Exhibitions and trade shows are great ways to interact with potential customers and investors. It is, however, imperative that you ensure that your product doesn’t fade into the background. There can be hundreds of exhibitors at a show and if you don’t take care to make your booth stand out, your business and products will easily be missed or forgotten.
In the same way that hundreds of stands can blend into one mushy memory if they are not well placed or designed, we see hundreds if not thousands of billboards every year that we conveniently forget and possibly don’t even see anymore. It remains a popular form of advertising thanks to some innovative tricks that media companies have come up with.
Interactive displays are more likely to interest us. In recent years, some media companies have gone as far as creating edible billboards to allow the natural curiosity of passersby to get the better of them. Thorntons in London erected a giant billboard in Covent Garden with 390 kilograms worth of chocolate eggs and bunnies attached to it.
The chocolate was finished within three hours and not only did the public get something out of the advertising experience (for a change!); the event was also written about in the national media that resulted in priceless free advertising! Think about using your product in an innovative way that engages the senses of your audience. People generally prefer trying things out for themselves rather that just being told how a product works. Think about using touch screens or buttons that engage your audience.
We are naturally curious creatures and if you can do something that makes the people attending the exhibition go “awesome!” you’re guaranteed to have created a memorable experience. Tropicana juices created a billboard that was powered by real oranges. Yes, the electricity lighting the display was created by the fruit themselves. The lettering that it lit up read “Energie Naturelle” which reinforced the idea that fruit juices give you natural energy.
It’s clever, concise and makes use of basic science. Depending on what your product is you might want to consider introducing it to your audience in a way that fascinates them and leaves them wanting to figure out how it works.
If you are looking to attract attention, humour is an excellent tool to do so. Make sure, however, that the type of humour suits your product or business. You still want people to take you seriously. Run your ideas by plenty of colleagues to make sure that it’s not just funny in your head, but genuinely effective. Also, beware of using humour that might be distasteful to some people, as you will only alienate your potential customers.
Your booth will very likely draw enormous attention if you are able to use the allocated space with aesthetically pleasing designs and visual techniques that are a little out of the ordinary. Billboards that attract attention often use different shapes to the norm or use images that make it seem like nature is being defied such as the following example: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/outdoor/anando_milk_building.
Try to use other spaces that your competitors won’t use. 3D Images on the floor can possibly illustrate an effect that your product achieves or tries to eradicate. A company that sells flea poison had an enormous picture of a dog attached to the floor of a mall that made the people walking on it look like fleas. It brought home the message that although we normally don’t see fleas on our animals; they are there and are very irritating to them.
Always make sure that your exhibition display is very well thought through and never simply mediocre. There is a lot of inspiration one can get from leading advertising trends. Putting in a lot of effort will pay off when you have potential investors queuing to try out your product.
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Louisa Theart is a freelance musician, writer and incredibly curious about everything.