics do not need to be printed onto separate board or panels.  Instead, a huge graphic can be printed and supplied in one large piece – with no seams!  Anyone with experience in exhibitions or visual merchandising will tell you how time consuming and cumbersome it can be trying to line up separate graphic pieces to achieve a seamless display.

 

Light Reflection

You arrive at the exhibition show and are quickly taken to your spot which is right next to a bright sunny window. Your initial thoughts are “great, some fresh air” but as you start setting up you realise that you cannot even read the company logo due to the light reflecting off your stand! Well, luckily this is not the case anymore as fabric displays have the added benefit of minimal reflection of lights and camera flashes so they are very versatile and can be positioned in a greater variety of environments than traditional stands.

Re-skinning

Re-skinning an existing fabric display is simple to do and very cost effective. Simply unzip or otherwise release the original fabric and replace with a new skin, keeping your content up to date and fresh. You can even print different messages on each side, so no need for your stand to be shy and pushed against a wall; enjoy the freedom of exhibiting in the best areas, not merely the areas that are suitable for your stand.

Weird and Wonderful Shapes

funky fabric structure 1The beauty of fabric displays is that they can be used in all manner of shapes and sizes, from portable plinths, to tables, and other massive display structures.  They can even be used to disguise unsightly hardware you may need to hire for an event. If you have an unusual shape that needs branding, then Lycra fabric could be the way to go – its stretchiness and ease-of-use means it can be cut-to-size and wrapped around almost anything.

 

Print Quality and Colour

D2G - Dye Sublimation2Using fabric allows the user to access print technology known as dye sublimation, which can deliver extraordinarily vibrant, impactful graphic reproduction. It’s perfect for throwing in your washing machine as the inks are permanently part of the fabric, making it both colour fast and colour safe. Dye sublimation uses water-based inks, and fabrics are up to 90% recycled, making it one of the most eco-friendly display solutions available.

Damage

When products leave our production workshop we know they may need to withstand some harsh treatment, and that’s where fabric can be your friend. It will not peel, scratch or dent in the same way traditional graphics can, meaning it can withstand a high level of mistreatment from your staff or freight forwarders without compromising the finish of your display.

Love Lycra!D2G - Cyclists

Most people have a pre-conceived notion when it comes to the the word LYCRA, but this is simply way off the mark these days.  Sure, cyclists in Lycra don’t necessarily show off the fabric to greatest effect but portable displays in Lycra are another matter entirely, and the colour reproduction on this fabric can be stunning. Our Lycra skins are designed to slide over our range of pedestals, portable tables and towers, giving our clients the flexibility to change the graphics on-site and in seconds! Lycra is not only stretchy and very hard wearing, but it’s very easy to use and gives an exceptional finished appearance.  It’s so good that you probably would not be able to tell the difference between traditional display boards and a Lycra display. Take a look below – which one do you think is Lycra?

 

 

Gamification – what’s it all about?

D2G - gamification generalGamification is being used more and more these days and is becoming part of our everyday lives, but what is it and how can you use it to help engage clients or shoppers?

Gamification is basically Game Play –  bringing game elements and mechanics into a non-game environment. Companies are embracing the use of online games to drive further brand engagement.  Traditional media methods like bus stops and billboards are now becoming digital and interactive making people much more receptive to marketing messages.

If you utilise some of the techniques of gamification it is possible to increase the interest level in your stand /product, increase loyalty by educating and linking a positive memory with your brand and gather further information on prospective clients.

So, what might this look like?

#1 The simplest solution is probably having a Multimedia Display using a large screen playing interesting content, such as a mini-game integrated into a presentation on your company’s story – it’s better than nothing but its not exactly unique!D2G - Ipad counter

#2 Consider having an iPad counter on your stand or using an iPad on your Demonstration table so that people have to press the screen and make choices in order to learn about your brand. Maybe you could create a survey disguised in the form of a trivia quiz. These apps are now  simple and inexpensive to create.

#3 Social Sharing has become very popular, so perhaps set up a themed/branded photo kiosk and invite people to have a humorous picture taken and then share it. Or how about using an iPad in-store to grab pictures of shoppers trialling your product?

