Phone app

Are Exhibition Apps all they are cracked up to be?

The creation of exhibition apps are pretty much the norm these days for most large events but are they being used by attendees and do they give exhibitors a return on their investment? 

A new research study has found that 81% of companies that use event apps do so to engage with attendees. These apps are designed to aid the attendee, enabling them to gain access to information about the event and give them a better experience. In general apps include things like: 

  • Session times and speakers
  • Personalised agenda and calendar syncing
  • Maps and floor plans
  • Live polling and surveys
  • Networking tools
  • Push notifications

It all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But let’s dig a little deeper into the research before we jump to any conclusions.

Adoption rates for event apps

Looking at adoption rates of these apps the study indicates that 50-75% of attendees do use them but most attendees only download the app one day prior or on the actual day of the event. 

This is a little disheartening for event organisers as creating an app is not only costly but also takes up a lot of time and effort. When asked in the survey about how effective they thought the app was, an overwhelming 67% of organisers struggled to see any value in using the app once the event was over. 

Main reasons behind using apps.

The ‘ROI of Event Apps’ study found that 57% of organisers surveyed still believe it is worth using event apps, but mainly for larger events that gather more than 300 attendees. Given the evidence this seems surprising. Here are some of the main reasons behind using these apps:

  • Attendee engagement (81%)
  • Up to date info on event day or leading up to the event (57%)
  • Saving money on printed programmes (41%)
  • Driving traffic to sessions through push notifications (29%) 
  • Gathering data on attendee behaviour (21%) 
  • Attendees have come to expect an app (30%)

They also stated that apps bring value to events only when they successfully connect attendees to the right content and right people at the right time. This is not always easy to do as data transfers between apps and event management systems can be problematic.

Delivering a ROI

Looking at all these facts it is easy to see that apps are expected for large events and that they are seen as an added benefit to the attendee. But for the organisers of the event they are somewhat of a headache. It appears that they do increase attendee engagement and they do deliver a better customer experience but do they deliver a good enough ROI? The jury is still out on this one…

Trends in exhibition stands

The latest trends in exhibition stand design

Designing an exhibition stand should be a moment to have some fun and certainly an opportunity to get excited about branding and brand experience. This is your opportunity to shine, to attract customers, and to ultimately sell your products or services. 

Whether the stand is looking for lead generation, reconnecting with clients, raising brand awareness or launching a new product, a key factor is stand design.

Some of the latest exhibition stand designs are governed by new products in the marketplace and by changing trends in technology. So it’s important to keep in touch with what is going on in the industry as well as understanding the target audience you are wanting to attract.

It’s important to remember that you can no longer differentiate between trade and consumer shows – every visitor ultimately is a consumer in today’s marketplace and we have to make it worth their while to attend.

This is where engagement plays a major role.

Technology on exhibition stands

Technology is being incorporated into exhibition stands now in ways that we have never seen before. The use of interactive apps, facial recognition hardware, robots, 3D printing and mixed reality, whereby pointing your phone at a product on the stand delivers an immersive digital experience, are just a few of the latest trends. These are fantastic ways for exhibitors to engage their audience and become the talking point of the show.

Photostand on an exhibition stand gives instant interactivity.

But along with technology has been the growth of social media, probably one of the biggest changes in the last few years – this really has become a game-changer. Social media sites are easy to set up, inexpensive to run and when used properly can have an immediate impact on an exhibitor’s business. Use them throughout the year to let your followers [customers] know what shows you will be attending, even specifying the hall and stand number. Why not create some buzz around the design of your stand and what they can expect – everyone loves a bit of hype!  

Colour attracts attention

Colour always plays a large role in exhibition stands but gone are the days when 80 per cent of the stands at an event were blue and white! Many companies are now prepared to introduce bright tones, a variety of finishes from natural, wood, stone, concrete or even grass to bring an element of fun or a more sophisticated look and feel. The use of digital fabric print now allows us to produce large scale graphics that have vivid colour and a seamless finish, and by adding an LED light behind the fabric it can really give the stand a WOW factor that pops.

Astro Logitech Stand

LED Lighting at exhibitions

LED lighting and tiles have also had an amazing impact on the exhibition industry – we can now offer more subtle lighting effects on the stand drawing the customers’ eye to certain aspects or highlighting the company name in an effective way.

