United We Stand

Want to stand out at shows and flourish at fairs? Bringing back our Business Brainwaves section, we take a look at maximising the potential of your game fair stand…

One of the beauties of the trade we enjoy is the eternal cycle of the trade fairs. traditionally the year starts with the SHOT show in America, we then host the British Shooting Show before hopping the channel to IWA in Germany. We might barely have escaped wintry weather but we are already looking ahead to the northern Shooting Show, Clay Shooting Classic and the Game Fair in May, June and July respectively. Pensive glances are even being cast towards 2019, while preparations for this year’s events have been in the pipeline since 2017.

Now in its third year, the Harrogate-based Northern Shooting Show, is expected to grow once again. Some of the industry’s biggest names have been pencilled in for eight months GMK confirmed last October that they will have a demonstration stand on the clay line, allowing visitors to try out a huge array of shotguns over the weekend. Raytrade were also quick to re- book their slot following success at last year’s show. They remarked at how impressed they were with visitor footfall and the interest in their products. However, it is equally important for exhibitors to impress guests and create interest; the set-up of stands at game fairs therefore, has never been more important.

Theres plenty of help on hand with exhibition stand suppliers now bringing a new level of expertise to the industry, giving business an insight into successful practices. there are now options to design a complete rental stand online, providing a cost-effective alternative to individual stands. Smart modular systems also provide plenty of scope for your design ideas and offers simple but comprehensive solutions.

WHO DOES THE DESIGN?

Designing a web-based stand ahead of exhibiting allows you to skillfully present your company and products. it also presents the opportunity to preview the right components for a stand across a range of various price categories, sizes, colours and forms. Exploring all options, and being aware of your needs before arriving means that you are able to maximise your investments. Choose and customise from fully equipped stands complete with furnishings, cubicles, lighting, power connections; stand cleaning is now an option too. designing online also offers previews of variable graphics and functional elements to your stand, and once your configuration is confirmed simply allow the supplier to organise the rest.

Alternatively book an individual stand for a customised exhibition experience. At IWA traders were given the option of booking stands according to individual requirements. The organisers, NürnbergMesse, were able to plan and design a stand in collaboration with businesses, utilising around 30 service partners to create a bespoke exhibition experience.

A final option is to design your own stand. in this instance it is important to plan the appearance of your stand with a construction company, but also to be aware of the relevant information and regulations relating to the event you are attending. Take into account your location, but also focus on the technology you will use. working alone will also require more input on logistics such as establishing gun-locks for the stand as well as the assembly and dismantling. Once again, this is something the organisers should be aware of.

LOOK UP, LOOK DOWN

Away from a stand, consider your surroundings to get the biggest bang for your buck. a great way to feature more in your allotted space is to get creative with flooring and if possible add a hanging exhibition structure above. Ditch the grey carpet squares for more creative flooring to draw visitors in. even simply adding a coloured carpet can help – better yet, tie it into your colour/logo scheme. More adventurous options include continuing graphics from the walls onto the ground or too add textured flooring. Boot manufacturers, for example, might benefit from having a carpet of turf.

Overhead hanging structures such as sky-banners help you stand out from the crowd and expose your brand from all sides. After paying for square footage, expanding your brand upwards maximises space and can even be used to expose a brand without a shell-scheme. Hanging structures are a great way to increase your impact for a minimal extra outlay.

For whichever tactic you chose for your next exhibition, the key is preparation and plenty of it. It’s no wonder that companies take in excess of six months to plan for upcoming shows. if you are only now looking to gear up your presence for a 2018 show, you may well have missed the boat. In that case, roll on 2019!

Here are our top five tips for exhibitors:

  1. Be There: Allowing customers to put a face to a name is immensely helpful
  2. Chat To People: Build up networks rather than just trying to sell
  3. Be Topical: Keep your stand relevant by adding a gimmick or attraction
  4. Know What You Want: Plan beforehand what you want to achieve at the show
  5. Check The Benefits: Review your networking and check that you hit your targets
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