D2g - QR Codes

#4 QR Codes are a great way to interact with clients and an easy way to create a game at shows. An example of this was at a show in Minneapolis where attendees got to participate in the ‘SCANvenger Hunt’. This gamification provided QR codes at different points around the exhibition and shop floor. After scanning the QR code the attendee was taken to a website to answer a question. The questions were geared to teach attendees key points about the show, the companies at the show and the products. Attendees could then track their own score on the website against the leaderboard, or on the large screens that tracked scores in real time at the exhibition. This hunt can become rather competitive, pushing some people to ‘overachiever’ status just to see themselves in the list. This spirit helps carry the game through the show days and is usually finalised with a prize giving at the end, further continuing the engagement. Not only does this provide a structured way to gain knowledge but it also provides ice breaking questions for the attendee and exhibitor to start a conversation, plus it’s a bit of fun!

#5 A competition that relies on skill, perhaps a Playstation game where people compete to win prizes by getting on the leaderboard. This is a great option because those not playing can watch others compete and those competing can really engage. To take it one stage further, there are various companies that have created games which can simply be re-skinned with your branding making it more unique to you.

D2G - branded panel#6 A competition that relies on chance, like a spin-to-win board or even a simple business card draw. This normally creates a bit of fun and engagement and is less threatening for some than a competitive game! We have many different competition entry boxes in various shapes and sizes all of which can be branded to suit your needs.

The great thing about most of these options is that they also provide a simple method to MEASURE attendance/engagement at your stand. You want to be able to prove the ROI you gained from attending an event and these methods provide irrefutable numbers.

Although it still may be somewhat experimental, the idea of integrating gaming elements at a trade show is still in its infancy but it has many possibilities for increasing interest and engagement of visitors to your booth. It’s something that should be considered and not overlooked as you can incentivise all kinds of desired behaviours, making it very powerful indeed.D2G - gamification bold

Eco Friendly Exhibiting

D2G - ecofriendlyGone are the days when an exhibition stand was for one event and one event only, thanks to forward-thinking stand design companies most stands are now built to last. In the past it was not uncommon for companies to build bespoke stands that were solely designed for one exhibition. The whole lot would end up in the skip after the show.

Here at Displays 2 Go we are all about reusable stands whether its a custom built stand that has been designed for a programme of events or a modular stand which can be used in a variety of ways. We even have a webpage dedicated to such products Eco Friendly Products!

Here are some top tips for being more sustainable at your next exhibition

Tip #1 | Choose a long lasting modular stand

Modular stands have come on in leaps and bounds, no longer are they boxy and uninspiring; they now offer a combination of elements which are made from recyclable aluminium and often use fabric displays such as our Curved Display Wall that are much friendlier on the environment. They are easily customised and can be updated with additional banners or graphics. Choosing a modular display means you can add or remove components to suit the look and feel, and available space, at the different exhibitions you’ll attend.

Tip #2 | Graphics Printing

Make sure the graphics printing is ‘dye sublimated’. Not only does this process create more realistic, more impactful graphics, but the process is also more eco-friendly because it uses heat to vaporise the dye and  permeate the surface it is covering.D2G - Dye Sublimation

There are no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which are often associated with solvent printing and the inks are water-based. This infusion also means the dye fades much less than in other processes. So basically, it’s a win win situation!

Tip #3 | Replacement Graphics

Choose displays that can be re-skinned with replacement graphics. This provides the opportunity to replace any or all of your graphics as many times as you wish, without the need to replace expensive stand hardware. You can even try to use double-sided graphics where possible, if you anticipate using different graphics for different shows.  This allows you to simply flip your graphics around to show the alternative message on the reverse side. Check out how easy it is to do this with our Portable Plinths and SuperWalls.

Tip #4 |Stand Waste

recysling bins

Think about the waste you will create on your stand and how it is disposed of. In the past, all the packaging, such as bubble wrap and cardboard was thrown into a general purpose skip. Now venues supply different skips for different materials. If you are serving refreshments, consider eco friendly cups and disposable  bamboo plates. Everyone likes to feel they are doing their bit for the environment so why not get that message across to potential clients.

Tip #5 | Lights

We all know what a difference good lighting can make, but consider LED and low energy lighting solutions which not only deliver great effects but also suck less juice. This means your stand requires less load, and the event electrician will have a smile on their face!

