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How I confused and exasperated a prospective client…But only with the best of intentions

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Posted by , 6th August 2018

Exhibitors Only: How I confused and exasperated a prospective client...But with the best of intentions

Global law firm Kennedys wanted a stand that would both surprise and show that they were different. This design from Guardian Exhibition & Display fulfilled their brief very successfully.

“We don’t build stands, we transform event spaces.” That was my answer to someone who had called our office looking for “a quote for a stand at an upcoming show at Olympia in London.”

The conversation continued like this; 

Prospective client: “ Well I’m looking at your website and it distinctly says Exhibition Stand Build.” 

Me: “That’s because we do build stands.”

Prospective client: But you just said, you don’t build stands” (a little exasperated)

Me: “What we really do is help our clients transform the space they are using whether this be for a show or a whole event. In doing this we help them transform their event results. 

That’s what we really do. Designing and building a stand structure is important and yes that’s “what we do” but I wanted to you understand what our real objective is when we work with our clients.”

Why would I take such an approach with a potential client? 

Because we want to work with companies that value what we really offer; a vested interest in their success and not people looking for the lowest price display option. 

If you are an exhibitor or an organiser I would suggest that this is the type of event partner that you should have working with you. 

You want a partner that sees their role as one part in an end game that sees you achieve your event goals and not just the sale and building of a shiny structure. 

Small stands can compete with big stands 

Some exhibitors believe that they are at a disadvantage when they exhibit at a show with a small stand. 

They feel that their stand won’t look as good or as businesslike as the bigger ones within the show. We don’t accept that thinking. 

We believe that we can transform even the humblest space and make it look businesslike and attractive. Getting your messaging right and making this clear is often more important to event success than just having a big stand. 

It’s also a more cost-effective way to exhibit. If you keep costs under control you can afford to do more shows and therefore to generate more sales. It’s a virtuous cycle. 

Tips to make small stands look bigger 

  • If your stand has a small footprint build upwards to add height and presence as we designed for our client Amphenol (shown above)
  • Use really strong uncluttered graphics. Your stand walls will look bigger
  • Curved walls are attractive to the eye and break-up the boxy look of shell scheme stands 
  • You can also use the spaces behind curved walls for storage
Applying the same thinking to events 

If you are organising an event on behalf of your company, my advice to the client is to involve your branding and build supplier from an early stage. 

They will be looking at the practical aspects of your space and can advise you on things like: 

  • Venue access and any issues related to this 
  • Audience traffic flows
  • Build & break times and if these are adequate for what you want to achieve
  • Signage styles and placement for maximum branding impact or for the most efficient Wayfinding 
  • Signage suitability so you don’t incur dilapidation charges from the venue
Transforming event spaces can transform your results 

When you start out with the idea to do something that’s different, that’s vibrant, you really are putting yourself on course to transform your event results. 

Of course, looks aren’t everything and I wouldn’t pretend that a stand or a room set designed just on its looks alone will work. 

The secret to success is the thinking behind the design. If we get that right then our client is much more likely to achieve their objective and just maybe, something beyond that too. 

By the way, following our conversation, the confused prospective client mentioned at the beginning became a real client for our business. So there was a happy ending.

We believe in this transforming philosophy so strongly we wrote a book about it 

Actually, we wrote a short Yearbook called “A Transformational Year.” 

Inside we show examples of this kind of transformational thinking in action. I would be delighted to send a copy to anyone who would like to receive it. If you write to me by email: anthony.booty@gdisplay.co.uk I will be very happy to send a copy by return.

Anthony Booty of Guardian Exhibition & Display

About the Author

Anthony Booty is Sales Director for Guardian Exhibition & Display based in Leigh on Sea, Essex.

The Guardian team specialise in helping their clients to transform event spaces whether they be exhibition stands or corporate event venues. Always the goal is to help transform event results. Now approaching their 10th year of trading, it’s an approach that has served them well. Guardian Display is also the official branding partner of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Anthony can be contacted via LinkedIn. 

Posted in Trade show advice  /  Trade show marketing  /  Visibility & Impact

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