Research is key if you’re a company looking to exhibit for the first time, or one that is struggling to find that venue that really excites you. This blog post tries to eliminate the lengthy trawling for information about the different venues and gives you some vital tips that may just relate directly to the struggles you may be having!
1) The NEC, Birmingham: The NEC is one of the biggest venues in the UK and probably the one the most popular. It has 6 halls and therefore gives ample opportunity for large or small exhibition stand areas. Everything from Crufts to Gaming events have been held here so no need to worry about if your company will be accepted or not. The NEC is also the most well known which means exhibiting here comes with more prestige.
2) Olympia, London: Olympia is one of the UK’s oldest venues, opening in 1886 it has hosted some of a wide variety of shows including the one and only Jimi Hendrix so don’t worry if you have an ‘out there’ offering. In 2013 it went under a £30 million redevelopment so it’s heritage has been brought forward into the 21 century. Olympia is a smaller venue compared to The NEC so if you’re looking for 6m high exhibition stands, you may struggle at this venue.
3) ExCel, London: ExCel is a newer venue somewhat compared to the rest opening in 2000. However, even though it is a newer venue, in 2014 it welcomed it’s 20 millionth visitor so there is definitely no shortage of people coming here. One huge benefit of ExCel is that it actually has a cable car linked to the O2 so you can not only get to it by train but also via the O2. This is quite a large venue in which to exhibit and it actually hosts the largest medical association meeting for the European Society of Cardiology.
4) Manchester Central, Manchester: Seeing as though most of the desired exhibition venues are in London, I thought throwing this one in to represent our Northern roots. Manchester Central boasts 130 years of experience, providing corporate functions, large scale events and exhibitions. The flexibility of this venue makes it very appealing as it can be an auditorium, exhibition hall, conference hall or even a dining space so no matter what your offering, it’ll work.
Overall, these 4 venues offer some great positives with limited negatives. But in our opinion with over 16 years experience in the exhibition industry, The NEC has to be the place to exhibit. It has so much space, you can even have small scale exhibitions in 1 hall so it doesn’t matter if you’re a small or large company with a big or small budget, there’ll be a show you can attend.
We hope that this gave you some insight into a few different venues and maybe some help in deciding which one to exhibit in! If you need excellent exhibition stand designers for one of these events, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
There is always a worry when exhibiting that there just won’t be enough buzz to justify the amount of money spent but hopefully, these 4 super secret ways to grab people’s attention will calm those nerves and give you some peace of mind.
1) Be creative! Being creative with your exhibition stand is a huge factor, not just because we believe in creativity ourselves, but we have seen companies reap benefits of having a creative and innovative exhibition stands. The most creative stands at these events are the ones people talk about too and therefore, this word of mouth advertising could be key to acquiring those all important new customers.
2) Self Promote! With the rise of social media over the past years, it is very easy for companies now to self promote themselves! You don’t need a huge marketing budget, all you need is a wordsmith to write some interesting tweets directed at the next event your attending. Maybe even some sneak peaks of the stand being created to keep people enticed to see the final product.
3) Be careful with freebies! Freebies are always a way to attract delegates to your stand but if you are going to go down this route, the ‘gift’ needs to be carefully selected. The freebie needs to relate to your company or your offering because if this is not the case, people will not remember who it is from and why they have received this. In addition, make sure you allocate it in your costs!
4) Design is key! Even if your exhibition stand isn’t the most creative, having a nicely designed one can, and possibly is, the most important aspect. Not only are the aesthetics key, but the layout design needs to be considered very carefully. You need to allocate enough space for people to actually congregate on your stand to successfully present your offering to them.
If all of these elements suggested above are covered, one may argue that you have a pretty good chance of your stand being a successful one! However, although we have many years of experience in this field and have designed a wide variety of bespoke exhibition stands, there is no definitive answer as to whether your stand is going to be successful or not, all you can do is improve your chances! Sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw of who attends the event!
This year, one of our longer serving clients Mark’ennovy decided to attend a slightly different exhibition from previous years. Mark’ennovy are a business that provides a range of eye related products for example, their award winning contact lenses. In the past, we built an exhibition stand for them at BCLA (British Contact Lens Association) which was on the smaller scale compared to this year and therefore a complete redesign was necessary to fit into the new, larger space.
This years exhibition stand, as previously stated, was a complete redesign. However, the strong, contrasting black and white colours were a theme that we wanted to continue with. Coupled with some nice lighting changes, the stand really excelled on a design point of view and was definitely one of the more striking exhibition stands at Optrafair this year.
Unfortunately, the final day of Optrafair was April 11th which sadly means that it’s all over for this year! But if you want to see images of the exhibition stand we created, gives us a couple of days and they’ll be up for all to see on our website!