D2g - QR CodesTip #6 | Marketing Material Marketing techniques are changing, gone are the days when you needed a shopping bag and a shoulder of steel to carry all the brochures around from the exhibition. Today, it is more common to give a brief marketing flyer with a scannable QR code or ask someone to enter their details on a tablet to receive more information. If you must use leaflets, then print on eco-friendly stock wherever possible.

Tip #7 |  Staff UniformsD2G - unfiform

It’s easy to forget about the uniforms that your stand staff might be wearing. Try to source eco-friendly gear that uses natural fibres. And if it’s being printed, consider the process used. It may be better to embroider, which is kinder on the environment, lasts longer and often looks a little more ‘premium’.

Tip #8 | Freight

The new fabric exhibition systems are light and can be packed down into small bags, making it easy for staff to transport the stands in their own cars rather than adding a freight truck into the mix.

Tip #9 | Car Pool No doubt you have various people working on your stand. Encourage car pooling by limiting the number of parking passes you give out. Less cars on the road, less fuel – it’s all good.D2G car Pool

Lights, Exhibition, Action!

D2G - Lighting Exhibition StandWhether you are planning a new design for your exhibition stand or you just need to update your old stand,  lighting should be an important consideration. It is a flexible sales tool that can not only influence where people look but how long they stay on your stand.

There are some that say proper lighting can increase awareness of your exhibition stand by 30-50%.  Strong lighting works like a beacon to draw people in where as soft lighting can be seen as more ‘relaxing’, a place where you can sit and learn more about the product.  The important thing is to know what message you are trying to portray and what feel you want on your stand. It maybe that you have different areas that require different lighting so make sure you design the stand to suit your needs.

D2G LightsIt’s not only the intensity and brightness of the lights that can have an affect on atmosphere but colours are just as important to evoke a mood. A strong white or yellow light shouts “look at me” whilst a blue soft light can say “come and talk to us” have a coffee and a chat! In a crowded, competitive exhibition hall you’d be surprised how much impact you can create with good lighting.

You can also use your own lighting to neutralise the effect of natural light shining through a window.  The most common time this can be an issue is when you have a display that backs onto a window on a sunny day, causing light to pass through your graphics and compromise their appearance. You can use your own lighting to shine on to the display, and thereby neutralise the effect of the light through the window; provided your lights are stronger, the problem is immediately eliminated.

Top Tip

Don’t solely judge your lighting by looking at your stand from 10m away. It’s good to get in there, walk around your stand and experience it.

Your decisions around lighting should be made with your audience in mind. A young crowd will expect a more daring approach compared to an older, more traditional audience. Our Plinths with Lighting are really effective and with  a click of a button you can change the colour and mood of your display instantly. However,  be aware of sensory overload – you don’t want to drive people away after you have worked hard to draw them in!

Types of Lighting

We found some really useful tips from Kaitlin Colston, on her hello endless.com blog,  which we’d like to share with you.

Spotlights

D2G - spotlights

Spotlights are brilliant for providing a focus on key messages and drawing attention to products. Use them to create a ‘hero’ element within your stand whilst also creating light and shadow thereby giving visitors a more dynamic and dramatic visual experience.

Soft Lamps

D2G - softlighting

Use soft lamps and more ambient light sources when you want to create a warm inviting atmosphere, that encourages your visitors to relax and talk.

Up-lightsD2G - Uplights Exhibition

Use up-lights to create atmosphere and provide some perimeter lighting to create depth and interest. If you have a colour theme, then consider using the up-lights to emphasise and compliment your theme. Up-lights are an effective way to create that ‘WOW’ factor.

Gobo’s

A gobo is a beam of light with a metal stencil over it that creates a pattern. They can project any pattern or design or company logo. Project gobo’s onto walls, ceilings and floors to add visual interest and create a dynamic atmosphere.

D2G - Gobo Exhibition

Light shows

Grab attention with a light show where a number of lights constantly move or flash in a repeating sequence. This can be a dramatic way to herald an awards ceremony or speeches – a dramatic way to quieten a crowd and build excitement.

D2G - Lightshows

Electrics and Current Draw

Working out your electrical needs can be really hard. You’re expected to know what you want when you book your stand, but things change and you may need to make changes when you enter the exhibition hall. Suddenly everyone’s talking amps and volts and none of it seems to make any sense! At Displays 2 Go, we understand lighting and we understand electrics. Let us help you define a lighting scheme and then work out how much power you need on your stand. Our service-led approach means we can complete the paperwork for you and work with the exhibition organisers to ensure your stand is perfect.