The cost of lightboxes has dramatically reduced and the introduction of new products to light up displays such as illuminated banner stands and walls are now becoming commonplace. We are also seeing down-lighting and LED tiles appearing allowing exhibition stands to have huge video walls at a fraction of the cost. 

Furniture on stands

Be sure to give good consideration to your stand furniture. Eames chairs are very on-trend this season and can bring a touch of class to any stand, but there are also a lot of designer pieces now available for hire which is refreshing. However, it’s important for exhibitors to understand what they are looking to achieve from the stand before they choose their seating. If the goal is to have a short meet-and-greet they shouldn’t make the seating too comfortable – it is easier to get somebody onto a stand than off again!

As with all trends, the main objective is getting the balance right and the stand to work for exhibitors and their brands. If you need any help or advice on new products in the exhibition industry then why not visit our showroom; we are always happy to help!

Bannerstands - Displays 2 Go

Recycling Program for Pull-Up Banner Stands

Australia generates roughly 50 million tonnes of waste a year, and around 50-60% of this is recycled. One of the many environmentally-conscious activities we take here at Displays 2 Go is to run a pull-up banner stand recycling program.

The program is a simple concept that helps keep banner stands out of landfill around Australia. We simply re-purpose your old stand and fit a new banner – too easy!

How does recycling my old banner stand work?

We have made the whole process really easy for you:

  1. We are not precious about whether your banner stand originally came from us or not, so just send in your old stand and we can organise the rest.
  2. We will remove the old banner image.
  3. We will check and print the new artwork.
  4. We will fit the new banner to your original banner stand cassette and put it in a carry bag for you. Hey presto; you have a new impactful banner stand!

How much will it cost?

Why should I recycle my banner stand?

There are three main reasons why you should look at recycling your old banner stand:

  • Save Money – a large portion of the cost on any pull-up banner stand is the hardware, so by only replacing the printed part of the stand you are going to save money.
  • Reduce Landfill – in this throw-away society, it’s often too easy to “just buy a new one” but do you really need to? Make a contribution to the environment by helping reduce landfill!
  • New Message – if you’ve purchased a decent piece of banner stand hardware, the only thing that needs replacing on your banner stand is the actual banner image. You can do this time and again, with a brand new banner every time.

If you are interested in recycling your banner stand then please drop us a line at sales@displays2go.com.au or give us call on 1300 240 250

trestle-tables-size

What is the standard size of a trestle table?

Trestle tables (also sometimes known as folding tables ) are used for a multitude of purposes from events and exhibitions to everyday use in a community hall or school. Due to their fold-ability and ease of use, they are incredibly versatile and practical. One you start to spot them you’ll realise they are everywhere!

However, there does seem to be some confusion over the standard size of these trestle tables which can cause some frustration. The main reason for this confusion is because historically the trestle tables measurements were based on the imperial measurement system of feet and inches.  For example the most popular 1.8 metre table is what the Americans would call 6 feet.

Reference guide to trestle table sizes

Trestle tables come in two standard sizes

  • 1.8 metres wide
  • 2.4 metres wide

These can vary slightly between manufacturers, but very typical sizes for the tables are either around 1830mm wide x 760mm deep x 740mm high, or 2400mm wide x 760mm deep x 740mm high.  The most popular standard size is the 1.8m wide version.

Looking for a table cloth for your trestle table?

If you are looking to cover your trestle table you need to ensure you get the right sized table cover to fit the table. If you’re hiring or borrowing a table for a venue, make sure you check beforehand so there are no surprises. At Displays 2 Go we produce tablecloths in two standard sizes, making it easy to work out. We can also print table covers with your brand or key marketing message for any shows, sales or events you may have coming up. Take a look on our website for Printed Table Cover options.

Immersive experiences are the future of branded experiences and brand events

Once upon a time, brand experience meant little more than handing out some branded lollies, using models dressed up in branded tees, or talking to customers about the brand by telling a quick story.

However, with increasingly demanding consumers in an increasingly crowded marketplace, that’s simply not enough any more. Consumers are demanding more from their favourite brands – they’re happy to let brands into their lives but want to be rewarded with unique and special experiences.

