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Interactive & Creative Ideas for Exhibition Stands
Your exhibition stand is booked, and now the pressure is on to deliver - generating leads for your sales team to follow up on post-show. There are tonnes of stats surrounding why you should exhibit, but with budgets tighter than ever, how can you exhibition stand attract more leads compared to your competitors? We’ve run through our most interactive and creative ideas for exhibition stands below, to get as many qualified visitors to your stand as possible.
Technology: Interactive & Creative Ideas for Exhibition Stands
Beacons have been promoted as one of the most interactive exhibition ideas for a few years now, yet that’s never fully materialised. However, because their mobile use is currently limited to Android phones, and the technology needed to set them up on your stand more accessible than ever, by cleverly placing beacons on your exhibition stand you can reach visitors who are passing by your stand without actually having to talk to them (we say this on the proviso that your sales team are busy talking to other visitors!).
You can be clever in your use of beacon technology, in a number of ways. Firstly, by adding a beacon around each of the products or services you’re promoting on the stand, visitors will see multiple messages appear in their notification centre. But a potentially more ‘guerrilla marketing’ way of using beacons would be to keep them in your jacket pocket, and as you’re walking around the trade show with guests, or sitting down for lunch in the cafe, your messages will appear on nearby phones.
Instantly downloadable information - QR codes
Whilst some people still prefer to receive hard copies of brochures, data sheets and technical information, the ease of having a downloadable copy is undeniable, especially at a trade show when visitors will be given a tote bag filled with flyers on each stand.
Apple recently announced that its camera will natively support QR codes, which makes it easier than ever to provide visitors with information instantly. What’s more, you can set up QR codes for a huge range of applications, from simply visiting your website, to downloading brochures and signing up to mailing lists. Our advice with this would be to make sure you’re offering the visitor value in exchange for their data - such as entering a competition if they register.
With the rise of the Oculus Rift, and Google/Samsung/PlayStation’s attempts also bringing the world of virtual reality close to consumers, AR provides exhibitors with the chance to impress visitors with the latest technology and potentially save money.
We mention saving money because for many exhibitors, especially in the manufacturing & B2B industries, demonstrating/transporting their products can be a hassle. For some, such as Airbus, it’s simply not possible. Instead of trying to display their incredibly technical products at the Defence and Security Exhibition, Airbus creating VR ‘pods’, where visitors sat down and strapped a headset on, which took them through a journey of their latest products and developments.
This is still an incredible opportunity, and one of the most truly interactive exhibition ideas, for businesses on a smaller scale, as it means they can provide visitors with a sense of perspective when demonstrating their products. By seeing how a product or service you provide relates to them, in the scenario they’re used to, it’s much easier to sell.
The majority of exhibitions, especially in the UK, have woken up to social media being an integral part of their marketing. In the first instance, your own marketing should be targeted around this, increasing the exposure of your company.
However, that hashtag should be seen as an open forum for promoting your own presence at the show (because that’s what you’ve paid the organisers for!), so by implementing your own hashtag, which could be a variation of the official one e.g. #UniboxShowQandA, you can start driving people to your own hashtag, providing you with the platform to share valuable information, such as Q&A’s with industry experts, product demo’s etc.
You can then promote this via a screen or display on your stand, which features visitors profiles as they use your hashtag and if they see their own tweet appearing, it could prompt interaction and be the start of a conversation.
Stand Design: Creative & Interactive Exhibition Ideas
As part of our exhibition design blog, we come across truly creative ideas for exhibition stands, with inspirational lighting designs, that aren’t difficult or expensive to implement. Kaplan & Kaplan, who are environmental psychologists, did some research into lighting displays, which can be summarised in the graph below, where businesses should be looking to hit the sweet spot of Low familiarity (they’re not used to this style of lighting) and High preference (it’s visually compelling).￼
Creating a lighting display can seem more complex than it actually is. We’ve included some examples below of some incredibly effective displays that simply use linear-style controlled lighting, or familiar lighting techniques used in a different way (vertically, for example).
Intriguing Product Displays
Creating a product display that stands out (excuse the pun), can be the difference between engaging a visitor and them passing by.
At EuroShop this year, we were well aware of the risk posed by a free-flowing layout for the entire hall, and with the stand close on two sides, visitors could pass by without us even knowing they were there. Surrounding the outer corner of the stand, we placed one of our most creative ideas for exhibition stands: our latest lightbox innovation, Magnetik. Magnetik allowed us to place promotional material to the outside of the stand, seemingly floating without any obvious fixtures to the outside of the lightbox. Magnetik actually uses a perforated back panel that allows clips to hook into place, holding displays literature holders in front of an illuminated graphic.
Not only was the display eye-catching, it also took the pressure off visitors who wanted to collect information, resulting in more leads following the show.
Gamification goes beyond putting an electric buzzer on your stand. All of the gimmicks have been done before, yet people are still naturally competitive, therefore utilising gamification can result in one of the most interactive exhibition ideas, teaching visitors about your product and promoting engagement.
The best and most creative ideas for exhibition stands are often the simplest, such as industry-focused quizzes that test knowledge about specific products or concepts can create competition within your target audience. The ideal scenario is that your gamification engages visitors with an end-goal in mind that isn’t an exhibition standard - such as an iPad. Offer visitors something that’s both cost effective for you to provide, and worthwhile a visitor winning - it could be their own personalised version of your product, which long-term could make them buy into your business as a result.