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Exhibition Stand Concepts: Attract and Retain

Did you know that conference attendees typically decide whether or not to approach an exhibition stand in three seconds? That might make the average attendee sound impulsive, but that’s far from the truth. When visiting a conference, everyone knows time and energy are finite. We go to conferences to make contacts and discover new trends and ideas. And to get our attention, an exhibition stand needs to convince us very quickly that it is the place to be. So the question is: how does a stand bring in visitors and keep them there?

1. Be Part of the Community
An exhibition stand design needs to be many things, but first and foremost it must communicate a concept that is coherent and in keeping with the vision of the conference organisers. Every stand wants to be an individual, but if it sticks out like a sore thumb for all the wrong reasons, visitors will shy away. No one goes to an architectural conference to look at balloons. Being right on target is crucial.

2. Be Conspicuous at a Distance
When your potential visitors’ eyes sweep the room, they should stop on your stand. Perhaps your corporate identity is your big draw, or maybe your new product already has a buzz or you are the new cool kid in town. Whatever it is, make sure your exhibition stand designer knows the aims and understands your vision.

3. Be Yourself
A conference isn’t the time to try out a new look. Many visitors prepare ahead of time by checking out the links on the conference’s web page to exhibitors’ sites. When these visitors arrive, your stand should, to some degree, look like the identity on your web page. They should feel that they know you already and that they know what to expect.

4. Create a Journey
Getting to know a new company or product is a journey of discovery. Likewise, visiting your stand should allow the same process to occur.

Introductory information should be clearly visible at the doorway to your display. This should then lead visitors on to discover new things and break down any communication barriers between the visitor and the host. Space and visitor flow should be managed to ensure visitors don’t cut back against new comers.

5. Amaze the Senses
We have five senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. A great stand will affect as many of these as possible. Your exhibition stand contractor should understand how to present opportunities for visitors to become fully engaged in your message in as many ways as possible. Exhibitors must make sure the display targets visitors with its use of graphics, light, colour and textural materials. Scent, whether from the products or introduced artificially, is an excellent way to build a memory connection to your company.

6. Always Be New
Seeing the same faces at exhibitions is one of the major reasons they function so well in networking. However, keeping your stand fresh and interesting is made difficult by this factor. Talk to your contractor about how the stand will be able to evolve and change over the season. Engaging might be the secret to success, but re-engaging is equally important.

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