When is a standard, run-of-the-mill anything ever something we honestly dream about?

Don’t tell me you drift off at night envisaging yourself bumbling along in a 93 Corolla? …

That’s ridiculous – Of course, you want the growl of a Ferrari!

Who wouldn’t? It’s waaay more fun (and inspiring) to dream BIG.

We certainly won’t settle for boring TV – There just aren’t enough hours in the day for shows we don’t absolutely love.

Put simply, we prioritise the best.

It’s human nature.

Just as we adorn ourselves with clothes and jewellery to express ourselves or belong to a community.

Whether you like it or not, it’s exactly the same our businesses.

… Our website, our people and yep, you betcha – The exhibition stand!

You, me and your customers can only made assumptions/decisions based on what they see and hear.

It’s pretty darn hard for anyone to stand our in a row of same, same and more boring same.

The real question is…

WHAT DO YOU WANT people to think about your business?

There’s a real opportunity here.

The single thing that your audience are going to judge you on is your appearance.

And you know that no amount of “don’t judge a book by its cover” will change this.

Whether you’ve taken a standard shell scheme booth or a larger custom space, don’t fall short at the finish line.

You’re essentially robbing yourself of the gold at the end of the rainbow even after you’ve shlept it all that way…

The Problem with a Standard Shell Scheme

So it appears to be the most cost effective way to exhibit.

Well, on paper anyway…

The trouble is that when most people decide to go with a shell scheme setup they also settle with a standard package and don’t do much towards giving visitors an insight into their brand.

The MAJOR PROBLEM here is that it’s only your brand name separating you from your opposition.

The bar table, stools and brochure stand setup are exactly the same as your neighbours.

Visitors will never bust through the entrance of a trade show to race over to the cluster of shell scheme booths because of this.

They have a reputation for being less than inspiring.

The stands with personality and “flavour” that are the exciting ones. These are the ones that win hearts and people talk about!

It’s a tad sad because I’m sure there are plenty of great businesses that are confined to this zone plainly due to their budget.

But… A funny thing happens!

When people do the final tour of the expo they WILL go down these aisles.

Quickly, but they still get a bit of FOMO and have a look!

If you want to stand any chance of speaking to them you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and it just won’t happen with a tired shell scheme and some velcro graphics.

“But My Budget Won’t Stretch Any Further”

I get it.

This is a touchy subject with every company (not just the smaller ones).

The problem with many of the smaller stands is that they fall short right where it counts.

(I’m not pointing fingers at everyone, just a large majority).

My gripe lies in that they probably NEED the show to be a success more than the bigger guys but they aren’t they aren’t doing the things they need to for it to work.

They fall short because they aren’t prepared to back themselves.

They invest just enough to make it to the show. And that’s it.

Maybe they just haven’t been given great advice?

It’s easy to spend money on all the things that go unnoticed and not on the things that a visitor remotely notices.

They spend their budget on a raft of intangible things like booking the space, delivering things to site, staff out of the field… You get where I’m going with this, right?

But, they don’t invest in the stuff people ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT.

I would go as far as saying that if you don’t consciously invest time and a little bit of money to present yourself properly, you might as well not exhibit.

I know that’s a big call but I honestly believe it.

I know what you’re thinking… “Jess is an exhibit builder. Of course she wants me to spend more!” And you’re right, but I’m coming from a good place, I want you to absolutely kill it!

I know it’s my job to build you a pretty stand, but I am experienced enough to see the link between half-arsed stands and crappy results.

The 80:20 Rule Strikes Again

It’s most definitely the final 20% that makes the biggest difference, both visually as well as the strategic component that ties the whole campaign together.

So, What Can You Do About This Phenomenon?

I promise you, it isn’t all doom and gloom!

You can 100% use this common occurrence to your advantage >> By doing something CREATIVE and ATTENTION GRABBING you WILL get better results.

The fact that you’re placed directly next to others with pull up banners and crappy brochure stands is exactly WHY you will win the eyes of your visitors.

You only need to decide you’re game enough to!

My Essential Tips for Standing Out in a Crowd:

• Know WHO you are targeting
• Decide WHAT you want them to walk away knowing about you
• Use messaging that appeals to your TARGET (Benefit/challenge/pain point)
• Hire a professional EXHIBIT BUILDER to help design your space
• Design to the highest QUALITY you can afford
DO NOT block off your stand with furniture/product
• Have a PLAN for how to manage interested visitors

I know I have whinged a bit today, but at the crux of it, it’s really that simple.

Appearance + Message

Get these babies bang on and you’re pretty much guaranteed to make the other 80% of your investment worthwhile.

I’m not saying it’s impossible for you to come home with leads if you don’t get this part right, it’s just that you will find it all that much harder for yourself.

If you don’t…

Every conversation on the show floor will need to start with building foundations. I’ve never had a client say that they wished they hadn’t done so much with their space. In my opinion you’re nuts to short change yourself.

Yours in Exhibiting,

Jessica Turnbull
Tradeshow Strategist

0417 468 487