With technology helping brands take their consumers on a more interactive and engaging journey, the marketing process has ramped up a notch. And, as the global augmented reality market is expected to grow to a whopping US$117.40 billion by 2022, as per estimates released by MarketResearch.com, immersive experiences are expected to become increasingly powerful.

So we have what marketers and experiential agencies are calling ‘the immersive experience’. It’s next level experiential and greys the lines between reality and fantasy. For years, marketers have been delivering compelling customer experiences, but now they add technology and the internet to deliver Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences where the brand takes over the entire customer environment. Print media, television and the internet provide a two-dimensional experience. An immersive experience gives the audience a sense of actual presence, which completely transforms the experience. Consumers become a part of the environment with the ability to react to events they encounter.

Virtual Reality Experience

Much of this new focus is fueled by Millennials, who give preference to experiences over products, according to an article in Business.com. They spend money on experience-related purchases. This has driven the experience economy, and brands are increasingly focused on turning ordinary products into experiences so they remain interesting and relevant to a new set of consumers.

Being bombarded with advertisements used to be a way to cut through but people have learned the art of avoiding them. We seem to have developed a ’built-in Adblock’, says an article by ScribbleLive. Immersive storytelling offers something novel and lets one develop unique stories and environments to attract and engage prospective customers.

Let’s take a look at some recent examples to demonstrate how an immersive experience can be different. 

Mamma Mia! The Party

The world of Mamma Mia! delighted yet another set of viewers over the summer with the release of Here We Go Again. Now, that world has been recreated in none other than London’s vast O2 arena. Adapted by Sandy Toksvig, Mamma Mia! The Party invites participants to step into an island paradise, eat top-notch Mediterranean food and listen to live performances of all the best ABBA numbers. It brings the films to life and allows people to actually spend an evening within the movie itself, almost.

Source: Mamma Mia – Immersive Experience

Refinery29: 29Rooms

For about three years now, lifestyle brand Refinery29 has hosted the 29Rooms event: what it calls ‘an interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology’. As the name suggests, it consists of 29 individually branded and curated rooms – and attendees can experience something different in each one. The rooms are designed and created with brand partners, who range from personalities like artists and musicians to consumer-facing companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Dyson, and Cadillac.

Source: 29 Rooms – Immersive Experience

Each year, 29Rooms has a different theme, with this year’s being Turn It Into Art. Attendees, it seems, are encouraged to enter each room and use the surroundings to create something – one room, for instance, invites participants to put on punching gloves and hit punching bags that each produce a different sound when contacted to create a symphony of sorts. Take a look at the video HERE

Converse One Star Hotel

The Converse ‘One Star Hotel’, executed with high production value, saw Converse create a two day pop up in Shoreditch, London. The hotel focused on presenting an engaging line up of fashion, music, sneaker and skate experiences for Converse’s audience and influencers. The activation was an ‘Instagram playground’ and brought the Converse story alive for the highly engaged Gen Z target audience, increasing the brand’s overall reach and effectiveness through UGC (user-generated content).

Every touchpoint of the experience was highly considered and played up to their rebellious personality. But importantly, their products sat at the heart of the activation, with sneakers influencing rooms with their style, usage and colour.

Source: Pinterest – Converse One Star Hotel

If you are looking to create a consumer experience and need some help with display and event production, we would love to hear from you. Please give us a call on 1300 240 250 or contact us HERE.

How to get the best results from backlit displays.

Using backlit displays – that is, a display with lighting behind the graphics – is one of the most powerful ways to add style and attention-grabbing appeal to your displays. It’s now cheaper than ever to produce high-quality, cost-effective backlit displays with powerful graphics to go with them. These developments, coupled with the boom in demand for promotional graphics, has resulted in a sharp increase in illuminated signage demand in the market. 

A number of scientific studies have proven that backlit displays draw more attention than a standard display due to the greater intensity of colour saturation and brilliance, which immediately draws the eye.

All illuminated displays are not made equal!

The importance of choosing the right hardware as a starting point is essential. For example, is this a simple display wall or something more complex, like an exhibition stand? Do you need it to be portable or will it stay in the same location? Do you or your team need to assemble it yourselves or will you get us to do it? These type of questions will be a guide as to which display is best for you.

