One doesn’t turn down an advertising opportunity, does one? Well, does one?
As with so many things in life, the answer is that it depends. It depends on budget, certainly, but it also depends on the opportunity. For example, when it comes to exhibitions, a very high-end jewellery store wouldn’t set up shop at a community fete and a second-hand book store wouldn’t buy an exhibition stand at an international book fair. But, a very high-end jewellery store would do well to set up displays at a wedding expo and even, under certain circumstances, an insurance expo.
When are exhibition stands worth it?
- When the target market is going to be in the vicinity.
One of the best opportunities to leverage exhibition stands and displays is when sponsoring events. Our hypothetical jewellery store could, for example, sponsor a beauty pageant or, even better, a motivational evening with high-profile speakers for businesswomen. Floor-to-ceiling banners, tables with various marketing paraphernalia and stands bearing logos, images and delicious eats would do wonders for brand awareness.
- When reputations are at stake.
Say, for instance, a coffee company (a coffee company as completely hypothetical as our jewellery store) is being taken to task for unsustainable farming practices and deforestation. A really good idea would be to host a charity event to raise funds to re-forest decimated areas – with banners and stands expounding the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and outlining its corporate social responsibility initiatives.
- When everyone else is doing it.
You can’t afford to miss trade shows, which is when all of your competitors are going to be doing their best to outshine and outmaneuver each other. This is the time to go all out with your displays; to blow your budget and engage the best designers and the most solid stands you can afford. Everyone else will be doing the same so you really need to put in some extra effort to stand out.
- When it makes perfect sense.
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of banners and stands in your own offices. It may seem redundant and a waste of money to create flashy exhibitions when people are already in your HQ, but think about the advertising opportunities you waste while people mill around. And people do mill. If someone arrives early for a meeting or an interview or a query or even to lodge a complaint you can help them kill some time by luring them to your product or service brochures, your pledge to sustainability, your dedication to children’s charities – whatever.
So, are exhibition stands worth the expense?
In a word: Yes. It’s then up to you to use them wisely.
This guest post was written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Full Stretch Display. Full Stretch Display creates exhibition stands and marketing displays for a variety of purposes and events, including trade shows and interior signs.