When preparing for an expo, companies spend a lot of money, firstly on their stand space and then on travel expenses and accommodation if it is in a different city. In addition to this there are corporate gifts and branding to take care of.
We have found that many companies don't budget sufficiently for their expo branding, and in an attempt to compensate for that, they opt for the most expensive branding elements. Unfortunately, this backfires on them, as it still looks cheap and is often useless to their marketing efforts. In this post, we're going to discuss some of the branding mistakes clients make and ways in which they can reduce their expenses while still creating a high impact.
Many clients waste money on custom built stands, which is often totally unnecessary. Firstly, it uses up a lot of space in an already limited area. To save money, you could wrap the walls entirely, or you could fabric the back wall. Fabric wrap is reusable, as it is hooked into the corners.
Most companies hand out stacks of flyers and brochures at expos. You want to hand out something that is memorable, so let that be your focus, rather than how fancy your stand is. People don't remember the strength of your counter or the comfort of your chairs - they remember what you gave them, if it was something useful. Instead of spending a fortune on buying a luxurious stand, rather get something nice and use clever branding elements to make it stand out. Also, be sure that the handouts match the stand. People are visual, so they will remember your stand if the brochure matches it.
Ensuring that your staff look sharp is key to encouraging the public to interact with them. Invest in corporate clothing, even if it is as simple as a nice, professional-looking branded golf shirt and jeans. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it should match the stand.
If you're investing in an expo stand, you want to be sure that it stands out from the other stands. You should not just see it as a marketing exercise, but also as an opportunity to build your brand image. Therefore, it is important to create impact with your stand. You can do this by making sure that your stand is unique, instead of a copy of every other stand. Make it as spacious as you can - nothing is worse than a cluttered stand. Use your branding properly to ensure that it is visually appealing.
Money spent on artwork is always well spent. Opt for strong, vibrant colours that make it stand out.
Instead of spending a fortune on fancy gimmicks, sculptures and expensive technology for your stand, rather invest in high-quality signage and branding elements. You will save money by investing in unique backdrops that sets your stand aside from all the others. By letting your branding company know what your expectations are, they will work with you to create a branding package that may be reused in part or in full. If you attend regular expos, it would be worthwhile investing in fabric backgrounds rather than vinyl, as the fabric is more durable. However, if it's a once off or once-a-year event, PVC will be cheaper.
Ultimately, the two most important aspects to the client's role in creating a high impact expo stand on a tight budget, are:
Playing open cards with your branding company will ensure that you get the best results from your corporate branding.
There are many inexpensive ways to make a high impact with your stand. Some companies play games for small prizes with their stand visitors and this has a memorable impact.
It is important to involve your branding company as soon as you have booked your expo stand, and well in advance of the event. Rushing to get last-minute branding and artwork completed can lead to mistakes on your part in choosing the right materials for your needs, and good branding companies are often busy, which means that they have a long lead time. Don't cause yourself unnecessary stress. With proper planning, there is more time to work out exactly what you need to create a high impact expo stand within your budget.
We would like to encourage you to implement the guidelines in this article straight away. If you are not sure how to get started or how it best applies to your business, please contact us and we will be happy to share some further thoughts with you.