Any budding photographer will tell you the difference in colour between different light sources, commonly called white balance. It’s important to consider your light source, as well as the lighting within the venue where your display is being used, to ensure you deliver your branding accurately. 

Key things to consider when preparing your graphics for printing.

Backlit displays and illuminated graphics are different from other forms of printed displays. What looks right on a printed poster may not look right on a backlit display, so it’s important to understand this and prepare your graphics carefully. Often with illuminated displays, you need to take a step back and look at it from a distance, taking in the whole effect. It’s only then that you can really appreciate the effect it has.

There are a number of important points to be aware of to give yourself the best results:

1. Go bold – Illuminated displays make the graphics pop when lit from behind, so when designing a graphic get your designers to think bold, strong colours. The use of darker colours such as blues, reds, blacks, and purples all have a powerful quality when lit. Lighter colours and pastels will lack the visual punch of strong colours, so go as bold as your design will allow.

2. Use contrasting colours – The use of contrast in an image makes a major impact with backlit displays, especially if it is an opposite such as white on black. The reason this is so relevant when back lighting is because of the major variation between how much light will pass through the dark colour versus the light colour. Because there is so much more light shining through the lighter colours means you’ll get an appealing contrast that looks fabulous.

3. Be prepared to see dense colours before the light goes on – When we are preparing your artwork for printing on backlit displays we are thinking about how it will look after the lights go on, not before. In order to give eye-popping vibrancy for back-lighting we use specific print profiles that will put a lot more ink down onto the graphics so as to greatly increase the colour density. Think of a piece of coloured cellophane, and how different the colour strength will be if looking at it indoors versus holding it against the sun. This extra ink density can make your graphics appear darker in colour when not illuminated, but the effect once lit can be extraordinary.

4. Be realistic about expectations when colour matching – We all know the importance of brand identity, and for many brands getting the colour right is non-negotiable. When it comes to colour matching on an illuminated display, what are you comparing the colour to? A non-illuminated display, such as a brochure or poster? Matching colours across different substrates is possible and can be requested, but be aware of how light passing through both fabric and ink can change the colour. When working with your printer it’s important they understand the difference in materials and the effect it may have.

At Displays 2 Go, we use specific colour profiles for each of the materials we print on so you get accurate colour that looks vibrant when backlit. We’ll work with you to deliver the result that is right for YOU!

Talk to us about your next backlit display project and we’ll help you with the right combination of hardware, lighting and print to give you an eye-popping result.

What does the future hold for event spaces?

Exhibitions and trade shows continue to be a great way to showcase your brand and products, and their popularity continues to grow. Why? Because having all the right companies and services in one place is still a fantastic way to explore, network and discover. But what will our exhibition venues look like in the future and what are customers demanding? 

The one certainty is change

Even with so much uncertainty in the economy one thing is clear; the evolution of exhibition and trade show venues is changing. Especially as the quest for variety, better engagement and more unique experiences grows.

Improvements and advancements in technology and construction are creating new opportunities for both exhibitors and venues. As a result, venues are investing in expanding their capacity, broadening their offering and working towards digital integration with both exhibitors and consumers. To see these advancements, simply take a look at the ICC in Sydney.

ICC Sydney

National Exhibition Centre, England

Exhibition venues all over the world are evolving into multi-faceted destinations blending conferences, exhibitions and live events in one space. Take the NEC in England, a venue that sees over 7 million people walk through its doors each year. This year they have embarked on an $8 million investment in digital displays and signage to improve the end to end customer experience. The displays inform attendees about their visit,enabling them to keep their focus on the event and get the most out of it. It’s a crucial part of the experience and one that will only improve as technology becomes more advanced.

NEC England Display and Signage

Corporate events and boutique exhibitions are increasing in popularity.

Although purpose-built conference centres still represent the bulk of exhibition venues in Australia, there are some event organisers that are hedging their bets and turning to smaller venues such as racecourses, zoos, universities and even vineyards, in the never-ending search to be different. These venues are being used in particular for corporate events and boutique exhibitions. The ease of the mobile event infrastructure has made this a viable option and we think this is something that may well catch on in Australia.

