6 min read (part 2 of 4)
With the welcome return of live exhibitions, and with one of the engineering industry’s most important exhibitions (Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2022) just 3 months away, now seems a perfect opportunity to look at what you might need to consider when planning for an exhibition.
Over the course of the next four weeks, we’re going to look at the 4 key ingredients to a successful trade show:
Design and Build of your stand
Video and Photography for your stand
Communication to your audience before, during and after the show
Tangible items for your stand that will make you memorable
2 of 4
Video and Photography for your Stand
In our previous blog we discussed the design and build of your exhibition stand. A huge part of the design process needs to be what impression the stand will create with visitors, and your multi-media plays a significant role in this.
Multi-media is a generic term but for this purpose, we mean the videos, animations and photographs you have either running on monitors or across your graphics/banners.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Working on the philosophy that you need to get visitors to stop at your stand, your photographs and images can literally make the difference. If you are using older images that no longer reflect your business or products, or you have photographs that you understand but no-one else will, then you are missing an opportunity. It is important to remember that your images on a graphic panel are not going to make you a sale – but if you can persuade people to pause at your stand long enough for you to engage in conversation, then your images are working for you.
At a focussed trade show such as Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, the audience is going to be visitors with a certain level of knowledge. Many of them will probably know what they are looking for, with a minority looking for inspiration. Your images therefore need to reflect this. If you make widgets that perform a certain role, images of the widgets being manufactured isn’t going to be enough – you need to be including images of the end product so visitors can make the connection. Think about what makes your company special, and different from the competition, and include images and photographs that communicate that message.
The power of video is well known – we all understand that moving images are so much more likely to attract attention, and that visitors at a trade show will almost always stop and watch a video for a few seconds. The key therefore is how can you encourage them to stay a few seconds longer and then enquire further.
The style of video is an important consideration when you are planning your stand. Using your traditional corporate video can be suitable, however if that contains a lot of voice-over or pieces-to-camera then that is not ideal. That type of video is designed for a website or a sales presentation when sound is not an issue. At trade shows however the majority of screens will either be muted or turned down and therefore lengthy shots of your MD extolling the virtues of your company are pointless.
One option you have is to produce an exhibition-friendly version of your corporate video. Consider re-editing using graphics more extensively and removing the pieces-to-camera. Alternatively produce a shorter and punchier video of your products and services, ideally around 1-2 minutes, using a soundtrack and graphics to tell the story, allowing your video to run on a loop for the duration of the show without the need for someone to explain what the viewer is seeing.
If video footage is difficult to arrange, as an alternative why not consider animating your corporate presentation, so that it runs by itself and again requires little interpretation. With packages such as PowerPoint offering more and more sophisticated animation, there really is no excuse to have a static presentation on a screen.
Animation can also be used to illustrate complex products or processes. If you produce a particular piece of equipment that is difficult to depict on video or with still images, why not consider developing a 3D animation showing the different elements coming together to form the finished product, to demonstrate your expertise and unique capability. All that is required are the CAD drawings for the design and some photos of the finished product.
Interactivity on exhibition stands is always well received, as visitors have the opportunity to touch and feel products. Using a 3D facility, with technologies such as 360degree photography, can allow you to transport visitors into your factory to get a first-hand view of what you produce. Such technology is increasingly more available and cheaper than you might think and is guaranteed to give you that wow factor with your exhibition stand.
Finally, you need to consider how you will display your multi-media on your stand. Space will often dictate this – after all it is not practical to use a 60” screen on a 2m x 2m shell-scheme stand. Using a stand-alone screen, perhaps at the front of your stand, can be a good way to draw attention to your video/presentation but bear in mind it doesn’t want to block access to your visitor, so be wary of making it too high. Alternatively, you can incorporate a screen into your graphics at the back of your stand, which still act as an attraction to visitors as they walk past but is less intrusive.
The multimedia on your stand can make a huge difference to that all-important first impression. Whether you have a video or animation running, or simply use photography to convey your messages, you need to make sure they achieve their purpose without detracting from the stand. And with any media for your trade stand, bear in mind it takes time to produce it properly – so for the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show in February 2022, you need to be planning this now.
In the next blog in this series we will look at how you need to be communicating with your target audience before, during and after your show.