A lot goes into holding an exhibition, and most of it involves things you didn’t consciously think about. You will know that you need a stand and that the stand should have adequate staff and plenty of marketing materials. But you probably forgot the little things like ventilation, lighting, snacks, music, or even electric cables.
Exhibition Banners are arguably the most significant part of your exhibition. They brand your space, helping potential customers to identify you. They also introduce you to new customers at a glance. A cursory look at your stand will lead customers to form an impression of you, and once established, it can be difficult to change.
How much can you spend?
When you’re shopping for exhibition stands, there are a few things to consider. The first one is the budget. As you prepare the material and costing for your exhibition, you’ll have to divide expenses into various categories. These may include giveaways, food for the staff, utilities, transport, or maybe even the hiring rate for the stand itself.
In the midst of all that is a budget for marketing materials. This will often be spent on flyers, leaflets, and business cards, but you need to set aside cash for the portable banners and flags. To set your price limits, explore a few banner websites and make some calls or visit their showrooms. Compare prices and see how much you can allocate to outdoor advertising.
What kind of exhibition is it?
There are different types of outdoor events. It might be an entertainment festival, a music extravaganza, an arts meet-up, a food-centric celebration, or a typical trade show. Each of these exhibitions has their own sets of mores. For example, if it’s a food event, you need to tie your product or service to the theme so you can effectively cross-sell.
Other festivals will have specific guidelines of what you can and can’t do with your stand. Some spaces will require co-branding, while others will leave it to your discretion. In the latter case, it’s advisable to at least link your banner messaging to the event.
This makes you relevant and softens your customer pitch, improving your chances of conversion. After all, people go to festivals to have fun, not to be a marketing target. So if you can fuse your product or service to the overall event so that it blends and fits, you have a better chance of acceptance and success.
What type of message are you pushing?
Why are you in this exhibition? Were you invited or did you pitch the client? Are you part of the main show or an add-on? For example, at a barbeque festival, you could be a restaurant that is selling wares, or you could be a condiments supplier luring customers with free samples. You might even be a training institute for chefs.
On the other hand, if it’s a dedicated trade exhibition, you’re overtly looking for prospects and pushing your product. Your role at the festival will influence your message. In the example above, the restaurant will need a menu and possibly a price list. The condiment stand will advertise the variety of product they offer, and maybe flyers with tasting notes.
As for the trade show, their banners will focus more on their vision, mission, ethos, and the products or services they provide. Each of these banners will have different requirements. Informative banners can be text-based, but menus need attractive, well-taken food photos. Full-colour large format banners work best for food-related industries.
How big is your space?
The most overlooked aspect of an exhibition stand is the physical space. Often, the marketing department will drag all their banners and collateral to the venue. Once they get there, they realise it can’t all fit. Before you buy any exhibition material, get exact measurements of the space you have to work with, and if possible, draw a map to scale.
Use your sketch to try out different sizes and banner positions, so you can be sure what works and what doesn’t. You probably think the bigger, the better, but it’s counterproductive if you can’t get it into the stand. Beyond measurements, take a physical look at the stand. Numbers on paper are helpful, but being in the available space is better.
When you inspect the stand, check for other elements like wind levels, the direction of sunshine, and type of flooring. This will tell you if you need to shift the entrance or buy flooring materials like Promodek, canvas, or artificial turf.
It will also guide your choice of free-standing banners or hanging retractable ones. Finally, if the event is likely to stretch after dark, consider getting banners with LED lighting. This will help your venue stand out, and will help draw customers once the sun goes down.