Portability is key

No longer are exhibition stands and displays cumbersome and heavy. Most displays now are made from fabric and aluminium, making them compact, lightweight and easy to assemble. This means that attending an event doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. It can be as simple as turning up to the venue with the stand in the back of your car! That’s why we believe that, with this portability in mind, the smaller boutique venues could really make an impact on our shores.

Displays 2 Go - Mall display

We think that the future belongs to those that plan for it and, although the economy is uncertain, the future of venues and events is accelerating around the world and Australia is no exception! Be it all encompassing venues or boutique exhibitions one thing’s clear, the exhibition industry is changing faster than ever.

If you would like to talk to us about your next event or exhibition then please get in touch with our sales team here at Displays 2 Go, or come and visit our showroom to see the stands for yourself.

Why a design brief is important.

A good design brief helps develop trust and understanding between the client and graphic designer – and serves as an essential point of reference for both parties. Above all, the brief ensures that important design issues are considered and questioned before the designer starts work.

Why write a design brief

So let’s take a moment to explore this further.

Shooting arrows in the dark.

Even if you have had a face-to-face meeting with a designer, a written design brief is still an important part of the design process. By writing down your thoughts and expectations on paper you will ensure that those thoughts have clarity and have been well considered. If you can’t write down what you want, how can a designer ever hope to capture what you’re looking for? Without a clear brief your designer is simply shooting arrows at a target in the dark. He or she might get lucky, but do you really want to pay for all the misses?

What’s the story?

No-one knows their brand and audience as well as the owner of that brand. A solid brief provides background to your brand story, delivers your hard-earned insights to the designer and ensures that the design addresses these insights. Defining your audience helps the designer deliver the right tone and messaging to ensure your message cuts through. It might seem obvious, but knowing the gender and age profile of the audience affects many of the design choices a designer might make.

That’s not to say a designer shouldn’t push the boundaries and question those insights, but at least they will have a baseline.

Why a design brief is important.

I said, you said.

Having a written brief helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page. We’ve all played Chinese whispers so a written brief helps to ensure the message stays on-track and clear. Remember, garbage in – garbage out. Take the time to write a formal and lengthy brief, and you are more likely to see an awesome final design.

There’s no I in team.

Great design often comes through collaboration. See your design brief as part of this collaboration. It’s your chance to communicate what you think and how you feel this brief might be treated and considered. It defines your expectations and then leaves it to the designer to either meet your brief or question it and offer alternatives.

Time is money.

Designers mostly charge for their time by the hour. A well-considered brief will ensure that your designer spends less time getting things wrong and more time working efficiently to deliver on your requirement. At times you might feel like writing the brief is taking way to long, but honestly… stay focused as it will pay-back in the long run.

Remember, a poorly written brief or a brief lacking in necessary detail will always mean the designer has to spend extra time on the project, and this extra time costs you money!  It is always much better to spend the time up-front getting clear about your requirements and giving the designer the information they need.

How to write a creative brief.

Much like the recipe for any good dish, a great creative brief relies on a number of key ingredients plus a few added extras to spice it up. Don’t be afraid to play around, but always be sure to remain clear, focused and include lots of detail.

Write_A_Creative_Design_Brief

Here’s our top tips on writing a great creative brief.

#1   give us the background story

Remember we might be new to this brand or project so we only know what we know. Tell us all you can so that we build up a picture of what you want, as well as get a real understanding of your project and brand.

It can be really tempting to jump straight into detailing what your design should look or feel like, but first things first. Tell us about your brand mission, who your competitors are and what you think we should all be aiming for.

Design is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need design that is right for your business, its purpose and your customer base. Go as far as including what you love about your business or what you’re most proud of – the more you show us some of your emotion, the more we can provide you with an emotive response.

Always feel free to send us inspiration materials – no doubt you’ve seen design stuff you like and feel might resonate with your audience – send it through with your brief because great design and ideas can come from anywhere.  Browsing Google Images can be a great way to find sources of inspiration.

#2  tell us what you’re looking for

We don’t want to shoot arrows in the dark in the hopes of hitting the target. Turn on the lights and show us your target – that way we can be sure to hit the mark.

Take some time to define the scope of your project, so we know exactly what you’re after. We still might question it, but at least we have a starting point.