We have a full range of LED lighting so we can reduce your amps consumption and keep the on-site electricians happy. We also stock a wide range of other lighting options including the Circular Tower Pop-Ups to make sure we create the effect you require.

Stand out from the crowd at your next exhibition.

We all want to be noticed and be seen for the things we are good at. That’s why we want to share our knowledge on how to make your company stand out from the crowd at your next exhibition. There are 2 main considerations when creating an exhibition stand.

  1. How to attract people to your stand?
  2. How to engage with people at your stand?

attractionD2G Exhibition Stand

noun: attraction; plural noun: attractions

 – the action or power of evoking interest in : a place which draws visitors by providing something of interest  

Your stand needs to be interesting, something that will draw people in and stop them in their tracks, so think about the design of your stand.  It’s your shop window so you have to make it look good, make it spectacular and it will then be attractive to your audience. Be bold and innovative but get your message across.  For a quick overview of some great stand designs, take a look at our Pinterest boards here. Displays 2 Go has years of experience in the Australian exhibition arena providing solutions for well known brands like Assa Abloy, EasiYo, Griffins, Anchor, Jetstar and many more.

D2G EasiYo Exhibition StandHave a point of difference whether it is with the use of light, sound, colour or simply your brand. Colours and light are a fantastic way to attract attention from across a crowded room and are often overlooked. Effective lighting can create a unique atmosphere that will really help you to stand out from among your competitors. Sound is another way you can engage a customer whether its the sound of something relating to your stand or a person on a microphone. Sound is one of the key senses in the human body and one we use everyday to attract attention.

The use of social media and QR codes is also something that should not be overlooked. Sending out messages to your followers leading up to the exhibition can help bring in customers on the day. You can also use it during the exhibition to upload pictures, announce competitions and raise company awareness. However, not everyone has the time to wander around an exhibition for hours talking to people and finding out more about a business or product, but if they pass your stand and think “Wow thats looks interesting but I’m out of time” a scannable QR code is a great way for people to learn more about your business later.

engage

verb: engage; 3rd person present: engages; past tense: engaged; past participle: engaged;

 – occupy or attract (someone’s interest or attention); involve someone in a conversation ; participate or become involved in. 

So now you have attracted people to your “shop window” you need to engage them, to capture their interest, to seize the moment and entice them into your “shop”.

D2G Exhibition Stand SamplingBe generous with your time, and be generous in sharing your expertise. Your audience is looking for proof that you are an expert. Have plenty of friendly staff on your stand so that you can spend time with people. It takes time to gain trust and loyalty.

Once engaged you now need to convince them that the product is right for them. People always like to see/taste before they buy so why not give a demonstration of how your product works or give people the opportunity to taste it. Have your stand set up in a way that allows this to happen effectively and without clutter. Displays 2 Go has the experience to advise you on the best demonstration tables and how your stand might look to accommodate this.

Be interactive and create a little fuss, everyone wants to know what all the fuss is about! A great video can sometimes cut through the clutter, so think about a screen which people can look at without feeling an obligation to buy your product. People also like to touch and engage in your product so think about how you can incorporate this onto your stand. Putting a screen onto your stand is so much easier than it used to be – you can even buy display equipment that allows you to bring your own screen, and thereby save on the excessive costs from the exhibition hire companies.

Other considerations  to think about on your stand are:

Drinks – The smell of a good coffee can be a great diversion and it provides a talking point and often a much needed thirst quencher – it’s thirsty work walking around an exhibition! Take a look at this link for some amazing latte art (http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-latte-coffee-art/)

D2G cooldesignsofaSeating – because walking around an exhibition all day is tiring on the feet. There’s many a potential client who’d love to sit down and talk to you, if only to take the weight off their legs!

Staff – everyone needs their happy face on, and everyone on the stand needs to know your products/services. You only get one chance at this, don’t blow it with grumpy people who don’t know what they’re talking about! To learn more about staffing, read this article

Competitions and tasks – get visitors doing things on your stand, not just looking at your products. Their experience should be sensory in many different ways. Think about moving visuals, think about competitions and the use of iPad counters or touch screen tablets to record the data, think about getting people to leave their business card.  Give people a Call to Action, not a Reason to Leave.