Now we know what you want, how about why you want it. This will give us a deeper insight into your goals and aspirations, and allows us to sense check if the ‘why’ complements the ‘what’.

Because much of our design is 3D-based, always let us know how you plan to use what we are creating. That way we’ll understand where it will be used, how it will be used and who will be using it – this impacts on weight constraints, ease-of-build requirements and material longevity.

Write a creative brief

#3   describe your target audience

This is the most crucial part of your brief and ensures we deliver something that will appeal. Remember, this isn’t about what you like – unless you’re the target audience – this is all about your target consumer. If you can’t define them accurately we may well be destined for failure. Tell us their gender, their age profile, their likes and dislikes, and their socio-economic background. All this helps the designer choose a colour palette and a design style that will appeal.

#4   detail what you expect delivered

It seems obvious, but many a design has failed due to miscommunication of deliverables. Be clear in your expectations. Is this simply a design brief, or do you require artwork, print and build once you approve the design? Once approved, what elements do you want delivered? Will you be providing all copy or do you require us to write any copy? Do you require artwork at different sizes? Do you have a brand guide that we should use?

If you are presenting concepts to a board, then let us know if you need PDFs, printed visuals or mock-ups to help you sell the design concept.

#5   be clear on timings

Deadlines are always important – we hate to miss them so be clear about what you expect and when. That way we can be sure not to disappoint. If there are key milestones in the project then let us know – perhaps a board meeting where you need to present concepts? Or perhaps a date for final approval of artwork due to print timings that impact on the project LIVE date?

So basically the more you tell us, the more we can design and build what you want. It’s imperative that you write a brief that dictates all your requirements. Only then are we able to create a design that will be outstanding and exceed expectations.

For more information please contact us at Displays2go.com.au

Can we make the exhibition industry sexy?

For hundreds of years businesses have been creating and attending exhibitions because they are one of the best ways to showcase products to consumers or the trades. Exhibitions let businesses talk to customers directly and provide an opportunity to check out what the competition is doing. Think of the World Fairs and Exhibitions of the 1800s, which started with the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, and you get a sense of their importance.

It used to be that only larger corporations could afford to attend an exhibition but, with the development of materials and the portability of display stands, the market has opened up even more, making it feasible for small businesses to attend and make a success of an event.

trade-show-displays

A look at the exhibition industry

Over time the biggest change has been around the need to immerse the consumer in “the experience of your brand” and this is one reason we need a fresh approach in the industry. Take the theatre for a second – every good actor has an army of talent behind them, from designing and building the set, operating the AV, painting the backdrops and working the front of house. These people could get paid more in other industries but they choose to work in the theatre because they love it, it’s their passion and it gets them excited!

For most businesses these days, their exhibition stand is a mini piece of theatre. And the whole exhibition is the stage. There are some clear parallels to the theatre which should not be ignored, such as design and build, lighting and front of house, but no-one seems to be selling the sizzle! Why?

Our biggest obstacle is perception.

Truth be told, it all comes down to perception. The exhibition and display industry is simply not seen as a sexy industry to work in. It’s not seen as a single business in the same way as film, theatre and music. Even though many young people attend music events and festivals these are considered to be in the music industry not the event industry.

music_festivals

The need to get young blood into the industry.

We only have to look at how much has changed in the last decade with technology to see how it affects the industry. The new products and materials that are being introduced to the industry enable designers to really think outside the box. This gives them the opportunity to design and build a solution that not only attracts but gives consumers an experience or enables them to see something they may never have seen before.

This opportunity to build a ‘make believe world’ is not something that happens in every industry and it’s one that should be talked up and promoted. We must engage people on a stand in the same way that someone is engaged during a show or concert.

Cadbury-marvellous-creations

The exhibition industry provides so many different career paths for young people, whether it’s specialising in a particular area or learning about the industry as a whole. There are so many opportunities including designing the overall concept, the design and build, the use of technology such as VR, the consumer experience, lighting or the actual running of an exhibition. All of these areas are exciting and sexy but if we don’t make our industry more glamorous and desirable soon then we are in grave danger of being left behind.

If you are interested in learning more or pursuing a career in the event and exhibition industry, then we are always looking for good candidates. Please contact us at Displays 2 Go, we would love to have a coffee and a chat!

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